Magic Earthwand is an interesting app that was clearly a labor of love and the first app out of the gate for new iPhone developer, SwalleyLama. Magic Earthwand gets kudos for being developed in a 3D algorithm designed specifically for iPhone and for its rich graphics and completely hilarious and “enchanting” story line, but it is likely one of those apps most people will either love or hate.
Magic Earthwand is a game that simulates the “ball and cup” toys you can easily find at Chuck E. Cheese redemption counters and likely played with as a kid. The difference here is that instead of trying to maneuver a ball attached to an elastic string into a cup, you are trying to maneuver a ring over the tip of one of three rather priapic objects that mostly resemble swords or daggers representing the game’s princely characters. Players are given the option to play “story mode” or “free play” in one of three different difficulty levels.
“Story Mode” is prefaced with a fairytale story about three princes who are fighting against the evil of a dark wizard who — no lie — is named Duche Baggums. Though this “enchanting” story unfolds like the pages of a storybook, the only real difference between Magic Earthwand’s story mode and free play is the required number of ringers to advance through story mode. Free play simply lets players tinker around with control and balance, making as many ringers as you feel like in any chosen difficulty setting.
While I can’t say I was riveted by Magic Earthwand or found it particularly addicting, it certainly has some original features that may appeal to some. The physics response is pretty accurate, more so in touch play than accelerometer, and the background graphics and music lend an air of credibility to the overall story and design.
If you enjoy repetitious efforts and the challenge of trying to whip a ring over the tip of a sword, then likely you will get your money’s worth. With a $o.99 price tag, it's worth an afternoon of gameplay.
Though Magic Earthwand may not be the instant classic or app store “jewel” the developers were hoping for, I do think it will be interesting to see what the future holds for SwalleyLama