Magical Drop VI (Steam Deck) Review

Magical Drop VI is a simple yet challenging puzzle game that combines elements of retro classics Tetris, Peggle, and those weird Facebook games that your mum used to play a decade ago.

As you’d expect, the objective is simple. Match three or more coloured balls in a vertical line and they’ll all disappear, along with any other horizontally-connected balls, earning you points.

As simple as it sounds, there’s plenty of games modes to delve into should you find yourself hooked on its rudimentary mechanics.

The story mode is perhaps the most unique, which is told in a format similar to a visual novel with short puzzle stages peppered throughout a slightly branching map, revealing three potential endings. However, if you’re new to the Magical Drop series, the story is told with almost no context of the characters or world and so you might struggle to follow any of the game’s events and interactions.

Furthermore, the story has some unnecessary sexualisation of its female characters, with one in particular wearing only a ribbon to cover her modesty. It just feels like a tactless and unnecessary thirst trap.

Magical Drop VI’s biggest letdown, though, is that if you get defeated in a puzzle during the story mode, the game forces you to start over as there are no checkpoints. This can be frustrating, especially since failing a challenge level only requires you to retry, so mechanically the functionality has clearly been developed and this is merely an ill-informed design choice.

The graphics are what you’d expect from an anime-styled game, and the artwork is decent. However, the sound design can only be described as dreadful courtesy of your character’s groaning in either excitement or despair (I can’t tell which) during each puzzle.

Magical Drop VI (Steam Deck) verdict

Overall, I can only recommend this game to those that have played and enjoyed previous games in the Magical Drop series. If you’re intrigued, you’ll have to go back and start from the beginning if you want to have any idea what’s happening in the story. However, if you’re looking for an innocent puzzle game to whittle away a few hours, save your £22 and spend 85p on Peggle instead.

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