When technology meets Cthulhu! Magrunner: Dark Pulse is an action-puzzle game in which technology confronts the Cthulhu Mythos, as imagined by author, H. P. Lovecraft. You are Dax, one of seven Magrunners selected among the elite to participate in MagTech Corporation's space training program.
User reviews: Very Positive (138 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 20, 2013

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Reviews

“Magrunner: Dark Pulse may be the first game in history to blend a near-future cyberpunk setting with the famed Cthulhu Mythos”
Gamezebo

“Magrunner looks to be a highly polished, mechanically successful first person puzzler with a great aesthetic and great puzzles.”
PCG Media

“MAGRUNNER IS REALLY DARN COOL!”
DESTRUCTOID

About This Game

When technology meets Cthulhu!

Magrunner: Dark Pulse is an action-puzzle game in which technology confronts the Cthulhu Mythos, as imagined by author, H. P. Lovecraft.

You are Dax, one of seven Magrunners selected among the elite to participate in MagTech Corporation's space training program. But, what should be the chance of a lifetime quickly becomes a horrific nightmare.

Equipped with your Magtech glove, you must harness the ability to magnetically polarize and manipulate objects in the environment to survive and surpass challenging puzzles. Your reflexes and ingenuity will be pushed to their limits as you make your way through 40+ immense and dangerous levels, including high-tech training rooms and the endless chasms of the lost cosmos, on a path to confront the horrendous creatures of Cthulhu!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:WINDOWS XP SP3/WINDOWS VISTA SP2/WINDOWS 7/WINDOWS 8
    • Processor:AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.4 GHZ
    • Memory:2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics:256 MB 100% DIRECTX 9 AND SHADERS 3.0 COMPATIBLE NVIDIA GEFORCE 8800/ATI RADEON HD 4800
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Sound:DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
Helpful customer reviews
40 of 55 people (73%) found this review helpful
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
I honestly enjoyed most of this game, which is why giving it a negative review bites. The problem is, the back chunk of the game is atrocious. You're suddenly going from what I referred to a couple of friends as "Hard-Mode Portal" (same 'solve the puzzle room' gameplay, with two-button controls, even if it's opposing magnetic polarities rather than holes in time/space) into a terrible action title.

I was going to recommend this with a caveat of "By the end, some puzzles become irritating due to the checkpoint system, where you may have to restart chunks of stage if you mistime a polarity swap or make a slight field mistake on some items", but no, when you suddenly have to begin juggling explosives to kill massive sahaguin and all sorts of tentacled beasties* whereas you were previously free to take time and puzzle things out? Ick. The final stages are the worst: one involves distracting and repeatedly-bombing a behemoth to reach an entrance within sight, and then the finale is an irritation because it combines waiting for enemy patterns with dodging instadeath and making precarious platforming leaps.

If you wanted an unpolished puzzle game, the first half or so is solid with little to no hand-holding (so it's got some brain-teasers for some of us). The latter bits, though? No. Nope no good no siree.

* I only mention this because while I was blind to the latter half of the game going all Cthulhu, I'm told the marketing heavily sold it as such? Either way, multiple people assured me it wasn't the spoiler I assumed.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Do i recommand this game? Maybe!
It took me 10 hours to finish the game, a third of that is playing, another third is thinking, and the last third is dying.
This game is a « portal » copycat, with magnetism as game engine, but the physics are often imprecise.
It remembers me another game, bad rats, when you think the solution correctly, you build the solution correctly, but it may fail just because of some pixels offset, or even worse, won't do the same result between two identical simulation!
A puzzle game can be hard and challenging, it's not the problem, but it shall not be « hard » to build the solution, it's just annoying and not enjoyable.
I give three situations you will encounter in the game:
- Sometimes you need many tries ( deaths ) just because the timing of platforms or cubes ( how hard is it to detect the peak altitude of a cube when you are riding it and then perform the correct imprecise jump!).
- Often (very often), and despite of the zoom feature, you will send your « newton » (a castable magnetic point) instead of setting the magnetism of a device, because we are talking about pixel aiming here...
- Sometimes, with the exact same configuration between two tries and when 3 or more magnetic points are involved, the result will differ, making you think your solution was bad at first. It's even worse when it happens on « catapults » because the cubes are snapped to the same precise position, so it's not even a targetting problem.

When i play a puzzle game, i don't wan't to be blocked because a piece don't fit well, i don't call that a hard puzzle but a glitched puzzle.

