Underrated Bitmap Bros platformer
The Bitmap Bros were one of the most exciting developers of the 1980s and 1990s, with titles like Xenon, Speedball, Gods and the Chaos Engine cementing their reputation as inventive and stylish designers. Magic Pockets is perhaps one of their lesser known efforts and might not be up the standards of their other classics, but it retains their unique visuals and certainly provides some solid platforming fun. The star of the game is the Bitmap Kid, a young hero with trousers that have infinite pockets and where he stores his toys. However, these toys are stolen by a creature who lives in the pockets, the Bitmap Kid must embark on an epic journey to get them back. What this means is that the game is a fairly traditional 2D side scrolling platformer that sees the Kid exploring four themed levels which are broken down into sub-stages. Gameplay is largely familiar to anyone who has played Rayman, Earthworm Jim or Zool, and requires players to run, jump and hurl objects at the various enemies who populate the levels. The different areas each open a new move for the Kid, while bonus stages are also accessible and which are related to the toy that is being sought. While nothing overly original in concept, Magic Pockets does include enough neat features to make it worth playing for fans of the genre or the Bitmap Bros. The graphics are a major draw here and there really is nothing quite like a Bitmap Bros game in terms of visuals but fortunately the action is fast, varied and enjoyable too, making this more than just a feast for the eyes and meaning that Magic Pockets is well worth playing.