The advent of one button games moving from mobile to console has always had me a little confused. You have all these buttons, why not use them? Often these types of games are simple and put accessibility over gameplay finesse but some games manage to strike the balance right between function and interactivity. Meet Maggie the Magnet, who manages to do both and as a result, is a uniquely charming and very playable 2D physics puzzler.
Maggie the Magnet is constantly drawn to a magnetic point in each of the over 150 levels in the game, each one a single screen long. Pressing the single button turns your polarity on and draws Maggie towards it. Depress the button and gravity takes over. You’ll use this to pull Maggie around levels initially as you fly across gaps, drag her down corridors and in the process collect up to 3 bolts per level. Each level has one or more exits shows as an exit line and you’ll be fling Maggie out the level to clear it. Bolts are the collectibles to unlock the next set of levels but level are unlocked in batches of 10 and you can flick between them at your will. This means if you get stuck on one specific level, you are walled out the game.
The magnetic physics work well and feel consistent with an air of yo-yo floatiness around the edges. It is almost always predictable though and that’s the main thing. You won’t be surprised by Maggie doing something, you’ll need to react quickly though to stop her doom. The other thing working in Maggie the Magnet’s favour is the level design. These are quickfire levels with clear objectives and some take a few seconds to clear, others up to a minute, but nothing is ever too abstract to understand. The mechanics constantly vary too. The magnetic point has a switch to move it around if its not moving already. Spikes and icicles add peril. Teleports and bounce pads reach you to higher or different areas. Gravity switches flip your gravity upside down to access new areas. Lasers zap rhythmically, bombs can be pushed into obstacles to clear and other traps can catch you out too. Every 10 levels, a new thing is added and seamlessly integrated into all the other mechanics. It’ll take a couple of hours to get everything, including the secret levels which add unique comedy dynamics like spinning screens or unique control settings.
There isn’t much to say negatively about Maggie at all. It really is a great single button budget title. I may not have found the random colour palette switches of the graphics particularly worthwhile as the music changes but it didn’t impact on any of my gameplay. Instead, I’d rather recommend this as a hidden gem in the budget title range and give it a thumbs up! It’s a game where the single button mechanic makes sense and doesn’t feel shoehorned. Pressing and letting go have direct and purposeful actions and results. Maggie the Magnet is a light but good time to be had.
Review copy provided by publisher. Footage is of PS5 version in video.
Maggie the Magnet
A good example of when a one button gameplay format has been fully thought through. Neat.
One button gameplay makes genuine sense.
Constantly dripfeed of mechanics and hidden levels keep you entertained.
Ability to unlock things by not completing everything means no forced wall of progression.
Physics are somewhere between skill with a tiny bit of chaos in there.
The changes of graphics feel a bit random and jarring.
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