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Simple and undemanding platform fun
The market for cutesy platformers never seems to run out of room for new entries, with the genre proving enduringly popular and with classics like Mario, Sonic and Rayman standing alongside other lesser known but equally enjoyable examples, like Magic Pockets and Elf. Magic Boy falls into this secondary category of games which haven't exactly set the world on fire or become household names, but which is nevertheless enjoyable enough when you're looking for some undemanding platform fun. The titular Magic Boy is Hewlett, a young boy wizard who has made the rather substantial magical mistake of turning his master into an elephant while also releasing monsters into the world. In order to put things right, he must travel through a series of 2D side-scrolling levels that are themed around locations like a beach, under the ocean and even into the future. The levels are populated by the escaped monsters which must be defeated in traditional platforming style and then forced into Hewlett's magic bag and dumped at certain specific places. Magic Boy is certainly attractive enough, with its bright, vibrant cartoon visuals which will appeal to younger gamers and while it is fun, it doesn't really offer anything that hasn't been seen before in hundreds of other similar games. The action is fast paced and the controls are responsive, while the levels are well enough designed, but for any veteran of the genre, there isn't enough challenge to make Magic Boy worth more than a cursory glance. For younger audiences however, it provides some simple fun to while away a couple of hours.
A simple platformer for children
Magic Boy's niche is definitely kids; or those that simply love a game that runs slowly, that doesn't really pack any difficult platforming bits and that generally wears really flashy clothes throughout. Magic Boy is the kind of game that you will fall in love from the very first moment that you will see, or the kind you'll hate, again, the very first moment you'll see it. That is so because Magic Boy has a very straightforward thing about it, more advanced platformer players will see through its bonhomie gaze immediately. So, from a child like perspective, I really can't fault it, but from an advanced gamers' perspective, I'd say, it's fault is its simplicity. However you want to take it. Surely, there isn't a lack of platformers out there, for those players that want challenge, so I won't bash this title. It's well put together and has style, it's just that it is amazingly easy. For toddlers, without a doubt! Or for those that love a game that isn't a constant marathon or a bullet hell!