Puzzle games is a genre of video games that come in all shapes and sizes. From a simple game of placing blocks in the right order based on shape to popping bubbles by matching the right colors, they offer good puzzle fun through mildly brain-taxing activities. The latest puzzle game to hit the PS Vita platform is the game called ‘Supermagical’ which is a puzzle game that is oozing with personality and charm.
The game opens with a short back story telling us how the game world was constructed and how special wizards raised a lone girl. She is part of a larger family of evil sisters that were banished due to the special wizards that currently raise the lone girl. After trying a special spell, she accidentally opens a portal that frees her sisters, which cause havoc across the land through.
Offering to help out fix her mess, her wizard guardians tell her a resounding ‘NO’. Our main character defies them by going out to save the day anyway. How do you save the day? Through using your magic powers to stop the incoming army that your sisters have control over! It’s the basic color-coated bubble popping puzzle game but it has a few unique twists that make it stand out, mainly being that you can change the color of your magic based on candy (though you have a set amount of it however).
Through doing this, it changes a magic color the game gives you into one of your choosing. This adds a new dynamic to the puzzle gameplay, as you have a choice between using what the game gives you and making due with that or making it easier on yourself by picking the color needed at the risk of running out of a specific colored candy. When defeating the colorful army of creatures, you get money which can be used to purchase magic spells, colored candy and special objects.
After completing a set of levels, you encounter your sisters and you have to convince to the back off and stop their havoc. You can do this through repeatedly saying the right/wrong things and giving them a special item you can buy from the shop. They will back off regardless of giving them the item or not, but I liked this system as it gave this charming puzzle game an additional layer of story. Plot elements are normally absent from puzzle games, so seeing one present is quite nice.
Through talking to your sisters, you save the special wizards that went out to take on the sisters; you learn that they got captured early in the game. So in addition to stopping monsters from causing problems, you also have to save your family too. When saved, each guardian offers new ways to combat creatures. One example is a little fairy that can blow up a specific amount of creatures by just tapping the screen while another lets you create bombs that you can tap on the screen taking out many creatures at once.
This system not only rewards you for progressing through the game, but also introduces further resource management. Some patterns of creatures you encounter cannot be taken out with careful usage of color; you need special abilities to solve the trickier puzzles. You get soda from defeating specific creatures, which is the resource needed to use the special powers. Between managing how many colored candies you have and monitoring your soda reserves, it creates quite an interesting experience; challenge comes from not only you solving puzzles but from how you use your tools presented to you.
It’s a great system and one that is further enhanced by being fair to newcomers of the puzzle genre; in the puzzle stages you can access a shop by pressing an icon on the Vita screen and use money you earned to buy items you need. You don’t have to use this but the fact the option is present is a good feature.
While the story, gameplay and general design are quite solid, the games presentation really impressed me. Offering vividly bright colors and nice animation, it’s a great looking puzzle game that instantly draws you in. This is further helped through quality sound design and music, with the former being well utilized while the later helped make puzzles engaging and relaxing to the player.
You will be playing this puzzling adventure for a while too, with plenty of stages and a star-ranking system in place ensuring you will be coming back to levels quite frequently. The only real issue Supermagical has are minor oddities that can be distracting. Specifically being the game having load times that can be a bit too long and that the game’s usage of physical inputs on Vita being a bit tricky to understand at first. But both are easily dealt with by playing the game for a little while and getting use to it.
Supermagical is a quality puzzle game that is not only fun through quality gameplay and strong design elements but through polished presentation elements and charming story. Highly recommend this title to any fan of the puzzle game genre and is easily one of the better puzzle games for the PS Vita platform.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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