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Max and the Magic Marker Review
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Max and the Magic Marker, a physics-based platformer developed by Press Play and published by Electronic Arts, is now available from the app store. Simple line-drawing mechanics are used to create objects in the environment which assist Max in his quest to right the wrongs that started with the very same marker.

Max and the Magic Marker Pros:

  • Clever, physics-based platforming fun
  • Hand-drawn storybook graphic style
  • Easy-to-use controls, nice line-drawing mechanics
  • Achievement system

Max and the Magic Marker Cons:

  • Floaty physics are a bit annoying
  • Soundtrack gets repetitive and sound effects could be more prevalent
  • Levels are quite short and there isn’t much difficulty

Max is an artistic young lad whose love of drawing sometimes creates a stir. When he draws a monster with his newfound magic marker and that monster comes to life, it’s up to Max to save the day, armed only with his special marker and a spirit of adventure. Max draws himself into his own pictures to hunt down the runaway monster. There are 58 levels to work through in 3 distinct worlds. You must collect objects along the way, most notably ink balls to refill your marker. Objects can be drawn with your finger, such as platforms to reach out-of-reach places, heavy objects to fall on enemies and environmental objects, and shields to protect Max from danger like rain and purple blobs. You receive stars at the conclusion of each level for beating par time and for collecting all of the available objects. The physics are a bit floaty for our tastes and the levels are quite short, but the game shows some good potential.

Visually, the hand-drawn levels have a charming quality that, despite lacking a certain polish, fit the game well and give it sort of a children’s storybook feel. The audio is one of the weaker points, as the background music is pretty annoying. The in-game sound effects are also a bit sparse and don’t really enhance the game in any way. Controls are touch-based, with left/right buttons for movement, an up button to jump, and a hand button to push/pull objects. Touching anywhere on the screen will draw an object that obeys the laws of physics once completed. Taking that into account, you must use environmental objects or the drawing itself to keep the new object in the proper position. Double-tapping a drawn object will erase it and return its ink to your marker. Alternatively, you can tap the marker to erase everything. Max will grab ledges and pull himself up onto them, so the game is a bit forgiving in that respect. The pause button plays a significant role, as you can use it to freeze time while still drawing objects on-screen.

Replay value is pretty good, as the golden balls and black balls can be a bit difficult to acquire and may take multiple attempts to snag. There is an in-game achievement system that allows you to work toward some additional rewards. The game has some fun puzzling elements and is generally fun to delve into for short bursts. For $1.99, Max and the Magic Marker is a cute and clever 4-Dimple offering.

Max and the Magic Marker Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-03-30T02:42:02+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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