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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.
Release Date: Jun 20, 2013
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Buy Magrunner: Dark Pulse

$9.99

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 the 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
22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
1,775 products in account
695 reviews
7.4 hrs on record
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?
Posted: October 31st, 2013
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
899 products in account
40 reviews
15.5 hrs on record
Pretty decent as a first-person physics puzzle. Certainly way better than Quantum Conundrum, but of course not as brilliant as Portal. Think something on the scale of Q.U.B.E., but with more story (which is really quite absurd) and more varied environments.
Posted: March 28th, 2014
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
408 products in account
2 reviews
2.3 hrs on record
Magrunner exists to make you appreciate Portal. Yes, the graphics are good, and yes, the magnets are an interesting gameplay mechanic, but the storytelling is thoroughly second rate. Unskippable cutscenes are everywhere, character development is worse than flat (some of my allies are actually repulsive), and the voice acting and dialogue are clumsy (no one talks like that). This game has less emotional impact than a companion cube. I'm left feeling that Cthulu is a crutch, an almost desperate way to try to make me care about the story by using someone else's cool ideas hoping they rub off.

Even trying to put up with the story, the gameplay left me frustrated. It's a steep learning curve, and again because of poor delivery: they just expect you to know things. Trial and error can only get you so far when you have to perform yet another new maneuver they haven't taught you. Recipe for frustration.

After a couple hours of Magrunner all I could think was how much I wanted to go back and play Portal instead. So I did.
Posted: March 19th, 2014
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
134 products in account
2 reviews
11.6 hrs on record
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 :)
Posted: January 4th, 2014
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
716 products in account
44 reviews
7.1 hrs on record
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 "APURTURE 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 "APURTURE...........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.
Posted: January 24th, 2014
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