Leila and the Magic Ball


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Rating: 4.3/5 (135 votes)
| Comments (13) | Views (121)

TrickyLeila and the Magic BallLeila is a toddler. She doesn't know much about platforming, and even less about physics. All she knows is that she wants her bottle, and there are all sorts of things in her way. Fortunately though, she has an ally: a ball that she can call to her hand; a ball that will smash against anything in its path and which is just perfect for bouncing off from. She's got a lot of places to explore, and a lot of bottles to collect, but she would have to do it alone. Leila and the Magic Ball, new from Paul Gene Thompson, is a cute little game that will keep you playing right up until nap time.

Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump around the landscape. Holding [X] or [N] will call Leila's magic ball to you. Once it's in your hand, hold and release the [X] or [N] key to chuck it at the suspiciously destructible planks and I-Beams in the area. The longer you hold, the harder the throw. You can also bounce off your ball for a boost of height. Naturally, there are also the prerequisite switches to be activated by the weight of you or a convenient crate. You (or the ball) must collect all the bottles in the level and have the ball in your possession to progress to the next. Each level also has a hidden star that can be collected for a 5 second time bonus. There are 20 levels to complete, and, as long as you have your favorite binky in your mouth, you'll do just fine.

There's a charming sense of youth to Leila and the Magic Ball. One can almost imagine Leila telling her disbelieving parents that it wasn't her that destroyed all the structures in the backyard, but rather her friend MB. It does have a somewhat schizophrenic tone: some levels are cute, bordering on precious, while others have an eerie darkness reminiscent of something like LIMBO. Some levels require devious manipulation of the (slightly loose) physics engine, while others require fairly intense platforming skill. It's hard to tell what genre Leila and the Magic Ball wants to be, or, for that matter, what the target audience is. Still, these concerns are more than made up with by the quality gameplay and clever level designs. Fans of physics platformers are sure to have a ball!

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13 Comments

This crashes before loading for me in both IE and Firefox.

[I cannot reproduce this issue in IE or Firefox on Windows 7, nor in any browser on Mac OS. Try: (1) empty your browser cache and reload the page; (2) update your Flash Player; (3) update your browser to the latest version. -Jay]

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Littleghost Author Profile Page September 25, 2011 2:18 PM

Mind you, I've played all sorts of games here and somehow one involving a toddler running around broken glass and falling into bottomless pits ranks near the top of the list of games that disturb me. Interesting game, but maybe a different protagonist would've been better.

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That's a really interesting reaction Littleghost I was expecting some people to worry about the whole baby theme, at the end of the day though I cant see how its any worse than the little boy in LIMBO being brutally murdered over and over again!

The reason its a baby girl, Leila is actually my daughter and the whole idea came about from her fascination with a little plastic ball we bought her.

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I'm really enjoying this game, Paul. For me, the baby girl theme gives an innocent charm to this unique, challenging puzzler. Can't wait to see more from you!

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Littleghost Author Profile Page September 25, 2011 4:14 PM

I figured the character choice was something personal, which is probably why you don't have the same reaction; you're much closer to the subject anyways. It's just my kneejerk reaction is all. And I've not played or seen LIMBO until now, so it's not like I'm necessarily ranking that as less disturbing.

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Great game, just wish it had a skip level feature... 13 was just too tough for me.

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Finding the game disturbing isn't necessarily bad thing! I actually set out to give the game a strange surreal feel, hence things like the weird looking trees and the mixture of cute and dark levels. Any kind of a reaction is a good one, better than people turning it off!

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Dave if you go back to the menu you can skip a level.

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Well I like it. It's fun, and I think it's cute. When I saw the clear blocks, I just assumed that they were 'ice'.. not 'glass'. I guess that just shows how differently people think. I also really like the sound effects.. especially the rain storm. Thank's Paul. I'm enjoying this one. Look forward to more from you. ..(and I still think the clear blocks are ice :)

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PaulGene,

I I did skip a level earlier on, but level 14 is most definitely locked...

Otherwise, very nice game.

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Ah yeah Dave, you can only skip one level... there is always the walk through button though!

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I like this a lot. The physics appeals to me a lot and I like the fact that Leila doesn't die when she falls! The contrast between the cute and dark was interesting and made for more interesting game play. I cant quite manoeuvre the spinning boxes on level 17 yet, but Im almost there!
Thanks for a great game, Paul.

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Trent Sterling September 29, 2011 1:07 PM

Played this game earlier in its development and I was surprised how much more difficult it was in its final form. I had a great time playing this again. Basket ball level was by far my favorite! :D

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