Magnetic: Cage Closed is a first-person puzzle platformer in which the player begins the game by waking up in a cell, in a prison called Facility 7. The warden of this prison, speaking over an intercom, informs the player that their sentence essentially involves partaking in a number of deadly experiments.
What follows are test chambers, experiments, cube-shaped objects and the directive to solve puzzles by using a special weapon that allows you to manipulate the environment – in this case using a magnet gun, which attracts and repels objects. It all sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?
Time to Beat: 5 hours
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call this game a straight-up clone of Portal, it borrows so much that it is hard to avoid comparing the two. Unfortunately for Magnetic: Case Closed, it does not fare well in this comparison.
Developer Games Guru does attempt to inject some originality into Magnetic: Cage Closed by requiring the player to make a choice at certain points in the game. Some of these choices are seemingly inane – deciding whether to push a button or not, for example – while others are more ethical in nature. These choices go on to impact the ending the player works towards and add a sense of significance to the proceedings.
Originality, however, is in short supply throughout the rest of the game. In reality, the magnet gun itself isn’t particularly fun to use and doesn’t inspire the type of creative thinking that its portal-creating counterpart did so successfully. Ultimately the player will spend most of their time in Magnetic: Cage Closed moving objects around by attracting or repelling them, or in some cases propelling themselves from one platform to another. Alongside the blandness of the magnet gun itself, there is a lack of imagination when it comes to the puzzles on offer. While the game has its moments with certain puzzles, it is largely a monotonous trudge from one room to the next.
Unfortunately these gameplay issues are further compounded by problems surrounding the mechanics that underpin Magnetic: Cage Closed. During my time with the game I was constantly wrestling with clumsy controls, a lack of precision when it came to moving objects and generally just getting bogged down at various points.
The game’s tedious method of moving between levels – requiring the player to crawl through a dim tunnel – sums up the argument that playing Magnetic: Cage Closed essentially feels like a slog rather than a fun experience. There’s also not a lot to look at. The environments are dull and dark. While it is fair to say that this choice of aesthetic is fitting for a maximum security prison, there’s little imagination to the overall design of the game and graphically, Magnetic: Cage Closed is largely uninspiring.
Throw away the key.
Magnetic: Cage Closed isn’t a terrible game, but nor is it a particularly good one. It’s also very short – players can easily expect to complete one play through in five hours or less. For those wanting to try to fill a Portal-shaped hole in their gaming lives, Magnetic: Cage Closed might be a passable quick fix, but that’s it. Ultimately the game doesn’t do enough to establish its own identity and as a result, it feels like a rushed, cheap knock-off.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.