Magnetic Revisited





Genre:   Puzzle

Developer & Publisher:    Mulawa Dreaming & Peter Hewitt

Released:  March 2010




by Rushes


Magnetic Revisited is an entirely redesigned and rewritten version of the original Magnetic, released by independent developer Mulawa Dreaming in 2003. Revisited is an exploratory puzzle game which whisks you away to an island off the Australian coast -- a most agreeable place to be stranded -- and presents you with a veritable cornucopia of puzzling goodness.

If you should happen to be familiar with any of the previous games in Mulawaís back catalogue, such as Xiama, Magicama, and Cooroora -- to name but a few, not to mention the original Magnetic -- then you must already have an excellent idea of what to expect with Revisited.

Wazzidor the Wizard Welcomes You to Magnetic Revisited

The opening game screen invites the gamer to choose from one of six companions who will accompany you throughout your journey. Lurking invisibly at bottom left of your game screen, you have only to hover your cursor across and click to be taken to the main menu and its list of options.

But first, letís meet Wazzidor the Wizard. He is an important sort of chap (albeit possessing a name which Iím sure incurred no end of ribbing at Australian Wizard Primary School back in the day), and he will look over you as you undertake the short introductory game tutorial.

Magnetic Revisited presents itself in colourful and picturesque photographic slideshow scenes. Navigation is via arrows at the bottom right of your game screen. As you explore the island, you begin to encounter the many varied puzzles which are scattered around the area. Click on a strange contraption; a mysterious box tucked away beneath a mound of foliage; or a panel hewn into the surface of a rock, and Shazam!, thereís another brain-rattler for you. There is no story to unfold, no characters with whom you may interact: the puzzles and games are the focus here. If your brain begins to ache and creak from a particularly fiendish conundrum, then take a break and wander the beautiful island: listen to the sound of the surf and the birdsong. Take your time, donít rush. Just relax and enjoy. There is no clock to race against here.

There are 32 mind-bogglers of varying levels of difficulty in Magnetic Revisited, 16 of which are solitary puzzles to be played alone. The other 16 are board games or cards, which you must play against the mighty (and mightily competitive) Wazzidor. Triumph over a puzzle and it unlocks one game location. Successfully win four rounds of that respective game against the Wizard, and you will be rewarded with a gold frame. Your gold frame booty will be recorded for posterity and reference in the Game Book section at the main menu. Similarly, you can keep track of the puzzles you have found, solved or have still to vanquish by clicking on the Puzzle Book section.

If youíre hopelessly stuck and need help, or simply looking for a short explanation as to how a puzzle works, click on Puzzle Notes at the main menu for a description and tips. There are also How to Play and How to Win sections for all the games, which I found extremely useful.

The game automatically saves your progress, so there is no fiddling around with save slots or load screens.

Opposites Attract

So, what of the puzzles and games themselves? A few old favourites from the original Magnetic make a return. There are also some entirely new challenges. Take your pick from various picture assembly puzzles, word games, spatial headscratchers and -- tentative drum roll -- mathematical problems, which have never been my personal strong point. Gentle reader, you may wish to look away now while I gurn a macabre pained expression in recollection of those evil number-laden thingummywhosits.

There are colour and sound puzzles, but no mazes, sliders or timed sequences.

There are board games aplenty: the traditional chess and checkers, along with an entertaining variation of battleships, mancala, and tic-tac-toe. There is one card game.

Right-clicking on a puzzle will take you out of the close-up screen and back to the island. Puzzles do not reset if you do so. However once a puzzle or game has been won, you may re-access it via either of the main menu Books, and replay whenever the fancy takes you.

The Spells Donít Work

I may be myopic but Iím not completely cross-eyed (at least not yet); however I found the metallic sheen of the colours on a couple of the puzzles to be hard to differentiate.

Wand Malfunction

Magnetic Revisited installed without any problems and played smoothly throughout. 

For all-round variation, entertainment and replayability, and the sheer addictive quality of many of the puzzles and games, I would wholeheartedly recommend Magnetic Revisited to any keen puzzler in search of a challenge.

Grade: A-

Magnetic Revisited can be purchased via download from the developerís website.


March, 2010

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