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 (226 reviews) - 85% of the 226 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 20, 2013

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

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


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

    • Processor:AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.4 GHZ
    • Memory:2048 MB RAM
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (226 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 5
Great idea, but the gameplay is very slow, so I dont like it.

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( 8.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Recomend. I started playing this game with GT610 and had to use lowest settings, but now I have GTX750Ti and decided to play it again. Graphics is great, especially on space levels. I am noob in gaming, but I really liked it (the graphics). Puzzles are hard sometimes, which I also liked. It's a bit scarry, as some levels have living things that can kill you.
Overall, this was the second game after Portal that I really liked. Higly recommend, especially on the Summer sale!
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( 13.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
Re-do Review:

I'm going to state my opinion of Magrunner's Gameplay, Story, and other miscellaneous bits that I feel are worth mentioning.

The story show promise for the first few hours. An introduction with beautiful art illustrates our main characters, and also delivers a bit of back-story on what today's hottest events are about. The first area the story fails to grab with is by not giving enough character to the characters. They show emotions, and say words, but it doesn't feel like what anyone says is important to more than moving the story forward. To put it loosely: it's not enjoyable to hear.

Cthulhu enters scene, and he proceeds to step on a stone and fall on his face. Honestly, why couldn't the developer/publisher just have left Cthulhu out of it until we found it out in the story.
Promotional screenshots, trailers, literally the first sentence of the store description informs the buyer/player that the Cthulu Mythos is revelent to this game. WHY? It makes the actual reveal lackluster.

However, for a positive on the story, when we do start to leave the facility, and hints of Cthulu, and the unknown are present; the setting is truly un-nerving because it's that contrast of hell and high-class facility that keeps you on edge for a while.

I also found the third act having been devoid of dialogue a bit sad. Though the mad scientist was fun to see! Crazy buggard.

The gameplay is something I would call rough. The ideas are all there. The puzzle have a lot of thought put into them, and the challenge is pretty high, and unlike some I liked the wide/big enviroments, because the art/designs of many of the rooms were pretty rad.

The mechanics are cool for the first half of the game. They involve using a reverse magnetism with like polarities attracting, and opposites going away from one another
(They most likely did this so if you wanted to connect more than two objects there wouldn't be any conflicting issues with two objects being the same, and one being opposite, and everything flies everywhere)

There's a lot of pieces that are involved in solving the puzzles, like: platforms, pendulems, boxes, smaller boxes, and what I'd consider the worst addition to puzzle solving: the entrance of Dex's dog Newton. All puzzles until the introduction of this dog had you using boxes and platforms in your environment. And also by changing their polarities and locations to then reach an end. This dog however changes everything. It lets you place either polarity basically anywhere. It's like if in Portal you could place a white-portal-placing-wall anywhere for solving puzzles. It would be a nightmare.

Speaking of nightmares, I don't remember the name of the level now, but I skipped the entire level by falling off an edge and onto the environment. I did so out of pure frustration for the amount of "things" present for the puzzle. similarly the rock design of space created a lot of situations where I could be stuck, or just shimmy around the environment, like it felt as if I shouldn't be allowed to go to those areas.

Last bits on gameplay: The puzzle difficulty really ramps up around the middle, and some of the latter puzzles are downright evil in design, and left me wondering if the developer just thought we'd know that we should carry boxes on the under-belly of platforms that are transfered from another platform.


I really do love the graphics on this one. Just because it's unreal from 2013 doesn't mean it doesn't look good. I'd love more non-sense effects like depth of field (present for a short while after entering a room) motion blur, better anti-aliasing, and bloom (please don't shoot me if these are actually present) As it doesn't seem to have that 110% C I N E M A T I C presentation of a 2016 game, because it isn't one.

But, act 1's clean facilities are a beaut to see, and the design put on show would be breathe-taking to actually see in person. the second act feels a bit to old and rustic without much change over 3 hours, but that was probably the intention. And, by act 3 we hit full space-on-Cthulhu action, and some of the locals in this act are pretty dang-on fine.

