• James Kinch

Review: Super Magbot

Reviewed on: PC (Steam)

Publisher: Team 17

Developer: Astral Pixel

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PC

For my first review for FYVGaming, I was given the pleasure of reviewing a title I had expressed some interest in trying. While I’m not a huge fan of puzzle games (they make my brain hurt), I was drawn to its art style and its selling point of not being able to jump so I thought I’d take up the challenge. Safe to say that I was not disappointed with it.

The game revolves around Magbot, a robot who is able to move but not able to jump. However, they counteract this by holding a magnetic laser that allows them to utilise a variety of magnetically charged environmental objects such as a wall, bubble or bounce pad. For instance, by negatively charging your laser on a positively charged wall and aiming upwards will pull you towards it, allowing you to ascend. You have two positive and two negative charges which refill once touching the ground. These simple interactions form the basis of the puzzle design in the game.

The challenge is added later on when the fragments, two collectibles in every level, become harder to obtain. The placement of the fragments is very deliberate, with some offering more of a challenge than others. I appreciated a mixture of difficulty when obtaining them. They aren’t essential to complete a level. A lot of them typically rely on the player making a split-second save as the laser has a short reach. Some of them are obtained by maintaining momentum when using the magnet which, when performed correctly, is very satisfying.

While it is listed in the controls, the tutorial didn’t particularly stress the importance of clicking quick rather than holding the button down. By its wording, I thought I would be held in place while I made my action which was not the case.

The game has, from what I can tell, 156 levels. It has four worlds which have 30 main levels and once a world is beaten, another 9 more advance levels open up. Each world introduces at least one new mechanic and has its own environmental hazard. The ice planet, for instance, utilises ice physics in its puzzles but thankfully, not to a point where it’s frustrating.

To alleviate frustration further, the player is able to try three levels ahead of the current level that they are at, something that I used a couple of times and was appreciative of. With quick restarts and quite short levels, I never found myself getting very frustrated with a level for too long.

There is a timer in each stage which starts immediately when you load into the level. This gives the game some great speed run potential which will be very fun to watch. Unfortunately though, is an unnecessary race-aspect when playing casually and personally stressed me out watching it from time to time. Possibly having this clock start when you first move would be better, as it would allow the player to plan and relax a bit before kicking off.

At the end of a world, there is a boss stage. These boss stages test the player’s skills using the mechanics and environmental hazard from the world. While it’s very satisfying to beat a boss, I have to admit that I experienced a headache from the world’s first boss which allows no downtime when starting. While it’s nice that the game gives you a quick restart, the constant scrolling of the screen started to make me feel nauseous and I had to give it five minutes before I could come back and beat it.

The game features a story with an opening cinematic when starting it up. It tells the tale of the planets of Magnetia, a star system which now has a large meteor-like creature flying through, destroying each of the worlds. Only Magbot can save the planets by collecting all the fragments to restore the planets. While it connects the worlds together for the gameplay, the plot is simple and isn’t intrinsic to the experience to the game. Magbot themselves I didn’t particularly find endearing either. They are quite one note, letting the creatures around them do the talking, reacting in a typical heroic (but still mute) fashion. I would have liked to have seen more personality from the character but again, this is a minor gripe when the game is obviously more action based.

The music in the game of a classic 16-bit, chiptune style. It didn’t fight for my attention while playing the game which was appreciated and aided my relaxation as I tried to find the best way to grab the fragments and get through a level. The boss fights ramped up the music and emphasised the importance of defeating them. This was a great change to match the pace of the fights and contrasted well with the melodic themes from the levels.

The game has a lot of accessibility options, allowing for infinite colour charges, endless airtime and level checkpoints. Each have a clear explanation of what they do which is great to see. There is a colour blindness mode too, however, it may not even be needed as all the key information that the player needs to complete a level is very obvious and is coloured well.

Overall, I really have enjoyed my time with Super Magbot so far. The game is challenging but the levels are short enough so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time if you make a silly mistake later into a level. Collecting the fragments while using the game’s magnetic mechanics are very satisfying, especially when speed running. At first you may feel like you need to say out loud your actions as I did but as you progress, you move past that and begin to get into a fun flow where difficulty ramps and climaxes with a satisfying boss fight.


I’m positively attracted to this game and will be heading back to try and best my times.