Max and the Magic Marker: A magical experience

EA’s latest title brings a new take on the line drawing genre. You help control Max, a kid who has the power of a Magic Marker that allows you to help him through his quest by drawing objects on-screen that instantly become real.

Max and the Magic Marker is available for both iPhone and iPad, and I’m currently playing the game on my iPhone.

What’s Macgasmic?

You follow Max’s adventures through 58 gorgeous levels. Every level has two sets of artwork, which is an interesting and impressive feat. The reason for this is at any point in the game you can hit the pause button to allow you to plan your next move. When you do this, the level moves from cartoon-style to that of a crayon drawing. Impressive.

The gameplay is a really smart mix of a platformer and a puzzle game. You must move Max from left to right, avoiding enemies and traversing the environment. The Magic Marker element of the game is clearly the most impressive part. You use the Marker to draw platforms, ledges and other objects on to the screen that instantly become an in-game element, allowing Max to cross a gap or even climb a ledge—by building a set of stairs, for example.

The further I’ve progressed through the game, the more impressed I’ve become. Any shape that you draw becomes a part of the game. The power here is really quite impressive. The puzzle aspect is also very satisfying; for some obstacles there are multiple solutions and it feels great when you succeed by trying something a little off-the-wall.

What’s Not?

To move Max through the environment, you’re given four buttons on the bottom edge of the screen—left, right, jump and grab. In some instances I’ve found that I’m missing the directional buttons, and this can make jumping from one platform to another quite difficult, since you’d need to employ the jump and right buttons together quite quickly.

Additionally, as there is so much happening on screen at one time with the line-drawing and movement control, things can get a bit crowded on the iPhone screen—I expect things to run a little smoother with the iPad’s real estate.


Max and the Magic Marker is a solid title, which I’m really enjoying. I’m quite frequently blown away by the technical achievement undertaken by the developers to make this game work so well—which was good enough to win them an award. I sincerely hope that this title sells well, as I’d love to see further iterations of the game.

Give this game a look. It doesn’t disappoint. However if you want to try-before-you-buy, there’s a demo of the game on the developer’s website.

I'm a Podcaster from London, UK. I Co-Host The Bro Show, Enough and 11 Minutes, which are shows you should seriously check out. I'm a Mac Fanboy (est. Jan '04) and I've been on Twitter since Feb '07.