The animations are a mix of great, and iffy: The human's movements are great, and add what little character the characters need into place, but the animation on The Old Ones doesn't feel weighty enough. It kinda looks like someone did a mo-cap for it, and didn't edit it afterwards.

The models look great. From Gamaji's multiple appendages flying about, to Xander's blood soaked face in the third act; All the models are of high quality, and look like actual people.

textures could be better.

Other Thoughts:

-Cthulhu is hinted far to early, and too obvious, as the transmission in the subtitles clearly shows the first and second part of the name cthulhu with the sentence shown.

-Second also is that we see Xander once or twice, and the reveal of him being mad doesn't have enough punch because of it. Maybe a bit more interaction with the main character, would've benefited the development.

-More tips. Maybe it's because I was on an SSD, but I only saw 2-3 tips that were barely relevent to solving puzzles. mostly just on the basic controls. So, more text-boxes or explanations on the physics of the game would've made the second and third act ride on smoother.

-Sometimes the physics work, and sometimes they don't. A lot of it relies on calculations, and numbers that we as players literally cannot see in the code. It's infuriating for a platform to fall down, down, down because it was a hair away from connecting WITH THAT DAMN DOG.

Final note:
An interesting gameplay mechanic, thrown in with Cthulhu, but ultimately both pieces are on the rough side. So, I give it an average 5/10
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⅕ one5th
( 8.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
Eh. It's fine.
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( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
So it's magnetic puzzles with Cthulhu, basically. Normally you'd expect magnetic fields to attract fields of opposite polarity, but not here - here opposites repel, it seems. I guess that when we're talking about alien horrors that drive you insane, this is what we mean now.

All things said and done, though, this is a competently executed puzzle game. I'm not great at puzzle games and I got stuck a few times, and some of the puzzles rely less on planning and more on timing than I'd like, but overall I found the difficulty fitting for a casual puzzle player. The story is fine overall, though some of the voice acting is a bit wooden, and the ending is actually kind of interesting, though it also features some fashionable criticism of social media that feels unnecessary and disconnected from the rest of the game. Cthulhu likes to sit on the edge of certain maps and growl his name at you over and over again, which is cool the first time but quickly gets kinda weird. Seriously, Cthulhu, we get it. Calm down.

Overall, a decent game though not really outstanding by any measure. Give it a shot if you like first-person puzzle games!
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Mr [Gh0st]
( 14.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 26

Imagine a mix between Portal and the Xen chapter of Half Life,
then you have the last Act of this game.
The game is worth it just for that, but the rest is quite mediocre and not very exciting...
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( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 24
This game left so deep a mark on me I felt compelled to write a review, for the first time. I would like to recommend the game, since a lot of work apparently went to it. Alas, I can not.

After finishing, most of my memories of the game are of frustration and annoyance. I rarely do not finish a game I've started, and in the end I finished even this one, however not without a need of walkthroughs and a few day cool-down break from playing.

The main gameplay mechanic is nice and easy to comprehend. There is almost no relation to how magnetims works in real world, buy that would hardly make for a fun game, so no problem there. The problem is that the the mechanics are quite apparently hacked on top of some physics engine, quite often don't make sense beyond the basic scenario (e.g. if you're catapulted on a top of a cube, and pick the cube mid-flight, you immediatelly lose all your momentum), or are downright broken (e.g. if you put two cubes on top of a catapult and leave the top one without a charge, the whole thing does not work). You're often reduced to trying all combinatorial options, because there is no telling how the components will interact without trying.

Taken as a Cthulhu mythos story, it's the worst I've seen, and, foremost, is not a horror. The high-tech sci-fi does not mix well with the eldritch. Also once the plot is revealed, there's not anything in the story to wait for.

