Magnetic Joe is a simplistic game you will probably want to play all the way through in one or two sittings. Joe’s direction and momentum is controlled by activating his magnetism. Help Joe navigate tight spaces and dodge spikes to get to the end of the course! With holding your finger on the screen being the one and only control, it’s a good game to play while you’re riding the bus with a coffee, or keeping a child busy in the backseat.
As previously stated, placing your finger anywhere on the screen turns on Joe’s “magnetism.” As Joe passes by the magnetic direction blocks spread throughout levels, electricity will jump from the blocks and push or pull him in that direction. You have to gauge how long to hold your finger to get Joe through the level without flying into some spikes or bouncing off a wall in the wrong direction. Therein lies the challange. It doesn’t take much of a bump to send Joe to his spiky death.
As far as graphics go, the cute 2D backgrounds don’t really get old, even after 50 levels. For some reason, Joe is perpetually smiling while you zap him with electricity, bounce off ceilings, and barely dodge spike pits. Musically, Magnetic Joe unfortunately has only 1 track, which is not really that great to begin with, but it gets really old when you die over and over in the same spot and you hear the opening 5 notes yet again.
There’s not really a story to explain what Joe’s motivation is, but there are 50 levels for him to wind his way through. Each level rewards you with a star upon completion, and two stars if you beat the developer’s time. Each level records your best time and number of stars won. The game has pretty decent replay value since you can go back and select a specific level to grab that second star or shave that last second off your best time. Unfortunately there isn’t a high score name chart, so even if you were competing with a friend, you wouldn’t be able to tell whose score was listed.
All in all, Magnetic Joe is simple and addicting. The concept is creative fun, and can be enjoyed by anyone, with only a little bit of patience needed for those random difficult spots. For under a dollar, classic Magnetic Joe is undeniably a good buy, but you might want to check out the slightly more expensive Magnetic Joe 2 if you’re looking for more levels and complex features.