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Magnetic Joe 2

If you’re looking for an arcade puzzler that’s truly off the beaten path, check out Magnetic Joe 2 from HD Publishing.  Quick note, the original MJ is also available for a buck.  This is an extremely easy to get into, 1-finger game based on ‘magnetizing’ Joe (a cute but fragile orb with eyes) when he’s near directional magnets to propel him towards the goal of the level.  This goal varies by game type of which there are 3 (well 4 sorta):

  • Tutorial – get the basics down (10 levels)
  • Classic – get to the exit as fast as possible (30 levels)
  • Collect – collect all the little Joe’s while getting to the exit as fast as possible (30 levels)
  • Enemy – avoid all sorts of monsters like evil spiked balls, laser-shooting robots and fireballs…oh and yes while getting to the exit as fast as possible (30 levels)


Additionally, you earn stars upon completion of a level and an extra star if you can beat a preset record time.  These can be redeemed for powerups that can make the game actually more challenging or a bit easier:

  • Cloak – Joe becomes invisible making the game harder
  • Bad – Joe is stronger, able to destroy walls easier
  • Reverse – touching the screen now DE-magnetizes Joe
  • Josephine – play as Josie who’s lighter and floats easier
  • Bot – immunity to robots
  • Fire – immunity to fire
  • Hood – immunity to spikey balls and green monsters

As mentioned before this is a 1-finger game; you literally just touch the screen anywhere to magnetize Joe and that’s it.  This wonderfully simple play mechanic makes it an excellent pickup game.  There’s objects in the game to interact with too such as launchers, wormholes and conveyors.  An interesting feature is the ability to download a player’s best times and compete against them.  Refreshingly, the game supports portrait, landscape and screen flip modes, awesome!  The fun of the game comes from first figuring out the level of course but then going back for record-breaking runs.  You don’t really ever ‘lose’ in this game, you just start the level over and try again when Joe eats it.

Not too many gripes and suggestions for this polished little game but there’s always something.

  • I’d like to see the game automatically select the first unplayed level when you switch modes
  • The graphics are fairly low-detail, not up to the quality the iPhone is capable of producing.  A bit more attention in this area would definitely have held my attention for longer periods.
In conclusion, this is a great game for puzzle people who like a blend of arcade action in there too.  Personally, I found that I wanted to like Magnetic Joe 2 more than I actually did, even despite the innovative magnetic twist.  That’s an odd thing indeed but makes me think a lite version would be a good idea so people can give it a test run first (though perhaps MJ 1 at a buck is close enough to free).  That said, the game is definitely fun and as mentioned a perfect way to fill a chunk of free time with some mobile gaming that not only challenges your dexterity but also your brain’s puzzle center, all with the touch of a finger.

version reviewed – 1.1
reviewed on – iPhone 3G 8GB 2.2.1
global scoreboard – yes
iTunes music support – inexplicably no (given there’s a setting to turn the ingame music off)

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