Magnetic By Nature is the tale of a robot, lost deep underground in the remnants of what appears to be a 1920s Art Deco technological utopia. The Art Deco vibe carries throughout the whole game, tying together otherwise dissimilar levels into a coherent journey through the abandoned metropolis. The object of this journey is a simple one – to reach the surface and see what awaits you there. There are tantalising glimpses of buildings and statues that give the impression of a society on a grand scale right from a classical science fiction novel. Immense metal skyscrapers dominating the landscape in the background in some levels, and others take place deep in caves with strange glowing mushrooms or pale crystals scattered throughout, but the consistent art style ties it all together brilliantly.
I must say that whoever built this has a strange fondness for buzzsaws.
The gameplay and controls take a little bit of time to get used to – the ground speed and jump height can both at times feel quite low compared to other platformers. The core of the gameplay is mostly aerial, with your character able to attract or repel various magnetic objects in the environment. The physics for this manipulation of magnetism are very smooth, and it doesn’t take very long to start to get an intuitive grasp on how to control the ability to use in platforming. The powers are used in many ingenious ways throughout each level, and the level design promotes both clever thinking and quick reflexes. However, it can be said that sometimes the levels can feel too designed – as if the designer wanted to show off what they could do with the engine more than they wanted to make a natural feeling level.
As a GLORIOUS PĊ GAMING MASTER RACE port, there are some issues with it, however. Upon starting the game and looking through the menus, it seemed that all the button prompts were for the Xbox 360 controller, which wasn’t even plugged into the GLORIOUS PĊ GAMING MASTER RACE at that point. This can create confusion and take the player out of the game at times, which is unfortunate. Another issue is the fact that running the game at 1080p causes some of the background elements to be somewhat pixelated and low resolution, despite the foreground elements remaining crisp and clear. The usage of an Arial-esque font in certain parts of the game – specifically in level names and the copyright notice – clashes rather badly with the otherwise strong art direction. However, thankfully performance is no issue, with a constant 60fps meaning the experience is pleasantly smooth.
Overall, the virtue of Magnetic By Nature lies largely in its gameplay rather than its technical elements. The issues listed with the porting did very little to detract from the gameplay experience, and both the art direction and the music complement but do not distract from the ingenious level design. If you’re looking for a unique platformer that is both mechanically very sound and aesthetically pleasing, Magnetic By Nature is a good purchase.
This game was obtained from the developer and reviewed on GLORIOUS PĊ GAMING MASTER RACE.
Good fun, if lacking in story and having a few porting issues.