Magic beans may have built Jack a giant beanstalk, but not every seed sown can lead to a goose that lays the golden eggs. Sometimes that beanstalk is really just a weed growing up through the cracks. With Magic Beans by Sangwoo Im, users must transport magical beans through given portals, making game play nearly as ambiguous as the concept itself.
Magic Beans begins with an introduction that touches upon the games main task – transporting magic beans through the magic been portals, of course. Once you arrive at the main menu, you will see the Play button in the middle along with numerous icons sprawled across the bottom.
The beans icon represents Upgrades, which it appears you can purchase with crystals. This page also lists your current Force, Attraction and Repulsion levels. The gears icon opens the Options page, which lets you adjust your background music and sound effects preferences. Users may also elect to show or hide their hints and the introduction. Unfortunately, the dollar sign, bar graph and trophy icons refused to open their respective pages, for all that resulted was an incessant error message every single time I tapped.
Luckily, the Play button worked, leading to the page where you must choose single player mode or Player vs. Player. However, Player vs. Player costs an additional $.99, so do not bother with the added expense unless you truly love this game and can convince others to purchase Magic Beans in the first place. You will then find a screen with two signs, though neither sign features words. Simply tap so you may proceed to unlock levels.
As you play, the mini tutorial will finally provide you with some guidance so you no longer have to walk through the game blindly. You will learn to collect crystals so you may purchase upgrades that will ultimately enhance game play. I’m not entirely sure if there’s any distinct technique for success, but tapping the portals seems to coax these crazy beans into the transporter. Strange dark orbs will also appear, and they seem to come in handy when luring the beans to their rightful resting spot.
Unfortunately, the game quickly escalates to an annoying level of confusion when you must build bigger beans to break down obstacles. No matter how hard you try, the obstacle just won’t move because your bean just isn’t big enough, though that may stem from the fact that it quickly shrinks despite your efforts to condense those jumping nuisances. While I’m sure persistence would eventually lead to success, the game quickly morphs into something tedious and uneventful, which seems to be the exact opposite definition of entertaining gaming.
Magic Beans [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.