Game: Magic Twins
Genre: Arcade, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PC, PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Flying Beast Labs | Badland Publishing
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $12.99 | UK £11.69 | EU € 12,99
Release Date: March 18th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Badland Publishing
Long have I had a deep appreciation for the arcade-style puzzle genre. When I need a quick gaming fix I always pull out of these classics; Tetris, GunPey, Pac-Attack, Puyo-Puyo, Columns, Bust-a-Move (a far better title than the more known Puzzle Bobble) just to name a few. But as great as these games are we don’t often see a developer tackle this genre and throw in a co-op twist. Enter Magic Twins, an adorable looking title that has all the addictive nature of an arcade puzzle game but excels when shared with someone else.
Playing as the quirky sisters’ Abra and Cadabara (very funny, developers) you must travel the magical lands preventing Colormageddon which they have unintentionally unleashed while trying to dye their school uniforms.
I think I would rather have Colormageddon than any of the other depressing interpretations in video games we are used to seeing. The premise is as silly as it is charming. Abra, Cadabara and even the Cauldron are often exchanging witty banter between levels making fun of the general situation, themselves and even the games mechanics.
The characters are crudely drawn sketches much like something I used to do in my old school textbooks. But as you may expect from the description above there is plenty of colour and liveliness as well as an enchanting soundtrack playing in the background.
Magic Twins doesn’t need top of the range graphics, as its gameplay shines brighter than the colour palette on display. The game also features several accessibility options for people who are colour deficient by providing multiple filters to help people identify the different colours. This is the most I have seen in a video game to date.
Cast a Spell
The controls are simple. You move your witch up and down and use the face buttons to choose the right colour and the trigger buttons to cast it. It’s a simple game to pick up for gamers of any skill level.
When you enter a level the game presents with a 2D board with each of the sisters on opposite sides. In the centre of the screen coloured potions (with cute eyeballs) spawn from a rift and as the sisters you need to shoot these with the correct coordinated colour spell (red, blue, green or yellow) in order to destroy them.
The potions may then drop a coloured flame, which shooting will then store in your cauldron at the bottom of the screen. If you collect four of these with a specific colour combination you can cast a spell that assists you further in the level. If the enemy potions reach your barrier and destroy its game over.
The game is set across several magical environments each with several levels to complete. The main goal of each level is to achieve a specific objective, for example defeating a set amount of enemies or casting specific spells. You also have two additional objectives to complete to go for the good old three-star rating.
I and my co-op partner got pretty hooked on this game, so we often replayed levels to get all the stars, though that quickly became tricky as the difficulty to complete all the objectives ramped up and the game throws new potion types and challenge modifiers at you. The more stars you collect, the more secret levels you will unlock. As well as hidden levels and game modes you can also unlock various silly outfits for your witch characters like the infamous cat outfit. There’s plenty of content on offer and an incentive to have a quick game here or there.
The biggest appeal of Magic Twins is playing in co-op. Since each player occupies opposite ends of the board, the game becomes a fun mix of communication/shouting at each other to shoot the right flames so you can cast the correct spells. My favourite memory playing this game is when my co-op partner shouted ‘Smelly Sticks on a Rock of Pigs’ (some words have been changed as this is a family-friendly website) when you get reactions like this you know a game is doing something right.
The game can also be enjoyed solo. Here you control both sisters but you switch between the two with the shoulder buttons and an AI attempts to control your other sister. The sisters also make a witty joke if you opt to play alone. The game feels more hectic in single-player as you juggle between the sisters; it also just lacks that extra gratification that appears to only present itself in the co-op experience.
Magic Twins casts its spell of witty charm and addictive fun co-op gameplay creating an explosion of entertainment and fond memories. Highly recommended if you have someone else to play with, not so much if you play alone. Bring on Colormageddon I say.
Final Verdict: I Like it a lot!