The story progresses by the main character shouting at some other characters via a hologram here and then, is ridicullously cheesy ("I've never told you the truth about what happend to your parents"), annoying and the game would be better without it in my opinion. The voice-over and the lines are so annoying that I was muting the sound in the later stages of the game to avoid it. There's one exception, and that's the narrator of the story. If the story was only third-person narrated, it would be also better off I think.

The worst problem of the game. First, there's no logic to the design and it shows fast---at one point you escape "test rooms" by exiting through a hole since the door are blocked by rubble. However, if the rubble was not there, the test would be pointless---you could have just easily leaved it. It's not a big problem but illustrates the bad design.
There is no mental challenge to the puzzles. "Wait, what, you said you needed a walkthrough". Indeed, there are three other challenges:
a) As already said, more complicated interactions do not make much sense (e.g. elevator field works only on the elevator platform, but the platform interacts with a cube) and suggest a lot of "if-then" programming. Then there are buttons, which are pretty much a joker element. You have no idea what they do until you press them. It could be anything. It could literally summon Cthlulhu in this game for what it's worth.
b) Pixel-hunt. Some of the levels are easily 10000 square meters big or more. You know what is necessary for the level, but you can't do it, because there's some field emmiter hidden in the hole in the corner and you only see it if you stand at the right spot and look in the right direction. And you can't FRIGGIN' RUN.
c) Jumps. Often you need to jump on small, sometimes tiny, moving objects and if you miss you have to walk from bottom back up. And you can't FRIGGIN' RUN.
d) "You said three challenges". Yes, but I was really annoyed about running. Most of the gameplay time I had was uselles walking. SLOW. Don't tell me that did not come up in the playtest. Hardly there was a feedback like "You know what I liked about your game? All the walking back from the start after missing a jump."

Nice visual effects and nice models. The levels were build up from components, there's no "soul" to the individual levels or sense of progression on a small scale. On a big scale you have three completelly different environments, and they are nice. Shame that the game does not support selecting a GPU so I had to play it on the lowest setting since it auto-decided to render on the integrated co-processor of my CPU instead of my NVIDIA 660 GTX, but that's the least of the problems.

Overall I can't shake the feeling that this game was created by some guy with money, who had all these *great ideas* and wanted all the *cool stuff* and totally had to be the lead designer, and got some skilled people people for that, who were "if you wanna get you're wage, then shut up" at any time they tried to point out that some things do not really work.
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( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
Physics tools and scripted object combinations allow ‘Magrunner: dark pulse’ to stand out from genre corner-stones like Valves portal series. Players enjoying first person plat forming and puzzles should swipe right. With few faults and a sale price of $2.50 I was definitely pleased and should community tools ever appear I would expect to revisit magrunner often.

I spent about 8 hours within the campaign, which opts for a discovery based introduction to mechanics in place of a formal tutorial. The story isn’t the strongest but its clear the developers put a lot of work into fleshing out an alternate future worthy of interest and steeped in well modeled Lovecraft figures like dagon, shub-niggurath, and of course Cthulhu. While the story starts strong and finishes resolved, at some rare plot points in the center narrative felt a little jerky. Players might find the characters making snap conclusions without proper pretext or delivered from danger without cause. These bumps aside I often felt compelled to push on into the night far more often then I felt I needed a break. Magrunner is also well voiced. Every member voice cast does a great job of conveying the emotion and urgency core to the plot. However, the performances at times feel slightly disconnected from each other giving the impression that the cast may have recorded independently.

Magrunner is often a good looking game, making proper use of some of Unreal’s strongest tools to great effect. The graphics are scaled surprisingly well and players running on high and low settings alike can expect pleasing experience. It’s not to say the settings are indistinct, only that the texture masking and engine optimization is done so well that players scraping the minimum requirements need not fear. Only in few rare sections were the game tries to convey aged and dilapidated environment did some of the textures and geometry feel a little rushed.

