'Magrunner: Dark Pulse'
Focus Home Entertainment
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 4.0 stars
I love the "Portal" series because it incorporates realistic physics-based puzzles into an interesting story line. However, these puzzles lose their allure after they're solved, and there is simply too much time between game releases. Fortunately, "Magrunner: Dark Pulse" not only has similar game play, but also adds a dark tone with surrealistic H.P. Lovecraft influence!
Players take on the role of Dax, who's one of seven magrunners chosen to participate in a competition to enter a space-training program. During a televised training session, the powerful monster, Cthulhu, starts killing contestants, and Dax must use his skills to survive training rooms and eventually the endless reaches of the lost cosmos!
Magrunners can use their Magtech glove to polarize and manipulate objects using magnetic fields they create. This creates a wide variety of results that range from using similar magnetic fields to attract platforms to using opposite magnetic fields to repel blocks that the player stands on.
Performing both actions with accurate timing will throw players up in the air to reach higher platforms that are attracted or repelled by the player. It's also possible to polarize multiple objects with the same field to create a more powerful opposing reaction with another object. Needless to say, figuring out the more difficult puzzles will test your knowledge of magneticity, but it's very rewarding!
After things go wrong, most of the story is conveyed through radio communications, but the levels become much more interesting. However, it would be nice to have higher-quality visuals and audio.