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In all the right ways, this game has got it where it counts. It is easy enough to understand while still engaging to play, has great graphics (nothing Halo-esque, but appropriate for the genre), and provides for a few hours of fun entertainment.
It’s original, it’s adorable, and it’s tough enough to really make you use your brain. We just hope there’s a sequel.
Don’t let that discourage you however. Max and the Magic Marker is an exceptionally entertaining and challenging way to kill a few hours. For $20, it isn’t a bad deal at all. Completing the better puzzles is enormously satisfying and each of the fifteen levels offer plenty of replay value. The visuals, soundtrack and feel of the game cannot be faulted and the designers have clearly been inspired by the best of the art of bored seven year olds. Equally, the game flows very well on my aging Macbook Pro and I didn’t encounter any bugs or endure any of the crashes or performance issues whilst playing it. If you like platform games, you will almost certainly enjoy Max. It is just hard to ignore all of the ways in which it could have been not just good, but incredible. As it is, gaming still has a way to go before it can completely outdo the fun of the creative destruction of pen on paper.
Max and the Magic Marker doesn't have an earth-shattering game concept, but that's OK, because the game is so well executed. The colorful graphics, the puzzles, and the undeniable cuteness of it all made the game quite charming.