It's astronomically good fun for kids and astrophysicists alike.
This game could have been soooooooo wrong. Get a baby, some metallic objects and a few industrial strength magnets and this could have been another excuse for the Daily Mail to slam into the games industry again. But there is not a 'traditional' baby to be seen, and in fact the magnetism seems to work more like gravity if you were to ask me.
Perhaps Gravity Ball might be a better title then. I'm not 100% sure because I don't know if you play the baby or if your girlfriend is the eponymous 'baby' in question. To be honest I'm not sure it's even relevant. Games developer Bravery could have called it anything and I would have it enjoyed it just as much.
Magnetic Baby is a 2D gravity/magnetic based puzzler where you control this little orange ball-person thing in space. You are attached to the surface of each 'planet' by gravity/magnetism, but you can jump off these planets and onto the next one providing the pull is strong enough to break orbit (as it were). The aim of each level is to reach your girlfriend, a pink ball-person thingy, and try to collect three stars as you do so.
The word planet does sort of imply a circular object, whereas in truth most of the planets are anything but. They are various shapes and sizes, such as eggs, boomerangs, bananas or just a bit lumpy. What each one will allow you to do is roll around the surface to pick up momentum and then jump to collect your stars and find your way to Pinky.
And it works very well for the most part. You can control Orangey by using one of the three methods available in the game; Tilt, Virtual Stick and Drag. These can be changed in game, too, which is quite awesome. Of the three I preferred the virtual stick, but I found it only marginally better than tilting the screen. The controls still aren't quite there for the iPod, but in this game they work quite well.
The physics in this game work well too. You don't just stick to the planet when you roll around it. Pick up enough speed and you can find yourself in a mini-orbit for a period of time. It all feels well balanced and quite, sort of, real. As you try to leave the orbit of one planet you will find yourself willing the little orange guy to make it. I know I did, on more than one occasion.
My main gripe is that some of the time it was only luck which separated me from getting zero stars to getting all three; it was just a case of jumping in the right place at the right time, even though that place and time were not clear. Think of those times when you fluked a level playing Angry Birds and you'll know what I mean.
Magnetic Baby is a real delight to play. The cartoon graphics suit it perfectly as the game serves up its own share of frustration and delight. To those 'must get three stars' nuts out there this is a MUST buy. To those just looking for a fun app with a bit of depth I'd recommend this one for you, too.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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