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M Magic Boy agic Boy goes by the name of Hewlett (nothing to do with Packard and printers) and is a cute caped character who loves to zap the monsters that roam his worlds with his magic wand. The reason there are monsters there in the first place is all Hewlett’s (no I cannot go on calling him that – it is just MBoy from now on) fault. Staying behind at Sorcery school one night, this little swot let all of the Grand Wizard’s creatures out into the magical landscapes surrounding the school. Now if he is not to get in to mega magical trouble, he has got to get all the creatures back in to the dungeon.

Being an ace student, MBoy is quite adept at outsmarting the creepy creatures, but he meets plenty of pitfalls and tricky traps which can prevent him from keeping his perfect pupil reputation.
The monsters come in a variety of species including flying birds, Ghostbusters-like green ghouls which bound around waving their jelly-like arms and an assortment of sharks, fish and crabs with oversized claws.

MBoy’s weapons change, as does the direction in which he can shot, depending on which pick-ups he has collected. But he does not actually kill the monsters – he just stuns them and stuffs them into his Hessian sack before he dumps them in the dungeon.

Now the real trick at getting on in this game is using swift sharp movements because on every level you are racing against the clock. Until all the creatures are locked up they will start to escape one by one and you can find yourself whizzing up and down searching for the one that got away.

Jumping about to the tune of The Sailor’s Hornpipe, MBoy works his way through four worlds – Sand Land, Wet World, Plastic Place and Future Zone – there are two versions of each world and each has eight levels. Each level is completed by capturing all the creatures, and bonuses can be picked up by stepping on squares which change colour when you land on them. Littered along the landscapes are the usual fare of features such as dissolving or ice platforms, springs, conveyor belts, sticky blocks and trap squares which are safe to walk on, but if you fall on to them, they are lethal.

In looks Magic Boy is not a ten, it is more like a six, but it looks better than it sounds – the jolly Blue Peter theme tune soon becomes irritating. Its scrolling is smooth, although if you pull back the joystick to check out the lower part of the level and then jump up fast, the scrolling does not always keep up with you.

Magic Boy is fun and difficult enough to offer most games players great value. And a definite bonus in the value stakes is that Empire have packed the funky Cool Croc Twins (AF37, 88%) on to the same disk for free!
Julie Tolley

Amiga Format, Issue 54, Christmas 1993, p.72

Blue Turtle
Empire 081-343 7337
Out now


07 out of 10
Backgrounds are well drawn , and all the monsters are imaginatively created.

06 out of 10
Often the downside of platformers, this is no exception. Very quickly becomes irritating.

07 out of 10
With 64 levels to keep you interested it is definitely one you will have to be dragged away from.

08 out of 10
Great fun that keeps you on your toes because you have to be quick to complete each level.

"Not brilliant, but fantastic fun. It is packed with features which keep you coming back for more. With 64 levels it is great value – and you get Cool Croc Twins for free!"

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Endlich mal was Neues: Ein putziger Held turnt über Plattformen – wow. Um die Originalität vollends auf die Spitze zu treiben, sammelt er auch noch Extras ein und bekommt es mit bonbonfarbenen Knuddelgegnern zu tun!

Magic Boy Alle Achtung, Empires Beitrag zur momentanen Plattform-Mania kommt tatsächlich nahezu ohne eigene Ideen aus. Selbst die Vorgeschichte dürfte Kennern des Disney-Streifens "Fantasia" seltsam vertraut sein: Während der Hexenmeister außer Haus weilt, stellt sein Zauberlehrling allerlei Unsinn an – jetzt sind die magischen Kreaturen los, und der Spieler soll sie wieder einfangen...

Die 32 teils anwählbaren Levels können solo oder (nacheinander) zu zweit durchhüpft werden, wobei man die Gegner mit Betäubungskugeln beschießt, um seine Beute dann ins Fangsäckel zu stecken. Bisweilen liegen Sammelextras für einen Mehrwegschuß oder Continues am Weg, und natürlich fehlt kaum eines der anderen Genre-Versatzstücke: Geheimräume, Laufbänder, Eispassagen und Sprungfedern. Zur Ehrenrettung der Programmierer muß aber gesagt werden, daß der unfolgsame Nachwuchs-Magier vor unfairen Stellen verschont bleibt und alle auftretenden Figuren sehr witzig animiert wurden. Gescrollt wird bloß nach oben und unten, dafür sind die vier Wüsten-, Wasser-, Spielzeug- und Futurowelten niedlich gezeichnet und wissen durch passende Begleitmusik sowie schöne Sound-FX zu gefallen.

