We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Studio Evil for the preview copy of Super Magic Cane ZERO used for this preview. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to preview, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this preview. Receiving the preview copy for free had no impact on the content of this preview.
At the time of this preview Super Magic Cane ZERO is an early access game. Since the game is still a work in progress this preview will not include a star rating. This preview is based on Build 6 and may be updated in the future as the game receives more updates. When the final version of the game is released, Geeky Hobbies will feature a full review of the game.
Released to early access on Steam on August 26th, 2015, Super Magic Cane ZERO is a game that is kind of hard to explain. The game is a multiplayer RPG that is reminiscent of some of the multiplayer games from the NES and SNES generations.
The game can be played with up to four players. I would highly recommend playing the game with other players because it might get kind of boring playing the game by yourself. You would also be depriving yourself of killing your teammate by “accidentally” hitting them in the head with a watermelon. I ended up playing the game with my brother and the game feels like the multiplayer couch co-op games from the NES and SNES era. Super Magic Cane ZERO is just the type of game that is more enjoyable with your friends. While I wish I could have turned it off since it lead to too many deaths, friendly fire is totally active in the game so feel free to mess with your friends and kill them instead of actually trying to accomplish your mission.
The basic gameplay mechanic involves fighting the various enemies/other players you encounter. At this stage in development the main way to kill enemies appears to be by throwing items at them. Did you ever want to kill skeletons by throwing random fruit or your cellphone at them? Well in Super Magic Cane Zero you can do just that. The throwing mechanics work pretty well since you can use the right analog stick to aim before you press a button to actually throw the item.
Players can also pick up items that can help them. Players can equip various pieces of armor that give them stat boosts. Players can also pick up various weapons that they can use to attack enemies in a more traditional manner (for those players who don’t like throwing random items at enemies). At this time I prefer throwing items at enemies because it is satisfying and you are less likely to get hit by enemies. By using the swords you seem to get hit by the enemies quite a bit. This is an area that I hope the developers address in future updates.
At this time the game has two different modes, challenge and versus. The game is going to be adding a campaign mode and I am assuming additional challenge and versus levels in future updates.
I’ll start with the versus mode. In the versus mode all of the players face off against one another trying to kill the other players and be the last player standing. This mode is essentially a fight with the players throwing items all over the stage trying to hit each other. In later versions of the game I hope a couple more combat options/mechanics are added. I had fun with the versus mode but at this time there is not a lot to do in the mode. This mode does show quite a bit of potential.
The other mode currently in the game is the challenge mode. In the challenge mode the players work together in order to progress through a dungeon/cave/base. Players progress through the challenge by turning switches, standing on buttons, and finding other ways of opening the next door. Players continue progressing through the rooms until they reach the exit which takes them to the next level of the challenge. This may seem easy but it is not. While you try to progress to the next room, there are many enemies that are trying to kill you. Enemies continue to spawn so if you are not quick you can be quickly overrun with enemies. You and your teammates have to decide whether you are going to stick around trying to kill the enemies or if you are going to progress to the next part of the stage and risk that the enemies will chase you which will lead to there being even more enemies in the next room.
While you can play the challenge with teammates, this mode is not that easy. I would actually say that it is pretty hard. You face a lot of enemies and sometimes you run out of throwing “ammo” so you have a hard time killing the enemies on screen. Friendly fire doesn’t help since you could end up damaging your teammate more than the enemies. In future versions of the game I hope the developers at least give players the option to take off friendly fire.
What I am most curious about with the game is the campaign mode. Since the campaign mode is not yet in the game, I can’t make any real comments about it. I am excited about the campaign though since I think it could be pretty good. Based on the art style and atmosphere I think the campaign could be both charming and funny especially if the developers put time into developing the story. Just looking at the graphics the game reminds me a lot of Adventure Time.
Since the game is in the early stages of early access, I can’t tell for sure where the game will end up. I had fun with the game even though at this time there isn’t a lot to do in the game. At this early stage I am excited about the game. The game obviously needs to add more content (which they are planning on adding), but I am encouraged by the state that the game is currently in. Being an early access game there are always risks since I have no idea how the game will ultimately turn out. If the game continues to develop, creates an interesting story, and adds a couple more mechanics I think Super Magic Cane ZERO could be a fun interesting multiplayer experience.