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MacGuffin’s Curse Review
Review Score:

MacGuffin’s Curse, a humorous and engaging puzzle adventure developed by Brawsome and published by Ayopa Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring an interesting story line, tons of levels, simple controls, and cool artwork, the only curse we found was the amount of space it takes up on an iDevice.

MacGuffin’s Curse Pros:

  • Appealing, hand-drawn environments and good puzzle design
  • Relaxing soundtrack complements gameplay nicely
  • Tap and swipe controls are intuitive and keep the interface clutter-free
  • GameCenter integration for achievements to earn

MacGuffin’s Curse Cons:

  • Swipe controls have some responsiveness issues
  • No voiceover work; all conversations are text-based
  • Takes up a huge amount of iDevice space for a puzzle game

When a down-on-his-luck kid named MacGuffin turns to a life of crime to make ends meet, he gets more than he bargained for while swiping goods from a local museum. He discovers that placing the Lupine Twine amulet around his neck is a big mistake when it binds to him, giving him the ability to shapeshift between human to werewolf when bathed in moonlight. Despite the undesirable effect of being unable to remove said amulet, MacGuffin does gain superstrength when in wolf form, which aids in moving large objects like safes and batteries, the latter of which usually need to be placed upon a charging pad to activate hand scanners or shut down security systems that will allow MacGuffin to make his way to the next room en route to escape. There are over 150 rooms to explore across 11 unique environments, which should keep you busy for a while. There is a large cast of characters with which to interact, from the hint-dropping Detective Strump to the bike-gang leader Grim to your own family members. Engaging in choose-your-own-adventure-style conversations with these characters is necessary to gain valuable information and even gain passage through certain portions of the map. They’ll also hand out a ton of side quests that you can choose to fulfill or skip, though the additional content and replay value is greatly welcomed.

Graphically, the environments are quite detailed, full of objects to examine and use in solving the puzzles. The animations are good, and the puzzle design is clever. The difficulty ramps up nicely, with a few easy rooms to get you started before throwing some nice challenges into the mix. Snippets of comic strips can be found and collected along your journey to provide additional backstory. A detailed quest log is at the ready, as well. The soundtrack is catchy and relaxing, providing an appealing tune. There is no voicework, which was a bit of a disappointment. The controls are tap- and swipe-based. You use a single finger to swipe in the direction that you want MacGuffin (or his werewolf alter ego) to move, releasing when you want him to stop. You can also use quick swipes to move one square at a time on the gridded surface. A two-finger swipe allows MacGuffin to push or pull objects as a werewolf, and taps are required to use objects (open safes, scan your hand to open doors, jump through windows, etc.) Each character is limited by his form, with the human MacGuffin unable to move heavy objects and the werewolf unable to swim or activate hand scanners. Switching forms requires that you tap on the character while standing in the moonlight, which is usually relegated to a single square through which light is streaming through an opened window. Although the controls are easy to use, the swiping wasn’t as responsive as it could be and the need to be facing an object you want to interact with, rather than just occupy an adjacent square, can be very annoying.

Replay value is good, as the side quests add a lot to the game. GameCenter integration allows for an achievement system with more than a dozen awards to earn. You will likely need to free up some space on your device, as this puzzle unpacks to occupy a full gigabyte of space. A universal app with progress syncing and multiple profile slots, MacGuffin’s Curse is a terrific, 4.5-Dimple option on launch sale for $1.99 (regularly $4.99).

MacGuffin's Curse Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-04-19T02:06:45+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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