Anyway, the physics are also almost realist, it means when you expect to « capture » a charged object by using another object in vinicity, it will or not work depending of the momentum and the distance of the moving object, wich means some situations are complex but previsible, and added to the pre-existing points, you will be able and will need to place your own point (one at time) on almost any surface . In term of complexity, it worth the speed and direction conservation you have to master in portal when you use big falls to make big or long jumps ^^ This was the feature that made me go on to see what challenging puzzle was waiting for me in the next level, despite of the « glitches » i mentioned before.

The graphims are okay, and clear enough to focus on activable objects.

The story is a joke and the Cthulhu background is just a pretext to glue the puzzles together, don't expect epic fights ( there are only 2 kind of monsters, and they basically just walk towards you and you die on contact... the screenshoot are kind of lying btw. i suspect in early versions they just planned to use a countdown to add some stress) or deep story, everything is incoherent and not fun ( opposite to portal story), and the cutscenes are unskippable! ( remember i said you will die often not because you are not clever, but because of the unfair difficulty to build the solution, expect to see the same cutscenes often ). You will feel alone till the end.

There is a decent chance you won't finish the game because you won't enjoy it till the end, or even because it's too hard.
You may enjoy it if you don't mind loosing half of your play time because of the game and not because of you, the other half will show you how clever you are.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Magrunner: Dark Pulse has been called Portal with magnets meets Cthulu. It is an apt description, but not quite fair. It is portal only insofar as it is a FPS puzzle game, the feel is reminiscent of Portal, but it has it's own unique charm. A little more work on monster animations would have gone a long way, and the final "boss" is ridiculously difficult until you have the "AHAH!" moment, then the whole area can be completed in under 5 minutes because it isn't immediately evident what you need to do. The game is great fun, and quite original if you can push Portal out of your mind. Some of the puzzles are brilliantly put together. If you like Portal, buy it. If you like Cthulu, buy it. All I can say is:

Ia Ia Cthulu Fhtagn!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
It is a pretty decent game, if you liked portal, antimatter and the likes you will definitely have a good time.
Gets pretty challenging after a while!
I prefer this over quantum conondrum, q.u.b.e.

If you see this below 10 bucks, you should make it part of your collection.
Icon also looks nice in the grid view of the library :)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Portal-like mechanics and a cyberpunk setting meet the Cthulhu mythos. I must say, I was intrigued, especially since I had never heard of this game until a year after its release. I grabbed it on discount for less than a latte. I was surprised at the production value. For an indie crowd-funded game, the graphics surprised me and the gameplay was tight. I am a bit disappointed that it's over, but I will admit that for the price, you can't expect a 60-hour long game. It didn't seem like a rushed ending though, so I am left fulfilled. If I had to point at anything bad, it would be that some mechanics are not introduced before becoming crucial... so you can be left in a position that you simply do not know what to do, especially when they add a time factor. On a few occasions, I had to turn to a walkthrough just to get an idea on what I am missing and then I would be good for a couple more levels.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
In terms of gameplay Magrunner is a solid puzzle platformer with a very polished feel and nice artstyle.
In terms of story Magrunner is a B-game. Sub-par voice acting, Ludonarrative dissonance, Disjointed pacing, Corny writing, Clichés and an overall lack of originality. However, if you like that sort of thing or If you are the sort of person who doesn't care about story and just want to play a good puzzle platformer; This game if for you.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
More entertaining than Portal. Definite mind benders on a few of the puzzles. Definitely grab this.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
This is a fun little environmental puzzle game that borrows from some of the puzzle solving traits of Portal. The environments are pretty unique and the graphics are very nice. Controls felt perfect using Mouse and Keyboard. The story and dialogue are somewhat disjointed and the main character seems to be a bit bi-polar with his relationships to the NPC's who constantly seem to want to talk to him. That said, it gets the job done and mostly explains the change in environments. If you're in the mood for a fun puzzler, check it out. I had a lot of fun playing it.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Think with portals... err magnets
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
This is just a normal p̢͝u͘z̡͟z͏l͘͠ę game.

