Replace Position Magic Reader Review
Readers, meet one of my closest friends, Mike,
Mike, meet my readers.
Mike is the root cause of this review, he is also the reason I have just spent 69p on an Xbox Live Indie title that I have been unable to put down for about three hours, he is also responsible for the fact that I have had to trawl through Japanese websites looking for the actual translation to this games title.
I love and hate mike for introducing me to this extremely difficult but ultimately rewarding and addictive little puzzle game where you play as the unnamed protagonist as she travels through 50 levels firing stars at people to swap places with them. I love him because he has become the reason I was introduced to Replace Position Magic for the Xbox 360 (aptly dubbed Happy Star Girl Adventure before we found out the real name). I hate Mike for this because I have reached controller-snapping frustration with Replace Position Magic over a dozen times.
I suppose I should be thankful to Mike for introducing me to this game because as with so many titles these days, whilst being massively enjoyable, they leave that slightly hollow feeling that can only be replaced with a truly difficult puzzle game.
The way we discovered Replace Position Magic was on the search for more challenging games after a two hour session of This Is Hard. There she was, the unnamed protagonist, just staring at us with those disproportionately large Anime eyes, clutching that giant star in her hands.
We simply could not resist, and upon downloading the trial version we quickly realized that the entire game was in Japanese. Fortunately this was not much of an issue as there are only two controls in Replace Position Magic, you press 'A' to jump and 'X' to fire a star, the stars give you the ability to swap positions with an enemy.
Throughout the levels, your goal is to reach the yellow door before the timer runs out, if the timer does unfortunately run out before you finish the stage, Star Girl explodes, clearly there is some deeper storyline about Star Girl being abducted and having a bomb strapped to her (like in one of the Saw movies) that was omitted from the final game.
Though the idea of Replace Position Magic is a simple one and truly falls under the 'easy to play but hard to master' category, it is implemented in such a complex way that sometimes you are dumbstruck with levels for their complexity, until extensive playing deems that you start concentrating on a higher plane on consciousness, where you start reverse engineering levels without even thinking about it. THIS is what a real puzzle game is supposed to feel like.
Two of the levels feature a boss with the simple advice of 'Defeat' and 'Beat' and you are given no other clues as to how to defeat them, whilst many people may become frustrated with this tactic, I really enjoyed the 'trial by fire' method.
The game is brilliantly made, looks great and feels right. I completed it in about three hours, including re-attempting some of the harder levels, which is fine, it may feel short but at 69p three hours isn't that bad, it stays long enough to leave a lasting impression but doesn't outstay its welcome.
I thoroughly enjoyed Replace Position Magic and encourage you to seek it out if you have 80 Microsoft Points spare.