Supermagical iPad Review
You've almost certainly played something a lot like Supermagical in the past. You fire a variety of differently colored balls into clusters of colorful enemies. If the enemy and ball colors match, then they all vanish. If not, the ball sticks where it lands. Repeat until the screen has been completely cleared.
In Supermagical's version of this old gaming standby, you're assuming the role of a hapless witch who somehow manages to accidentally unleash every denizen of the underworld onto the bright and breezy surface world. Her task is to banish these demons (called Minix) by taking part in this puzzle gameplay, set in various locations across a sprawling RPG map.
You're not alone in this adventure, and you'll eventually unlock minions to help you out on your journey. Elifo is a fairy-like creature who can summon gigantic plants to eat up a handful of Minix, although inexplicably she can only perform this trick if you have enough soda in the bank. Giordana is a spectral being who can eliminate entire rows of Minix, very handy when the scrolling cluster of enemies gets a little too close to you.
The majority of the levels are built from variations of the core ball-popping gameplay, although there are puzzle versions which give you a fixed and finite selection of blobs to fire. Your less likeable sisters have also escaped from the netherworld, and so there are occasions where you need to take part in quick character quizzes to send them back to where they belong. It's a bit of an odd addition to the rest of the gameplay really, and the game would probably be better without it.
Normally we get quite cross with paid-for mobile games that also have a cash-shop tacked on, but nothing in our play-through suggested these were anything but a shortcut for only the most impatient of gamers. Currency flows generously, and we typically topped up our funds far more than we spent them. It's annoying that you have to tap on the coins that appear from destroyed enemies in the early days, but you can buy a magical magnetic hat that scoops them up automatically for you.
As for the village shops you encounter within the game, they help you to build handy upgrades. Gather enough vegetables and you can create a magic protection spell that will let you survive a few Minix crossing the danger line. If you want to travel the map more quickly, you can gather animal parts to build a magnificent dragon. It's a neat way of adding longevity to the game.
There's a lot to like about Supermagical but there is a sense that too much has been bolted onto the game for the sake of it: shops, upgrades, puzzles, quizzes and so on. The individual pieces are very welcome and accomplished, but the finished product is a clunky contraption when taken as a whole.
Even if you've played this sort of game to death in the past, we still think you'll enjoy this fresh take on the gameplay. The upgrade system will keep you coming back, there's some good humor that's more hit than miss, and you'll get a lot of gaming for that dollar. Multiplayer's coming in a future update too, so you might want to start mastering this matching mayhem now.
What's Hot: Very solid Bust-A-Move gameplay with varied combat and a great RPG upgrade system.
What's Not: This is pretty familiar gaming ground. There's a 'tacked-on' feel to some of the game's elements.