Nothing to see͝ ̵h͡er̷e

p̣̹̗̺͙̔͒̀l̻ͩ̏͐e̬͓̦̩̠̚͞aͦ̕ ḩ̖͕̪̘͔ͧ͒͑ͪͮ͛ͯͅe̤͍̲̫̳̰̘͓͙ͯ̿ͧ̃̿͗͐͛l͙̟͈̯̭̳̖̦ͮ͋̊̀͠pͧ̒͠͏̸̲͎̝̣̹̳͖





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28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2013
Magrunner is too long for its own good. But it's a good game that deserved more recognition because it's in many ways similar to Portal and Q.U.B.E.
But instead of using portals or cubes you'll be solving puzzles using your Magtech glove, a glove that allows you to magnetize stuff. The puzzles are creative and challenging (most of the times) but there are just too many of them. About 6-7 hours in I got bored. Some of the puzzles just take too long to solve, which, as a result, made me lose interest.
Before that happened I actually had a great time with it. If you love FP puzzle games I'm pretty certain you'll love this one, too. It has nice visuals, good gameplay mechanics and a fun story. What's not to love?

[Rating: 77/100]
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42 of 61 people (69%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 26
Ok so yes i will admit why i bought this game first,i am a huge H.P.Lovecroft fan and allways have been (read all the stories he has written and found that i enjoy his works but THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH and THE CALL OF CTHULUH and probablly me favorites) and thats what first intrigued me about this game.
MAGRUNNER is very similar in play style to PORTAL,whereas in portal you have the "APERTURE HAND HELD PORTAL DEVICE" (god thats a mouth full) in MAGRUNNER you have the MAG GLOVE which fires 2 coloured charges.1 is green and one is red (push and pull mechanics come into play here-1 attracts and 1 repels) and it plays in much the same way as the "APERTURE...........oh lets call it the portal gun (its easier and doesnt take as long to wright) does in both of the PORTAL games.The graphics in MAGRUNNER are good and the music and overall feeling of dread that something may be coming for you at any point is quite intense at some points during the game.The story is told with gusto and never lets up (i havent finished yet but i am enjoying the story so far and i love the LOVECROFTIAN-(is that even a word DUH)-overtones in trhe story),as what starts out ot be a sci fi story about energy comsumption and finding new power sources soon turns into a horror induced nightmare and you find out why you and the other MAGRUNNERS are there and your purpass in the greater story is revealed.The main character is called DAX WARD and this sounds a lot like a character Lovecroft created himself CHARLES DEXTER WARD (any relation to this character is not know at this point as i havent finished the game just yet),DAX will no doubt before the end of the game encounter more similarities i dont doubt and will come across more of the horrors that Lovecroft created on the way.
I like this game and it is good to see a developer investing in a Lovcraft based game as there is not a lot (if any) out there (or film,tv series or any other medium for that matter),i would also reccomend that if you want to play anything inspired by Lovecrofts work also search out the game CALL OF CTHULUH : DARK CORNERS OF THE EARTH (also available on steam) as that is one of the best survival horror first person games i have ever played (finished it on the X BOX and going to play through on steam as soon as time permits).
So in closing if you loved PORTAL you will more than likely enjoy this and if you didnt steer clear and probably try DARK CORNERS OF THE EARTH instead as that game really does grab you by the throat and doesnt let go.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10

What happens when you put together Portal, Cthulhu Mythos and magnets? this is what you get. In fact, that's precisely what you pay for, and that doesn't disappoint in that regard.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse is an interesting first person puzzle platformer. If you've played Portal or Quantum Conundrum, this is the style of gameplay but instead of portals or changing the dimension the room is in, you harness the power of magnetism. The gameplay is centered around using a Mag Glove to manipulate platforms, cubes and stationary objects to finish a level. This allows a level of thinking similar to other puzzle platformers, but the method was not explored until now.

How Does it Play?

The game is a real mind bender and has the player execute platforming skills while solving the puzzle on the fly. Not only are you switching the magnetism of something(attract/repel) but you're usually jumping along something at the same time. It usually works. However, the limits of the physics that the Unreal Engine has means now and then there will be moments where the physics will go hay wire and make you redo part of a puzzle again or kill you if you're dealing with explosive cubes or pit falls. Each puzzle takes about the time of what you would expect, about the same as a Portal puzzle room if you try it the first time. The difficulty curve is gradual and does not erratically change back and forth when progressing.

One feature of the game you recieve mid way through the game is Newton, a robotic dog you can attach to most surfaces that has his own magnetic pull(or repel depending on how you want to use him), I found this an interesting way to make the puzzles more interesting, changing the entire thought process on beating a level. However, I found Newton to be really hit or miss. Sometimes his magnetic pull and radius of it to be too small in some instances, when you have to guide along a cube on wall to get it to the other side of a pit, sometimes the angle on which you're looking to move Newton will mean the cube is just barely out of reach of the "New" Newton, and you have to redo that part of the puzzle again(as in the cube respawns at a set point, not restarting from a checkpoint) Another point of dismay with Newt is you might end up spawning him when you don't want to, which can destroy progress on certain puzzles, which can be frustrating.

