The Nardio Review
IS MagiCat WORTH YOUR TIME?
WHAT SHOULD I PLAY IT ON?
Steam PC only
WHY IT SORT OF WORKS AND HOW IT PLAYS:
MagiCat is one of the most interesting and frustrating platformers I’ve ever played.
MagiCat is an interesting, awesome, frustrating, cheap, experience that is also brilliant. This thing is all over the place. Oddly, it works. Sure I need to take sanity breaks from time to time, but I am over eight hours into this game and I still haven’t had enough. This game goes from super easy to cute to tough, to frustrating, to cheap to goddammit after I finish this level I am taking a break!, to fuck this game I am done!
But I kept coming back to it.
The biggest reason I keep coming back is curiosity.
Also because it’s insanely cute.
The level design is genius. Punishing, but genius. I want to see what else the developers had in store for me. I want to see how this ends. I want to beat all the crazy cheap and frustrating and sometimes, fun bosses. I’m over eight hours in and I still have no idea how far into the game I am.
As a game dev MagiCat is practically an encyclopedia of inspiration of what to do and what not to do. The more I play this game the more I want to dive back into the platformer I am creating. The more I play this game the more I find myself wanting to gift it to other game developers so that they to and experience this mish-mash of so many different levels, powers, and enemies. I cannot overstate how packed to the brim this game is with creative level and enemy design.
The art design is adorable for the protagonist kitty and the bosses. The enemies get a bit repetitive over time, but it’s not a major issue. As the game goes on they all get reskins and new abilities that keep them feeling fresh. MagiCat isn’t about the enemies though, it’s about the levels and bosses. The enemies are just another obstacle. Since there is no real plot here, there doesn’t have to be a ton of world building and corresponding enemies. The music is great and so are it’s sound effects. I found myself really getting into the game each time I play. It’s an immersive experience.
The biggest problem/draw of with MagiCat is its overly punishing level design. More often than not you need to use multiple continues to defeat bosses and often times levels. It’s challenging and frustrating.
Yet also satisfying.
The savior of this problem is also another sort of problem. We have almost infinite continues. Continues are based on a currency you build up as you play and replay the game. With this, I have been able to die about a dozen or so times on cheap bosses to finally win. There is the rub. I know some hardcore masochistic players are going to hate this infinite continue ability. At the same time, players like myself will find it a godsend. Were it not for the ability to continue so much, I would have long given up on this game and handed it a bad review a good long while ago. Even still, having the ability to continue from a cheap boss and or level still doesn’t get rid of the frustration of said cheap boss and level. It’s a sorta easy way out for the developer in my eyes.
Despite and maybe because of all of that, MagiCat is still fun. Still interesting. It has unlockable abilities that can only be purchased with gems you find in each level. Each stage has three gems, one hidden in each of the three parts of the stage before the boss. Some of these gems are easy to get, others require skill, others pure luck it seems. Some are so hidden away by mindbogglingly punishing level design that I resigned myself to just give up as it wasn’t wroth the frustration. That said the abilities you get from these gems really do help out. From vertical and horizontal dashes. Self-healing, which becomes a basic requirement as you progress through the game to the ability to forge new paths on the world map to access even more of the game. There is a lot to unlock and do that further helps you along.
I dare say I really enjoy this game. (In between hating it.) It’s an experience I recommend to old-school platforming players and players looking for a challenge. I also, wholeheartedly recommend MagiCat to gamedevs and game designers. This game is chock full of interesting mechanics and ideas that are ripe for improvement.
This game isn’t perfect, but it is fun, interesting and most of all innovative. It’s also really challenging. Sure, I put this game down and walked away in cussing frustration more times that I can count. But, as I said before, something about this bitch of a game makes me want to come back and beat it. Because the later levels are so challenging, I want to conquer them. Because of the unlockable abilities that are interesting, I want to find and get them all.
MagiCat has IT. That undefinable thing that makes me come back to it despite how often I go away. Despite its problems, it’s still fun and satisfying. There is still progression despite the problems. Because if that it feels all the more satisfying. I know I am rambling a bit, but as you can tell I find myself perplexed at why I am so enamored with this flawed gem. These days there are so many options for games that are basically perfect that we as gamers don’t need to “waste” our time on games that piss us off with cheap level design and problems. MagiCat somehow captures that old school feeling I used to have with games. That, damnnit, just one more try feeling. That fun progression that urges me on to try and explore some more. That curiosity to see how it ends.
A FREE STEAM KEY WAS PROVIDED FOR ME TO REVIEW THIS GAME.
- Single Player
- Steam Achievments
- Steam Cloud
- Steam LeaderBoards
- Hours and hours of gameplay
- Developer: Kucing Rembes
- Publisher: Toge Productions, Another Indie