Review Magic River
Probably one of Ketchapp’s worst games to date
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 05 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Unpredictable controls, worst upgrade system of any arcade game, poor replayability
Look, arcade games are meant to be played over and over again in an effort to get a really high score. But one thing all of these endless games forget is that the majority of all arcade games actually had an ending. Something to work towards. Games like Magic River for Android just feel like poor insults when compared to arcade games that have long past.
In this game, you basically play pong with a boat as it rides down an incredibly dangerous river. You can’t directly control where your boat goes, so getting down the river feels more like a bout of frustration than fun. Tapping your screen will cause your boat to turn in a random direction the first time you tap, but will cause it to change to the opposite direction every subsequent time. That means that you normally always need to tap the screen as soon as you jump into a level because you don’t know what’s going to happen the first time you do.
That’s the first, rather large problem. These problems begin to compound when you take the poor level design into account. Sometimes you’ll start off a map where you don’t need to do anything until you pass the first obstacle because there is always a 50 percent chance that you’ll end up turn the wrong way right off the bat and dying. There are also plenty of times where you simply don’t have enough time for your boat to move away from the object in time because it turns so slowly. I don’t have enough hands to count the amount of times where I felt like I died simply because I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s not fun.
Magic River also has a horrid reward system. You can collect gems, or watch a video to receive 10 gems. Gems are rare to find and pick up, so the idea of even playing to unlock a new character just feels like a terrible chore. Do yourself a favor and let this game die.