The Mag Glove itself, I must add, is responsive and easy to use, especially with the zoom feature that makes sure you're hitting the right thing when you're in larger areas, you can even hold down one of the mouse buttons to have it paint a laser over where you want to shoot, making sure you're always landing your charge changing shot where you want it.

Despite Newton helping you along and the precision and reliability of your Mag Glove, the physics do not feel right in this game. While puzzles work as intended, it feels like the pulling strength is weaker than the repelling strength, which can throw off a players timing and how they are going about solving a puzzle. It also sometimes flat out doesn't work, sometimes you must ride a cube up a shaft or sling accross a chasm on one, and sometimes it just fails with no fault on the players end. Why this has yet to be fixed, I have no idea. Explosive cubes also sometimes blow up in the players hand for no reason, especially on the final boss fight.

Speaking of, (spoiler free!) the final boss/puzzle is, interesting. It's not bad, but because of a flaw with saving, it can become impossible. Explosive cubes are thrown at you if you're not fast enough stunning the one who's throwing them at you, and right when you die, you can pass through a save "gate" on the platform(s). If this happens, the level must be restarted. This segment of the final area feels tacked on as if they forgot they needed to make a final boss. The save system in general is wonky, you cannot save manual, and it only saves once you reach certain parts of the map, but since the levels do not progress in a set pattern or line, you may find yourself activating a save gate when you didn't want to, meaning, when you do more of the puzzle and die, you go back further than normal, as the gate does not activate again with the exception of a couple levels.

All in all, it is perfectly playable, but rough around the edges. If you're a fan of puzzles and platformers, and of course, Portal, then the game is for you. Now, onto the other bits of what the game offers.

How's the Story?

Bluntly, not good. It feels extremely cobbled together, as if the only thought of the entire development was "Portal x Cthulhu!" While an interesting premise, the execution falls flat on its face. None of the characters are likable, the dialogue feels wooden and unconvincing (especially form the antagonist) most if not all character interactions are done from holochat, basically the characters are projected above your mag glove, which is cool, and talk to you, nice idea but it doesn't help much with the story, especially when you die and have to listen and look at them over and over again.

The concept of a utopian, globally linked world with Cthulhu Mythos is interesting all the way through, but usually only through the imagery you actually see as you play through the game, later levels have a giant vision/hallucination of cthulhu, in a dark backround while you solve puzzles, it looks utterly incredible and scary. But it does not help the plot, the plot feels extremely shallow and cobbled together, as stated before. I can't emphasis that enough, the game really feels disjointed because of the story.

How Does it Look?

Great! The game runs on Unreal Engine 3, while aged, still manages to look great with this game, the texture work is fantastic. The latter levels that take place in space are awe inspiring, the nebulae, galaxies and planets swirl around you, the petrified/statues of hidious eldritch nightmares(and the living ones, too!) have real texture and a sense of slime to them. I admit however, the character models aren't that great, they seem modeled well with a good poly count, but they aren't animated very well, including all the people who holo chat with you and the Deep One monsters you encounter(the fish people), are not animated very well and are pretty unconvincing in their movement.

The game is fairly easy to run and should run fine on low end computers too. However, if you're playing at a high resolution(1080 p or higher) you will experience some incredible screen tearing, whcih can detract from the set pieces and overall look and flow of the game. Interestingly, vsync can be turned on to mitigate this, but you must do so through the config files, as well as AA, ambient occlusion and motion blur. Why these graphic options are not in the menu, I have no idea.

How Does it Sound?

Decent. While not the best audio work i've heard, the music is fitting to the level at hand and the eerie and strange tone of the game, while keeping that futuristic, techy feel. The sound effects are great, the clank of a falling cube, the destruction of a wall, the sound of platforms sliding/being activated, the impact of the player as he lands on the ground.

Sadly, as mentioned before, the voicework is poor. Not only is it poorly acted, it feels very static when played and not mixed well into the overall sound of the game. For example, when you fall, Dax makes a yell/scream, but it's mastered so low you probably won't hear it unless you have headphones.

