There is no need to pretend like Magrunner: Dark Pulse does not remind you of a popular first person puzzle platformer. It is in first person. It involves a protagonist maneuvering through a testing facility and there are very familiar UI elements. I recognize all of these similarities, and more, but I think that Magrunner can stand on its own. Heavily influenced games aren’t necessarily bad games.
Magrunners are an elite few who have the “honor” of proving their worth in order to go into space and retrieve resources for Gruckezber Magtech Corporation. You must control Dax Ward and the Mag Glove to solve puzzles in order to advance. The narrative is not overly original but it wasn’t complicated and provides just the right amount of context. Charging objects with red or green polarity is the core gameplay mechanic. Attracting objects to each other or repelling them may sound uninteresting but the puzzles in Magrunner are quite good.
Magrunner Dark Pulse ramps up the difficulty at just the right pace. The puzzles provide challenge and you feel smart when you solve them. Many of the game’s achievements are tied to the speed at which you solve the environmental puzzles. That may not be appreciated by everyone but it doesn’t take away from the fun. Despite the obvious game pedigree that Magrunner Dark Pulse is going for, I found it to be fun, challenging and appropriately priced. It would be easy to dismiss this game due to its familiarity but it is certainly worth a look.
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: first person action puzzle, first person puzzle platformer
Price: $9.99 Buy it
Platform(s): Steam, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PSN, XBLA