I really enjoyed magrunner’s simple yet rewarding mechanics. Magrunner uses a combination of point physics and scripted objects like cube stacks, catapults, and conveyors, to generate puzzle solutions. The added utility of using any object as ether an attractor or repulser generates addition diverse game play, often with multiple solution paths. I understand some people might feel more rewarded solving puzzles with distinct and singular solutions. However, I felt the addition of sometimes rigged solutions via flexible game play elements, intended or otherwise, were a welcome addition to the genre. There were definitely times we felt we stumbled across rigged solutions, and couldn’t be happier.

I also might have enjoyed more horror driven elements. While I understand that outright combat would have betrayed the genre a few scripted jump scares and more threatening wards would have felt right at home. In terms of design I could only find a few things I could do without. For one magrunner’s polar projectiles move way to slow for my taste and adds an extra layer of execution to game play that I found more frustrating than rewarding. Why they didn’t use hit scan I’ll never know. For the most part though the game play is easy to execute and navigate. In terms of visuals the disembodied platforms were the only thing that ever felt consistently cheap, and stylistically independent of most other game assets. While I understand sometimes tough visual sacrifices have to be made, I found said platforms to the only glairing visuals blemish on an otherwise spotless title.

Magrunner is mostly designed for a single pass. There are a few speed running achievements to draw you into a second, much shorter, go. But we doubt this will be reason enough for most players to make a second pass We completed the campaign in a little under eight hours and don’t expect that grabbing those last few loose achievements will push us much past 10. However, should a level editor or community workshop be added….

Oddly enough we have to note one last thing. Some of the marketing elements on the store page may not be accurate. I was only able to play 39 levels, not the video advertised 41. Unless I missed a few hidden levels, and even if I did, most players should expect a 39 level play through. Secondly store page screenshots appear to have been rendered out of game using in game assets. There is no third person perspective and I was unable to recreate some of the lighting effects as seen in the screenshots. These variations while small give the sense that the game is slightly more intense and more widely animated than it is. Though I doubt any misleading was intentional, and surprising given how good the game actually looks. We suggest you watch game play first before buying.

Pros and cons weighed I suggest grabbing Magrunner next time you see it on sale. For the achievement gamer however we think this game is a fairly priced at $10. Thank you for reading and I hope this review helps you find a game you’ll enjoy.

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( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
In a nut shell this is Portal clone. Not as polished as I would like, I'm referring to the pace of the game. To me it feels like stages with no real underlining engrossing story. I did like a lot of the puzzles, tho some could have done with a bit more guidance. Not a bad game if on sale, however full rrp, not sure I would buy.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
117 of 173 people (68%) found this review helpful
120 people found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
This is just a normal p̢͝u͘z̡͟z͏l͘͠ę game.

Nothing to see͝ ̵h͡er̷e

p̣̹̗̺͙̔͒̀l̻ͩ̏͐e̬͓̦̩̠̚͞aͦ̕ ḩ̖͕̪̘͔ͧ͒͑ͪͮ͛ͯͅe̤͍̲̫̳̰̘͓͙ͯ̿ͧ̃̿͗͐͛l͙̟͈̯̭̳̖̦ͮ͋̊̀͠pͧ̒͠͏̸̲͎̝̣̹̳͖

