Magicats Builder developed by Dreamz Studio is a platform game, that sees you controlling a lovable cartoon cat as he traverses dangerous platform and enemy filled landscapes. No, wait, Magicats Builder is a platform game designer, which gives you all the tools at your disposal to design simple or complex platform levels, that others can play. Hmm, well I suppose technically it’s both, sort of, but is it any good? Let’s take a look.
There’s no story to speak off. Sure, there’s a tutorial which gives you the basics of how to control your cat as well as the fundamentals of building levels, but no grander storyline to push you through playing more. Not that one would be overly useful here, as the levels you will playing will be created by other players. Still, it would be good to have at least some semblance of a storyline to pad out the game.
Magicats Builder does look fairly pretty, and it takes me back to the good ol’ 16-bit platforming days of Bubsy the Bobcat. Obviously, the level designs are down to the individual creators, but all the pieces used within the levels, are distinctive and easy on the eye making this at least an attractive game.
The term ‘game’ is a fairly liberal term in this context as there are of course, elements of both platform and level designer. The platform gaming part of Magicats Builder is your fairly standard platform affair. Your cat can jump, double-jump, and move to avoid enemies and traps, and can also shoot to take down the various enemies. There’s nothing new or really original in this concept.
There is also the level design part of the game. You have a number of parts at your disposal, some of these are platforms, some are monsters, or objects like crates etc. You create your level, and can then test it, making tweaks and changes where necessary.
Ok, It isn’t simply a matter of plonking down pieces and getting a fantastic level; Well, ok, some might just have done that, but if you want your level to shine, you’ll have to think about enemy AI. Luckily, within Magicats Builder there are coding tools that give you what you need to control all those pesky little blighters. You also control how your cat looks, as well as all the enemies and critters occupying the level. Fancy a bit more of a Smash Brother experience with your levels? Well, they can both be created and played with up to 4 same-screen players as well, so you’re not trapped in a single player experience if you don;t want to be.
When you think your pride and joy level is ready, you can upload it for others to play it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect yet as you can make changes to it later on.
To me one of the more interesting parts of Magicats Builder is how the level editor is dependant on the platforming experience. As you play the various player-designed levels you earn currency which is used to buy cards that represent the certain pieces you’ll use to create your level. However, the more intricate and detailed your levels are, the more parts you’re going to need within them. You can soon find yourself in a position where you run out and have to buy more cards.
Certainly, some of the levels that have been designed are done very well, and can range from easy to mind-breakingly taxing, and it’s great to see just what others have done. As far as level creators go, you are given you everything you could possible need to create fantastical levels. Whether or not, you’re still going to playing with Magicats Builder in a years’ time or not, really depends on how much you like the creating of new levels. If you’re in it for the platforming experience, you might find it quickly dropping down your played list.
If you want to give Magicats Builder a go, head over to the Magicats Builder Steam page and take it for a whirl.