Schon wegen des niedrigen Schwierigkeitsgrades sind Neu-Hüpfer hier also recht gut aufgehoben, zudem liegt der Packung das bereits etwas ältere, aber immer noch nette Jump & Run "Cool Croc Twins" bei. Plattform-Veteranen kennen aber sicher auch diese Dreingabe schon und sollten das Spiel daher großräumig umspringen.

Amiga Joker, December 1993, p.92

Amiga Joker
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Never trust a smiling crocodile. Especially one bearing gifts. Get it, got it, good.

Game: Magic Boy
Publisher: Empire
Price: £25.99
Release: Out now

A Magic Boy s part of a laudable, if transparent, marketing ploy, an unspecified number (but I suspect it is a pretty large number) of the initial copies of this game come bundled with a free copy of Empire’s earlier Cool Croc Twins on the same disk as the Magic Boy one. While this is undoubtedly very nice (Cool Croc Twins is not exactly a superstar, but it is original and quite interesting and it sored a reasonable enough 65% back in issue 16), the very facts that (a) Empire feel it necessary to bolster Magic Boy in such a way on its first release, and (b) both games fit comfortably on one disk, set warning bells ringing in my head almost from the word go. Half-an-hour’s play later, there was a four-alarm fire raging.

The basic gameplay concept of Magic Boy is rather less than a million miles away from Rainbow Islands. You climb to the top of a vertically-scrolling platform level, zapping baddies and then (break from tradition here) picking up their stunned bodies, only to immediately drop them again so that they fall off the bottom of the screen into the ‘basement’ (do not ask why, I would only have to explain the plot to you and then you would get a bit depressed). It is a sensible enough idea (i.e. ripping off a tried and trusted favourite), but it is a bit tougher to imagine why, almost thee years after Graftgold’s classic, someone can release a full-price game in a similar vein, but with programming as rudimentary looking as this. Titchy graphics, alternately slippery and sticky movement, annoying collision detection, sound effects OR music, you know the drill. I am sure if Magic Boy DID come on two disks, it would not recognise the second drive, know what I am saying?

But hey, that is hardly fair on Empire, is it? Then again, neither is expecting to fork out £26 on something that has only had half as much effort expended on as it needed, so I guess we are even. There are nice things in here (the four worlds are each divided into eight stages, which cuts the game up into manageable little bite-size chunks that even a three-year-old could eat without being sick, and there is no shortage of secret rooms and special bonus features and all that sort of stuff), but it is all wrapped up in such a lacklustre, could-not-really-be bothered kind of way that it is all but impossible to see why anyone would want to pay for it. Unless, I suppose, they were huge fans of Cool Croc Twins, but spilt coffee on their original copy and had not been able to find another one anywhere.

Amiga Power, Issue 33, January 1994, p.93

"Sound effects OR music, you know the drill"

Upper UPPERS Magic Boy is pretty well designed most of the way through, and the basic idea could have made for a really nifty arcade platformer...
Downer DOWNERS ...if only it had not been so shoddily written. There is no excuse for this kind of half-hearted attempt at competence in 1993, especially not at full price.

With Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars and Rodland all available on budget, why pay £26 for this nonsense?



A1200 Absolutely no discernible difference whatsoever. Makes you hlad you have saved up your money for the CD32 instead, eh?

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Magic Boy
F rantic, frustrating and fun are three words I could use to describe Magic Boy, Empire's new platform puzzler.

The aim of the game is to help Hewlett the wizard's apprentice recapture the magical creatures he's accidentally released. The monsters have escaped into four different worlds: Sand Land, Wet World, Plastic Place and Future Zone. As each world has eight levels and you visit them twice, Hewlett's going to have his work cut out capturing the escapees in the required time limit.

To aid him in his efforts he has a magic wand and bag. He can zap the creatures with a magical bolt and, while they're stunned, stuff them into the bag. Pulling down on the joystick at this point will send them tumbling back to their pens at the bottom of the screen.

It's a bright and colourful game with cartoon-like characters and a chirpy, though eventually grating, tune. The gameplay is tough with the devious level design making for some frustrating action. Some levels have been constructed so that there's only one way to complete them so, should you take a wrong route on one, you'll be unable to complete it. Although you can restart it you do lose your bonuses that is irritating. On the whole it's been well coded although Hewlett himself moves like he's in treacle.

If you've a high tolerance level and aren't prone to smashing your Amiga every time you lose your rage you'll be okay with this game. Those less evenly tempered will find it induces uncontrollable rages – as the games room at CU Towers can testify. It's hard but fun.
Jon Sloan


CU Amiga, January 1994, p.91