Max and the Magic Marker (DS)
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Max and the Magic Marker is a clever physics game that requires kids to use a lot of brainwork in order to succeed in the adventure. There's a little bit of very cartoony violence against evil blob creatures. However, it's worth noting that this DS version has glitchier (and thereby more difficult) controls than the Wii, PC, or app versions of the same game.
What's it about?
In MAX AND THE MAGIC MARKER (DS), a young boy sketches out a colorful world on paper and then sees (or imagines) his new land being attacked by evil blob creatures called Gobos. So Max jumps into his own drawing to rid his imaginary world of Gobos and save the day. As he makes his way through classic 2-D platform-jumping game levels, you must use the DS stylus to draw items that will help him (stairs, bridges, rocks to crush enemies, etc.).
Is it any good?
Max and the Magic Marker is still a creative and clever physics game that gives players a lot to think about as they traverse its puzzling 2D levels. But the DS version doesn't hold up quite as well in comparison to previous versions of the game. For one thing, the graphics simply aren't as good. They look strangely low definition. And while the stylus-on-touchscreen method sounds like it should be the best possible control scheme for a game about drawing with a magic marker, it doesn't work all that great. There's a bizarre lag between moving the stylus and seeing the line appear. And having to touch buttons while using the stylus is always a challenging maneuver in any DS game. Other occasional glitches mar the game a bit as well, such as barely being able to see the other side of a chasm that you need to draw a bridge across, or having to restart a level if Max gets stuck between two platforms. If you've got an iPad, the app version feels like the ideal incarnation of Max and the Magic Marker.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the physics lessons learned within the game. How can kids apply such lessons to real life?
While it is minimal and very cartoony, there is still some violence in the game. How does squashing blobs compare to the fighting in other video games? Is it any better or worse?