iPad Game Review: MacGuffin's Curse for iOS (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
MacGuffin's Curse is a Sokoban-like sliding block puzzle with a whole lot of personality and polish. The puzzles are varied, the graphics crisp and pleasing, and the sound is top notch. If puzzle games are your thing, you're going to enjoy MacGuffin's Curse.
In MacGuffin's Curse, you play the role of a master thief who inadvertently finds himself cursed by an amulet he attempts to steal for his boss, which enables MacGuffin to switch between his human and werewolf forms. As it turns out, this is a handy trick because as a human, you have your dexterity and fine motor skills to aid you, while as a werewolf, you are a powerful brute. Both of these forms are necessary to complete the 150 puzzles that must be solved to win the game (and lift the curse), which is one of the things that sets it apart from other Sokoban-like games.
As you make your way through the museum, you will interact with a variety of objects, switches, and fiendish devices in order to achieve your goal. This variety goes a long way toward keeping the game fresh, and the excellent level design will keep you coming back for more. Additionally, MacGuffin's Curse sports numerous hidden surprises and Easter eggs, which are scattered liberally throughout the levels so take your time and explore. If you get stuck or make a mistake, however, simply reset the level and try again without penalty. If you get REALLY stuck, you can access the built-in hint system. The developers have gone a long way toward making the game accessible to all players; something that my 8-year old son greatly appreciates. Lastly, MacGuffin's Curse supports achievements via Apple's Game Center so all you obsessive completionists out there, start your engines.
The graphics of MacGuffin's Curse are super-crisp on both the iPad and the iPhone 4/4S. The artwork is first-rate, colorful, well-animated, and varied, which helps prevent that terrible feeling of deja vu you often get with puzzle games due to their usually repetitive mechanic.
Music and sound is one area where I tend to be a bit overly critical because games so often give me the impression that this component was added as an afterthought. Thankfully, MacGuffin's Curse does not fall into that trap. The sound effects have the same level of polish that the graphics do, and the music not only matches the mood of the game, but enhances it. While I didn't find myself reaching for my headphones, I did turn the volume up rather than down, which is rare, indeed.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
MacGuffin's Curse contains neither content nor consumable IAPs of any kind, which is good news, indeed.
MacGuffin's Curse is a Sokoban variant with tons of polish and personality, and comes with a boatload of content to boot. The storyline is entertaining, the graphics and sound are excellent, and the puzzles are challenging yet the hint system means the game is accessible to all. Additionally, the developers went to great lengths to bury surprises and Easter eggs throughout the game, which is always a nice touch.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Sharp hand-drawn graphics with a great comic book style. Sound: - 4 - While you won't be reaching for your headphones, the sound/music are first-rate and really enhance gameplay. Controls: - 4 - A solid and accurate touch interface. Gameplay: - 4 - It's another sliding block puzzle, but a really good one.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Tinker, experiment, and enjoy yourself. Level resets are free, and the hint system will get you going until you start to feel the groove of the game. You can't win without switching forms liberally.