|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Game Arts||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Game Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 28, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While the main character of the game is Lukus, you're actually playing as Popo, a winged light spirit whose job it is to provide the shaded paths for Lukus. You will accomplish this by flying to various obelisks scattered throughout levels and shining light at them in such a way that you cast shadows that can be used to connect the already present shaded parts of the screen. Although this may sound pretty simplistic, and admittedly it is in the early stages of the game, by journey's end there have been so many layers added to this concept and timing has become so crucial that it can often be very difficult to both see the solution you need and complete it within your allotted five mistake allowance for each level.
You'll find three different kinds of obelisks in the game, each with their own unique properties. The most common are red obelisks, which provide heated shadows that can be used to make saplings instantly grow into trees and burn robot enemies, making them dash hysterically in whichever direction they are facing. Yellow obelisks harness the power of wind, allowing Lukus to be swept upward in these paths which can be used to cross over large chasms and water that would otherwise be impassible. Blue obelisks are perhaps the trickiest to use in the game, making ice shadows that Lukus will uncontrollably slide across at great speeds. These require some patience and precision to use because if Lukus isn't in the exact position he needs to be in, he'll wind up sliding directly into the sunlight. Blue obelisks can also be used to freeze robot enemies, providing a temporary amount of shade behind them or even a brief immobile weight on an unreachable switch. Mixing these different abilities together keeps the game's puzzles feeling rather fresh and makes you really think about exactly how you are going to make it from one shadow to the next.
Presentation-wise, The Magic Obelisk is also quite good. The characters, environments, and music all mix together nicely into what ultimately feels like a children's story book come to life. Lukus himself even has a few facial expressions to help him emote; although I do feel that he seems a little too similar to Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in terms of design and his reactions. Still, The Magic Obelisk was a thoroughly enjoyable title from beginning to end. With over thirty levels, an interesting story, and a unique style of puzzle gameplay, I would honestly have a very difficult time coming up with a better way to spend five dollars.
CCC Staff Contributor