a̴̙̜̻̹̞̟͈ͦ̆̾͋̄͂̉̉͛̑͢͟͞͠f̢ͭ̒ͫ͗ͤͤ͋ͨ́͌͑ͫ̅͏̺̰̻̰͙̺̫̤̣̮̼̣̀͜t̸̽̋ͦͨ́̾̔ͭ͝͏̶̨̜̩̳̻͈e̡̯̝̟͇̦̰̟̦͈̳̰͕̬̹̘̖̰̋͗̄ͬ̄ͨ̏̐̔̌̚͜ͅr̴͉͙͕̙͚͕͍̹̩̤̤̞̺͍͈̳͈̟ͨ̾ͬ̌̿ͫͨ̔̔͆̽͂ͧ̊̎̿͟ͅ ̶̶͇̞̻̳̲͙͙͑̿͛ͬ͑̈͛̂̓͛̏͆͛͌̒̈́ͬ̌ͥ́̕ͅt̶̢̧̖̭̭̗̖̪̹̱͖̩͖̮͈̝ͤ̈́́͒ͬ͛́̃̽ͦͯ͌͂ͮ̐̽ͣͥ͜͝h̷̸͈͔̗͈͍͑͌͑ͯ̒̅͘͟͢ē̊ͫ̎ͣ͐̓͋͐̅ͧ̎̓̿͋͝͏̨͕̩͖̝͉̹̲̪̭̺s̥̹̗͙̝̻̦͈̐̌̏̈́͒̐̅͒͂ͨ̌̑̈ͦͩ̿̚͢ę͕̟͓̥̤̤͕͔̗̜̞͙̏ͥ̄̔̓ͭͨ̈ͪ̿́̚͠ͅ ̢̖̼̟̹̙̺͊̐̍͌ͨ̃ͭ̇̑ͭ̓̑ͬͨ̇͋͗̂͘ḍ̣͈̘̪̻̜͐̄͛ͤͥ͋ͮ͐͒̇ͨ̄̉̚͟͟r̡̡͂̾ͧ͐͌̚͟͏̨͉̜̮̩̥͎̼̙͍̥̫ę̴̛̮̫͈̫̙̤͉̝̮̱͎͎͈͙̱͇̍͑̌̍͒͊̽ͨ̆̽̽ͩ͠a̋ͩ̏ͭͥ̀ͫ̇̌́̀͊ͥͭ͆ͭͧ̚̕͢͏̴̙̩͔̪͎̰͠ͅm̵͕͉̩̺̼̍ͤ̅ͨ̑̔̏ͩ̾͐̅ͣ̈̚͘s̢̈́̍̐ͦ̌ͬͨͩ͋́͟҉͔̞̟̪͍̲̪̤̲͚͝͞ͅ ̶̢͉͓̬̳̑ͬ̾͊͢͝ţ̸̱͙͖̥͎̹̣̬̞̩ͨ͑͋̊ͦ̀͘͜h̸̵̡͉̙̼̝͈͉͂̽ͭ̈́̀e͂̀ͤ̑͐ͫ͂͆̂̓̿̚͡͏̷̧̯̻̯͔̹͇̫͈͉̝̟̹̪̤̝r̷͎͕͔͉̝͇̤̻͖̗̥̓̇ͮ̔ͣ́ͤ͌́͗̒̓ͫ͟ͅe͋ͧ̊̓ͤͤ̈͐҉̠̳̣̦͚̹͓̖̣̠̗͈͢͠ ̓ͤ̈́̾ͦ̍̋ͧ͏̷͈͕͕̙̹̟̹͖̥̟̱͇̭̻̝ͅͅį̶͕͎̘̳͉̦̰͔ͫ̌ͯ͋̒ͅs̛̰̦̭͕͇̰̣̠̬͉̺̙̖̗̻̻͙̽͋̅̅͐̉ͨͩ͛͋ͯ̇̈́ ̛̬͚͉̹̟͓͈͂͊̌̅͂ͭͫͣ̔͒ͯ͘͠n̡̆ͪ̏ͩ͗̊ͣ̓̉ͫ̒̑̔ͥ͛̈́̑̒҉̨͍̩̩̠̳̦̦͓͓͎͈̩̬̬̠͉͡õ̡̠͙̤̀̚̚ ̷̩̙̹͖͕̯͓̞̫̼̲̜͇͓̝̦͇̙̽̔ͣͥͩ͞ş̡̗̦̪͇̥͉͇̳̠̊̑ͦ͐̅͟l̒̉ͬ̽ͪ͐̏̐̄̓̍̑͢͏̵͍̭͉̳̜͈̳̭̪̯̬̳͜e̡̠̣̬̣̹͖̙̣̣̒ͦ̊̓ͥͮ́͞ͅȩ̛̝̼̘̻̫̲͎̤̗̥̔ͫ͛ͮͩ̔͊ͯ̓͒̓̌ͬ̎̾̀ͥͧ͘p̦̻̮̜̻͕͚̝͕̰̜̎͋̂̅̀͟͝

