By: Quinn Potter
Magnetic: Cage Closed is a very elaborate puzzle game with some very confusing brainteasers. Honestly, if you are going to escape a prison, a magnetic gun and a load of puzzles is not the simplest way.
Although simple easy to memorize, the controls are also lacking. If there were more options/abilities, this game would be more interesting. For example, all you can do is crouch, move and switch from low to high power. There are so many more abilities that could be added here that would add layers of enjoyment of the puzzles. Controls are moderately responsive, though it feels like there can sometimes be a delay before the action.
Imagine a slightly steampunk, futuristic, creepy, abandoned prison facility, and you get the basic look of Magnetic. Yes, there are some nice details, but with the metallic prison setting it’s hard to get the kind of uniqueness that could really make it stand out. Although there may have been a few glitches in previous versions of Magnetic: Cage Closed released on Steam, I noticed nothing unusual with a run through on the Xbox One.
Graphic are uninspiring. The color palette is bland, the large squares that build the basis of the graphics aren’t very original, and the backgrounds don’t have much depth or detail. One trick to make the game a little more exciting is move the brightness down to zero. This will create maximum creepiness, which is pretty cool. With a normal brightness setting, most of the areas have bleached white lights with an overlaying darkness. This effect can make it hard to see objects, and it can be slightly annoying.
Most of the sound consists of mechanical whirring, metallic clanks, and the people who are monitoring you. The master, who usually watches you, has a deep, creepy voice. There’s also a female who walks you through the tutorial. There is no option for AI or team play, so nobody’s going to help you get out of this prison – sorry.
Guru Games had a great concept. Let’s put the player inside this oddball prison and make them puzzle their way out. There are some beautiful, lush renderings of where this prison is, along with the promise of psychological drama and the peril of relying solely on your Magnetic Gun to attack electromagnetic fields with positive or negative charges.
The drawback here lies in the execution of these concepts. The setting is a drab assortment of metallic squares. Puzzles are difficult. The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense or add much to your motivation. This is a first-person puzzler and you are a prisoner.
Unlike The Escapists, you are not going to be crafting, fighting, working, visiting the yard, showering, or bartering your way up the social ladder of favors. This time, you have little or no social interaction… or humor.
The thin thread of a story that you have is that you are a prisoner who has to take part in a number of experiments that will literally mean the difference between life and death. Use your Magnetic Gun to manipulate the levers to open the exit door for each puzzle. Avoid the spikes, flame throwers and poison gas (of course), or you won’t be successful.
Success means solving one difficult puzzle and moving on to the next. Puzzles start easy and get harder. There are nine endings, and you can easily spend a few hours finding them all.
Creepy and frustrating are the key words for this puzzler. Those who like challenging puzzles in obscure/oppressive environments will probably enjoy an afternoon of problem solving and might get a kick out of the novelty of the Magnetic Gun as a key to success.