Of all the games I was able to check out at Bandai Namco’s New York Comic Con booth that one I could see myself playing a lot was CineMagic. The reason being is that it’s movie related and while my passion is comic books, my first love will always be film. CineMagic is a mobile game that incorporates more than one type of game play. That really seemed to be the theme for their mobile games and frankly that’s probably a good thing. If you look at all the most popular mobile games that have inflated and then popped, it’s because it gets boring doing the same thing over and over for each level.
Now that isn’t to say that you won’t essentially be doing the same thing over and over in CineMagic, but you’re repetitive motions will unlock different things which will then make the experience different each time. It’s a game you could watch someone play as much as you could enjoy playing it yourself.
The principle is that you are a Hollywood studio. Your goal is to make better movies than the crop of crap that they’re producing and so you do this by traveling the back lot and making films. When you select a level it gives you a challenge making so much money at the box office to beat an existing film; not an actual existing film, but one that the game as created. For instance in the demo I was shown we had to beat a spoof of When Harry Met Sally, but it was a crossed with iRobot.
To do that you begin matching icons similar to every “match three” style of game that has come before it, but what you’re matching is important. There’s things like settings, script, stars; basic move tie-in roles. When you match three or more you unlock something that relates, for instance a buddy-cop film or a spoof on Jackie Chan. You then take the unlocked items and make your film. You’re still matching items, but you can take your time and start placing the pieces which gives you an opportunity to improve your film.
When you place your items the bottom right hand side will tell you if your movie is “average” or “good” and everything ranging from both ends of the spectrum. Special items can be unlocked as well to give the movie a boost and elevate your film past the one you’re looking to beat.
Frankly I had a lot of fun with it because it’s like dream casting for films. That and since you can’t control the “unlocks” you can get some funny and random things. Also the spoofed names of the actors and actresses was pretty humorous. It’s a lot of tongue in cheek humor for sure.
The game keeps track of your “unlocks” making them fun to collect and it looks like there are plenty to start with. I’m sure the plan is to add more later on, but for starting off it was solid amount of characters, settings and so on.
As I said it’s a game you really could play with more than one person because there are several choices to make and it’s just fun to see what the film will become and if it can beat the film its up against. Think of it like Mad Libs in a way, and really who doesn’t love box office numbers?
CineMagic will be out this fall, hopefully before Christmas. I’m looking forward to it and while it is a micro-transaction game, I think it’s a lot like Plants vs. Zombies 2 in which only people super addicted or bad at the game will be buying anything. The rest of us that pace ourselves and just want to enjoy it a fraction at a time will have a lot of fun playing this title.