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66 of 92 people (72%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
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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36 of 45 people (80%) 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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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2015
Magrunner: Dark Pulse is a really good first person puzzle game where you have the power to magnetize objects such as platforms and cubes to assist in getting from point A to point B. The magnetic aspect works reasonably well most of the time, but there are several instances where it is easy to get frustrated. During some of the later levels, the game starts to throw monsters at you in which you either have to kill or evade. The puzzle difficulty seemed to ramp up pretty well. Some of the final puzzles were indeed very tricky including many platforms with rotational paths that made them feel roller coaster like.

Calling the story weird is an understatement. I think it comes close to the lines of Zeno Clash weirdness. But it comes off as very entertaining and keeps the suspense going throughout. The unfortunate aspect is that the story does not bring closure to a lot of things and the ending is basically up to the player to interpret.

There are many elevator sequences that seemed a bit excessive basically moving you from one level to the next. That seemed to be the primary method they chose to inject a lot of the narrative. The atmosphere during the final chapter is pretty amazing including Cthulhu himself.

If you are a fan of the first person puzzle genre, Magrunner: Dark Pulse is definitely a title worth picking up.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
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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44 of 67 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
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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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
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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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 4, 2014
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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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
I wanted to like this game but it's... absolutely stubborn about making me dislike it. It's fun in theory, but in execution it's just a more physics heavy Portal with less cleverly designed/more tedious puzzles.

First off, the story. Is way too instrusive. In acts 1 and 2 you have elevator segments between a large portion of the levels that takes up a loading screen for essentially a cutscene... that is the same every time, just with a different person talking to you. The plot actually affects the gameplay very little in the first two acts, other than to make things take longer. All characters communicate via a hologram popping up over the magnet gun, but don't actually do anything. Sure, the scenery gradually degrades more and more, but that's about all that happens plotwise that is the slightest bit relevant to gameplay. Well until the third act when monsters start appearing.

Another issue is the tedium in the puzzles; there's a lot of waiting around for things to be in the right place and making mistakes can sometimes set you back quite a bit even if you don't die. On top of that there's a lot of trial and error involved (far far more than Portal) because of the physics engine, which is unfortunately not perfect enough for this kind of game. There's inconsistencies in how objects behave on occasion and it's often hard to predict what will happen until you test it. Some of the puzzle rooms are pretty big as well while also lacking in direction, leading to confusion not even part of the puzzle. The game also doesn't have a large enough variety in obstacles to keep things fresh; at some point things stop evolving (aside from the monster segments) and the puzzles start to get rather repetitious. Maybe digging deeper into a concept explored previously but it's not fresh enough to hold the interest. The game probably could've benefitted from being shorter, especially in the second act; that segment of the game took up probably 60-70% of my initial run playtime on its own.

The monster segments are also entirely out of place; they're alright when you know what to do but until you do they're largely trial and error, often almost expecting you to know what to do if you want to survive at all. There's not a large number of them and they're all confined to the end of the game, but they still really aren't a good fit for the formula. The final boss especially, since it is entirely possible to have the game autosave mere fractions of a second before you die, forcing a level restart. Plus there's a needlessly difficult platform hop involved. I thought we agreed that first person games and intense platforming are a combination that really has to be fine-tuned or excluded period. It's only a single hop done twice but it's a pretty fast moving platform and failure means death, soooo.

The game's on the whole not terrible, it's an interesting concept and there are some good puzzle designs here but there are far more bad puzzles than good and I wouldn't recommend it over its peers.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 22, 2014
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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