Leila and the Magic Ball
Leila 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!