[Review] The Marbians (minis)
The Marbians have crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico and need your help to get them home in this retro, marble-themed puzzle game. Fling and Flick the marble-encased aliens through 72 puzzling levels to get them back to their UFOs and on their way home!
The Marbians is a physics-based interactive game, where players will send Marbians careening off walls and around obstacles to collect moon rocks, rack up points and bonuses, and reach their UFO homes. Smack your Marbian off walls at high speed for more points, collect all the moon rocks you can, and see your alien friends safely home!
Things start of very easly since you’re only required to get to the UFO that will take you away from the level and it’s usually a very easy shot to make. One shot is all you get for each Marbian available under your control (only one at first but this number continues to go up every couple of levels) and it’s that situation which makes the second element introduced to each level a very compelling one: blue orbs. You can collect each one of the three blue orbs on each level to work towards winning each of the in-game trophies AND truly be able to get 100% out of your gaming purchase.
All you have to do to control the action is move the analog stick back so you can decide how strong you want to “hit” the Marbian so it goes flying in the opposite direction. An arrow will make this hassle free as you’ll always know in what direction it will move to. As the levels get more and more complicated you start to realize you must make some very incredible fantasy shots to bounce of 2-3 walls while grabbing all 3 blue orbs and making it to the UFO with almost no momentum at all… and it’s in moments like this that the game truly shines.
While playing the game I was, for some reason, reminded of Cut the Rope. My guess is that it was because they’re both very fun games that are easy to play and enjoy but hard to truly master. It could also have something to do with the “collect 3 before finishing the level” side of things.
Either way, The Marbians made me smile more than once when I just couldn’t even GET to the UFO shot after the shot after shot until I realized I was doing things wrong. You don’t always need to shoot AHEAD since sometimes bouncing back against a wall gives your shot the speed and angle you require to get to the exit. I also learned that making a full strength shot is NOT the way to do things all the time since said shot could end up bouncing back on a wall and missing the UFO because I was supposed to hit it at a different speed to skip over one of the hazards in the game (more on that later).
Level 11 introduces a 2nd Marbian for us to control which changes things a bit. If one Marbian hits the other it will transfer its speed and momentum and send it bouncing in reaction to the force applied to said body’s mass.. but it will stil be able to move since it hasn’t spent his turn. You can hit the X button to make it stop and better set him up for the last shot for the finish line or just let things flow and see where he ends up before making your move. This is helpful for moving a fully stopped Marbian back into play (even if it has already been moved by the player) since as long as one gets to the UFO you’ll clear the stage.
Hazards are introduced later on to spice up your life. A hole is deaaaadly since falling in its grasp spells instant doom (like, at the exact instant you touch it). But wait, there’s more! notice those moving parts that like to make you bounce around AND are sometimes actually helpful? Well, they’re dangerous! If one moves you near to a wall it WILL crush you without remorse, making the Marbian go pop! And to top things off we have spinners, wonderful objects that once hit will spin around, an action that can in turn send you spinning in any direction if you don’t plan ahead.
Want more things to look out for? Ok, just because we aim to please! You’ll also find oils spills around several levels and this is another thing to avoid as it will make you slip and could take you away from your goal… but but come to think of it Oil will also help you move faster for a bit so be sure to use that to your advantage! On the other side of the equation you’ve got glue which is veeery sticky and will quickly slow you down and this is NEVER a good thing. We then have teleporters, a quick mode of transportation in which you enter one and see where it takes you! They can save you since they have a bit of a pull and will send you out on the other side with full speed (hopefully towards the goal). Finally, we have Green and Red Magnets. The Green ones will attract the Marbians to them and eventually cling on and never let go (time to restart!) while the Red ones will do everything they can to send you flying far, far away from them, usually into a hole or into other hazards.
The Marbians is a great minis that can be enjoyed by all thanks to its easy control layout and quick to learn mechanics. There’s enough content for you to justify a purchase and going for a 100% in the game (by collecting all three blue orbs on each level) will double your total playtime.
[review pros=”Easy and fun game
Over 60 levels in all” cons=”Tricky shots required to collect all 3 blue orbs in some levels” score=82]
Published by Nordisk Film Interactive
Cost – €3.99 (Only available in EU at the moment. US release and price coming soon!)
– Game was completed before writing this review.
– Total amount of time played: 3 hours.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PSP version of The Marbians provided by Nordisk Film Interactive.