First Look: Max & the Magic Marker

Reinventing the humble 2D platformer by throwing in some physics.

Here’s an interesting looking game from Danish development studio Press Play, who will make their WiiWare debut with a game called Max & the Magic Marker later this year.

So far it’s looking pretty good, drawing items which become physical objects to guide Max around the levels looks like a whole heap of fun. This will certainly be a game to keep your eye on.

Here’s a video preview to demonstrate what you can expect:

Here’s some more info from the game’s website too:

Max & the Magic Marker is a physics based 2D platform game, in which the player controls the boy Max and his Magic Marker. While Max enables good old platforming fun, the marker pro­vides the game’s signature feature: the ability for the player to draw directly inside the game world where everything drawn becomes physical objects. This feature is used to complete levels and overcome challenges but it also provides the player with a unique tool that in itself is fun to play around with.

The objective of the Max project is:

  • To reinvent and celebrate the 2D platformer
  • To make a game that you can play with – not just play
  • To utilize the drawing mechanic in an speedy action game
  • To make a game that is for everyone

The story
Like most kids Max loves to draw. One day he gets a mysterious marker in the mail. There is no letter attached – only the plain orange marker. Max decides to test it right away, sits down and starts drawing. He draws a monster but as soon as he finishes the lines on the paper start moving and to Max’s great surprise the monster jumps off the paper and suddenly stands in all its glory in the middle of Max’ room. A couple of Max’ drawings lying around on the floor and without warning, the monster jumps right into one of them. Stunned by surprise Max now sees how the Monster starts messing around with his drawings, making them all weird painting moustaches on everything and messing things up. Max realizes that he has to follow the monster to set everything right. So he draws himself on the same drawing that the monster is in and immediately finds himself inside the drawing. The game begins.

Max is ten years old. He is the cool and creative boy every man thinks he once was. He is fast, agile, knows no fear and makes cool moves. Max has a magic marker that makes everything he draws come to life helping him on his adventures. The main enemy is “The Monster”. He is a wacko purple nut job of a monster. He is not really dangerous to Max as such, he does not bite, fight or shoot fireballs. But he provokes Max by messing with his drawings and when Max chases him he makes all kinds of obstructions to prevent Max from catching him. In some levels he challenges Max to duel in different disciplines, e.g. racing.

Controls
Max and the Magic Marker is in our opinion the perfect game for the Wii – making use of the nunchuck for Max’s movement and the Wii Remote for drawing.

Drawing
The drawing is of course Max & the Magic Markers unique feature and it is designed to make the game something that you want to play and experiment with. The most important mechanic of the drawing is of course that it draws physical shapes. Physics gets applied to the drawing when the player has drawn something and let goes of the pen. The more ink used in the shape, the heavier it will be. Drawings can be deleted by the player, or when left behind delete themselves, and the ink used will return to the marker.

Physics
It is not only with the drawing that physics is a central mechanic in Max & the Magic Marker. The whole game world is a physical environment and most challenges are based on physical objects and their behavior in relation to Max.

Audio
The audio in the game is made by Analogik, an ensemble renowned for their unique mix of balkan music and hip hop. It’s beautiful!

[via maxandthemagicmarker.com]

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