Games app review: Supermagical
Supermagical is a shoot and match game, much like Snood, Bubble Witch Saga or Bubble Breaker.
Zara Baxter | Tuesday, September 04 2012
Product type: Games app
RRP incl GST: $1.29
Cute and fun, but a little skimpy on the rewards.
Supermagical ($1.29) is a shoot and match game. If you've ever played Snood, Bubble Witch Saga or Bobble Breaker, you'll have the basic gameplay of Supermagical down pat.
Essentially, in a shoot and match game you have a cannon on one side of the screen, and a stack of items of multiple colours on the other. The cannon is primed with an item of one colour, and the idea is to fire it at the stack. If you create a group of three of the same colour using the aimed item, you set them free. The colour of the cannon item changes each shot, and the aim is to slowly empty the board of all the items.
In Supermagical, a story is overlaid onto the basic game that adds powerups, puzzles and mini-games on top of the main aim.
You are Nina, the youngest of eight siblings. The older seven were all banished to the underworld, but somehow they have come back - each embodies a different deadly sin. In trying to solve the problem, Nina somehow unleashes "gazillions" of Minix - little creatures that cause trouble. Each Supermagical level involves shooting Minix with coloured candies to send them back to the underworld.
There are many powerups and additions to the basic Minix/candy battle. You can change the candy colour, and, as you progress, gain spells or recruit warlocks with special skills such as sending all Minix of a single colour back to the underworld. You earn "chococoins" for particularly great moves and for winning a battle; these can be spent buying items that help you win other battles. Gameplay is simple to start with and tutorials help you learn as you go.
You travel from city to city, playing a new level each time. Every level you succeed at gives you chococoins that help you buy keys. Each key unlocks access one of the siblings, who you then battle with a combination of wits (multiple choice questions) and battles. When you defeat them, they go back to the underworld, and you get a big reward.
The artwork is cartoonlike, and very cute. The scenes are not too long, and add a little plot without bogging down the fun of going from battle to battle. I wished the cities were a little closer on-screen, however.
At each city you visit, you also have access to a gameplay tip and a shop that sells coloured candies, ingredients for spells, items that can help you, and - sometimes - keys. Each city sells different items.
I bought myself a sheep with rainbow horns, for example, that regularly eliminates one Minix that proved very handy in battles.
It takes quite a lot of chococoins to purchase keys - you can score higher if you are fast at defeating a level's Minix, but often you'll just end up repeating levels until you accumulate enough to buy what you need to advance. I found that defeating the levels fast enough - under 1min 40sec - to get 3 stars and maximum points to be quite challenging, even for the lower levels.
The game allows you to buy chococoins for cash, as well, within stores. I avoided this, as the prices seemed very steep given the initial game price. If you're giving this to kids to play, I'd suggest turning off in-app purchases on your iPhone/iPad parental control settings.
For some reason, the app always loads upside down. If you don't have screen flip on, that's kind of annoying.
The other issue for me was that the cannon in this game seemed less accurate than those of similar games, such as Snood, that I've played before.
Supermagical is cute enough to entertain kids of an age where they can grasp the complexities of trying to win faster and how to use the powerups and warlocks. It's also absorbing enough to keep adults fond of shoot and match games amused for several hours at a time.
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