Good game but flawed, needs work in quite a few areas. You'll get about 10 hours of gameplay your first run, and is enjoyable if just for the first time. However, wait for it to be on sale, $20 USD is a bit too much for this game, $12 feels more fair to the quality, content and length. Take it for what it is, and you'll enjoy it :)
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
If you liked the puzzles in Portal, you'll probably like the puzzles here. I had a fair bit of fun solving them over ~8 hours of gameplay.

Don't buy this expecting the personality that Portal has, though. No real humor. The plot makes no sense at all, and the script is pretty corny. Suprisingly, the voice acting wasn't bad, if melodromatic.

All in all, a pretty good puzzle game. The Cthuluesque theme really didn't come into play until near the end of the game. It felt tacked on for 2/3, and then in the final 1/3, finally actually became a little more relevant as monsters were introduced. They were a reasonably difficult challenge, as you had to be quick in your reactions.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2013
Who could 've thought, that we'll see another great puzzle game? Well here it is! Portal and Magrunner, briliance in it's best!

And the best part of it; Cyberpunk meets Lavcraft mythos, and both at very high quality, Play this, if you like puzzle games like Portal and Cube, play this if you love Cyberpunk, play this if you like Lavcraft.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14, 2013
You are tired of shooting a brown man but it’s fun to just run around and jump in first person so what do you do? You play Super Metroid Prime and Mirror’s Edge and Portal and then lament because you have to go back to simulating murder. Don’t get me wrong there are highlights to murder simulation but sometimes you want to play a pretty looking game and go HRMPH! when you jump or shoot something different.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse stomps into the room and makes a brutal affront. Packed with shooting such things as platforms and jumping on them in beautiful First Person, Magrunner lives up to its name in every respect. You are in control of the Magrunner: a snarky kid with a knack for computer glove and jump voice clip. Pick up a cube unlike any indie cube you have ever picked up before in this year’s breakout Run-It-At-Full settings feast for the eyes and brain.

Got stuck? STEAM OVERLAY your way to guides cheater (forget that early spiral level what’s that noise?) but consider thinking about it because the mind puzzle is a treat.

Story & Talks: (no spoiler)
The Magrunner is running and you experience what you think is portal. But surprise surprise it’s portal. And then it’s still portal? What an experience. Good voice acting. They bought a real microphone.

Looks & Appeal:
Pretty when it needs to be, which is usually. Gets dank.

Arboretums and Grass: (As seen is Dank centerfold)
Enjoy majestic foliage elevator that changes with your very mood!!!!! Gaze at the throbbing purple bud generators. Zero actual grass, really dropped the ball.

Overall the Magrunner is a dank game and I nearly pooped myself when it was magnets and not magics.


10/10 A++ Ornamental Horticulture

-- Home & Garden Magazine


Let’s see the skunk squad try to peep on this:
3.... out of 5 --Xplay Magazine Show
5/10 “sucks it ”*teabagging joke* *sidebar and ad larger than article* --IGN
6/10 “No hug pillow. It Can’t Be Helped” --Weekly Famitsu Jump
What a surprise no REAL journalists are covering this timepiece like Home&Garden.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2013
A mostly fun Portal -Like game with some great puzzles (for the most part). Worth it if you're a fan of portal style games.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
Nice ! The story is so so....but the puzzles are quite cool. Basically, mix the mechanics of Portal and Q.U.B.E. together, add Unreal Engine 3, try to put some crazy story together and you have magrunner.

The magnet interactions were a nice change from the portals or the stuff you found in Quantum Conundrum. In a way, Magrunner is still different from all the others. It is no masterpiece but it is definitely a good puzzle game. Enemies will also come in some levels to put you some pressure, and the puzzles change enough to keep you interested. The story though (if there is one) is what it is....but better than nothing I guess, and the game has still atmosphere and is polished enough to be enjoyed. 12 Hours to play everything and get every trophy. Get this cheap and go past the beginning that looks a bit lame. 72/100
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Surprisingly good. Lovecraft meets portal-like gameplay. Needs little better storytelling and better final mayhem to my opinion, but it's still good.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2013
It's Portal + Cyberpunk + Lovecraft. That probably sounds great, except it doesn't (and probably can't) have nearly the polish that Portal did. It follows the Portal formula closely enough that I was regularly comparing the two games mentally. This comparison doesn't really come out in Magrunner's favor, given that Portal is one of the best games ever made. However, the plot is somewhere between "acceptable" and "interesting", and the central game mechanic lends itself to creative and challenging puzzle design. Overall I recommend it, but I'd definitely wait for a sale.
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