If we’d known physics were actually going to become useful and lead to a career in video games, perhaps we’d have paid more attention at school and not spent every physics lesson electrocuting the juniors with a Van der Graaf generator.
Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets makes entertainment out of classroom physics, though it must be said that Publisher X’s game of science-made-fun is nigh on identical to that of Fantastic Contraption to the point at which it goes beyond a clone and becomes a copy.
Even so, it still harbours enough quality gameplay to raise the odd smile when your bizarre machines are put to use.
The game begins with a small purple ball called a Goalon in the construction area. A level ends when you transport the Goalon to the goal area. Getting it there is the task you’re faced with - it takes a fair amount of engineering experimentation to work out solutions.
A gadget needs to be built to transport the Goalon using wheels, supports, weights, and rope. Naturally, the shape of the terrain determines what sort of system you need to build. It's in this regard that Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets departs in formula from Fantastic Contraption - the level designs are far better.
You might find yourself having to make a gizmo that can carry the Goalon in one direction, hit a wall, flip over, land on wheels rotating in the opposite direction, and head back toward the goal area. Alternatively, the Goalon could be waiting to be dropped onto powerful, air-blowing fans, and needs to be weighted down or have objects dropped on it to send it ricocheting into the end of the level.
Many puzzles in Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets seem to lack a specific solution. Instead, the game relies on you to either work out a delivery system through repeated experimentation or blunder your way through it and hope, by chance, that physics work in your favour.
Graphically and aurally Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets is quite different to its competitor with beautiful backdrops and objects, and a catchy, toe-tapping soundtrack. For all these improvements it’s still a blatant copy, though an enjoyable one at that.
It’s not a game you’ll be playing six months from now, but the quality of its construction is high enough to ensure that Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets earns its fee and deserves play on your own gadget.