Magnets Fully Charged is from developer Total Monkey and was originally released on Steam in January 2015 and now is an upgraded version. Fully Charged has improved visuals, upgraded performance, and brand new content.
Magnets: Fully Charged is a game that looks vibrant, colourful and has some interesting gameplay mechanics. You play as a quirky little robot who must save the world from enemies known as Bloxbots. You play from a top-down (ish) perspective with fairly straight forward controls that see you jumping, slamming and running through various environments and obstacles. The most important and vital gameplay mechanic is your electrically charged magnetic net which you use to capture bots and turn into scrap. Once you have collected this scrap you head to a machine known as a recyclertron that changes the material into the parts you need. I’m a huge fan of games that have a strong focus on collecting and this game certainly scratches that itch.
Magnets is straightforward in terms of gameplay and also its narrative. You play as the robot known as Faraday who is a park ranger. The story feels a little thin and I would have liked to have seen a bit more thought and depth to the overall structure of the narrative. That being said it’s a game that plays well and focuses more on its unique gameplay mechanics. It’s your job to save the creatures, along with the city by using your MagNets to defeat the Bloxbots. You use the right or left trigger to create a magnetic field and drag in a direction to create a magnetic radius. You have to attempt to draw a magnetic field around enemies in order to gain scrap.
The game has a total of twenty different arenas, arranged in five levels in four worlds. Each area sees you facing more challenging tasks and stages begin to require increasing amounts of scrap in order to progress. You also face boss battles at the fifth stage of each world. The gameplay is fun at first but unfortunately it soon becomes very repetitive, that’s not to say that repetition in games doesn’t work but it does start to feel a little stale as you make your way through each world. Once you reach the end of a level you get a score that’s based on various aspects including the time it took you, enemies defeated, objects rescued and total scrap acquired. This gives the game a reason to go back and replay stages but to be honest the game becomes too repetitive to make me want to go back and beat my previous scores. I think the game would be more interesting if it had introduced some different objectives or slight gameplay twists to keep things feeling fresh.
The game does have some nice variation in terms of the enemies you face. These Bloxbots come in different forms and have different attack styles including missiles and lasers. The enemies may be varied in style and attack but the way in which you destroy them doesn’t change. It would have been more interesting to have different abilities yourself or ways of upgrading your character. The bosses may appear different but once again you just use the basic gameplay mechanics that you have used throughout the whole game.
The presentation of the game is good enough with vibrant colours and playful style but I couldn’t help feel that it felt a bit dated. The characters are well designed and it does have some variation in the different worlds you journey through but overall they are all a bit generic and feel like there could have been a lot more experimentation in terms of visuals. I also had a few issues with the game stuttering and significant frame rate drops when there were multiple enemies on-screen.
Overall Magnets: Fully Charged is a game that is easy to jump into and has some really clever mechanics with the use of the magnetic field to highlight enemies, but unfortunately the game becomes repetitive fairly quickly. It does try to offer some sense of replayability with the score system for each stage but it’s not enough to make me want to go back and beat my previous score. I liked the game, it’s just a shame that it’s not been pushed to its maximum potential. It’s a game that has real promise and feels like a strong basis for a good game. If only it had a few more gameplay features or variation in combat it could be a lot better.
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