[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/feelthemagic/cover.jpg[/floatleft]I can say without any reservations that [i]Feel the Magic[/i] is one of the strangest games I have ever played. I shouldn’t really be surprised, though, because Sega has been behind some of the stranger games in recent history ([i]Samba de Amigo[/i], anyone?). Sonic Team’s launch title for the Nintendo DS has you competing in a massive list of mini-games in order to win the affection of a lovely lady. I say “lovely,” but how lovely can a silhouette really be?
[i]Feel the Magic’s[/i] mini-games take full advantage of the touch screen on the DS, which makes it one of the more enjoyable launch titles, but still the strangest. Continuing on the theme of strange is the game’s overall presentation. The bright and predominately orange (hey, we like orange around here) colors and the use of silhouetted characters will have you wondering if you are playing an interactive iPod commercial at times, but they are very well done. While the game and its artsy presentation really weren’t my cup of tea, I can recognize and applaud the effort that Sega put forth. With a very small list of launch titles, [i]Feel the Magic[/i] sure does stand out.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/feelthemagic/ss05_thumb.jpg[/floatright]The storyline progresses through a series of scenes. Each scene will allow you to play a variety of mini-games in order to earn the required 100 love points to move on. You can repeat the same mini-game over and over or play the full gamut of games, but be careful not to lose or you will lose some of your precious points. Later in the story, you will join forces with a group of people called the Rub Rabbits. Together, you will continue to perform bizarre stunts to get the attention of your love interest. Unfortunately, someone else has his eye on your woman and decides that kidnapping is more his style. Now it is up to you to rescue your love as well as impress her along the way with your wacky talents.
The crazy stunts you will perform in the mini-games are incredible and will often make you wonder who exactly thought all these games up. Your stunts range from dislodging goldfish from a man’s stomach to tapping rampaging bulls to even helping your lady friend out of her clothes. The games make use of the touch screen almost exclusively with a few games requiring the microphone. At any rate, the variety is sure to keep everyone entertained.
The game overall is quite short. Fear not, however, because beating the game will unlock a hard mode which ramps up the difficulty. You can also check out the Memories mode which allows you to play any of the completed mini-games. [i]Feel the Magic[/i] also sports a Maniac mode that is more akin to playing dress up with your dolls (not that I have any) as you will have the opportunity to dress up a female character from the game using various hairstyles and other physical features. Many of these are unlocked by playing through the mini-games in Memories mode. The only thing I can say about Maniac mode is: [i]if you are into that kind of thing.[/i]
[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/feelthemagic/ss02_thumb.jpg[/floatleft][i]Feel the Magic[/i] also makes use of GBA/DS connectivity by unlocking items in Maniac mode if you boot up [i]Feel the Magic[/i] with one of the following GBA games in the proper slot. The games include: [i]Chu Chu Rocket[/i], [i]Sonic Advance 1-3[/i], [i]Sonic Pinball Party[/i], [i]Sonic Battle[/i], [i]Astro Boy: Omega Factor[/i], and [i]Space Channel 5: Ulala’s Cosmic Attack[/i]. Again, [i]if you are into that kind of thing.[/i]
[i]Feel the Magic[/i] won’t be for everyone with its unique style and strange storyline, but it sure does make use of all of the DS’s unique capabilities sans the WiFi. If you are a DS owner looking for a quick game that will leave you scratching your head, but who also justifies having the new handheld until some new games come out, then I can fully recommend [i]Feel the Magic[/i]. It is not a reason to buy a DS, but it may make for a nice weekend playthrough. Too bad nobody is renting DS games yet.