These days it can feel like everything has been done before and no unique ideas exist, but Magibot showed me that that’s not true. There is still some room for new ideas – they are just a lot harder to come by, which makes them all the more special.
In Magibot, you follow the story of magical robot Ilo, who is sent to Earth to save humanity. Ilo’s special mission is to repair five damaged beacons to ensure the atmosphere remains suitable for humans. The story is told at a nice pace and unfolds with enough impact to keep you playing.
The game only has a few characters and some of them aren’t given much attention, but the ones that are are all beautifully realized. This is especially true for Ilo. Ilo’s cute, childlike design is evident in every aspect of the character, from his quirky appearance to his dialogue to his lively animations. Ilo’s design will make you care for Ilo and his mission because he is childlike and needs protection, enhancing the impact of the story. Magibot is a 2D strategy/puzzle platformer where you complete levels by placing “magical circles” that hold special powers throughout the map. You have to carefully use these circles to overcome obstacles, beat enemies and find collectibles.
Magibot is a very unique game. Most levels are split up in a couple of sections. At the start of each section you will get an overview where you can see the all the enemies, moving platforms and collectibles. This is called the “placing mode,” and you can freely decide where you want to place your limited number of magical circles. After the placing mode comes the platforming, where you move your character through the level. The beauty of this is its simplicity: you move left or right with A and D, and you press space to activate a power when you’re inside a circle. The limited controls make the platforming feel unique, and emphasise the use of powers and timing instead. This also makes the character feel weak but makes you feel like you’re in control, and are there to help guide Ilo on his journey.
When starting the game you have three different circles, but towards the end of the game you will have nine circles, all holding a unique power. This wide variety of powers meant the developers were able to get really creative with their levels, with multiple solutions to each. In this way, Magibot feels more like a problem-solving game than a regular puzzle platformer. I like that the gameplay supports creativity from the player, but I wished they would reward it more.
Upon launching Magibot you are immediately pulled in by the beautiful hand-drawn art style of the game. It is filled with detail and shows off some great level designs ranging from arctic mountains to deep underground caves. Overall Magibot looks great; the art style really fits the environments and assets well, and the visuals make the game feel more magical.
The game has a nice, calming soundtrack at the start screen, and the music in the levels itself is definitely up to par. The music matches the theme of the levels and overall vibe of the game. Apart from that, Magibot only has few sound effects and the game has no voice acting either; all dialogue can be read in a text box like in many JRPGs.
- Great hand-drawn art style
- Unique gameplay
- Tight controls