Marble Muse
Gameplay 8
Graphics 7
Sound 7

Marble Muse is a deceptively simple looking game, but thanks to the challenging controls and excellent level layouts it is actually quite addictive. It might only feature 24 levels, but the additional challenges and secrets definitely boosts the replay value. Players looking for something casual, but with a bit of a challenge shouldn’t miss out on this game.

Gameplay: Well-designed boards and addictive gameplay.

Graphics: Although not stellar the visuals look decent enough.

Sound: The upbeat audio is a good match for the gameplay

Summary 7.3 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Marble Muse

Developer: Ketos Games | Publisher: Ketos Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Simulation | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

From Marble Madness to Super Monkey Ball, games where players have to maneuver marbles either directly or indirectly are nothing new. Mable Muse is an indie take on the genre, where the goal is to roll a marble around different boards while collecting stars. Moving the marble is accomplished by tilting the boards, but as it is a physics based game, care must be taken not to drop off the board entirely. It is a straightforward concept, but done really well and quite addictive to boot.

Mable Muse features 24 levels that are based on the theme of an inventor designing and testing different board layouts while building a pinball machine. The levels are split into three groups, so players must first complete all the concept levels, then the prototype ones before reaching the final product. This also means that boards start out as cardboard designs before turning into wood, metal and electronic components.

Initially the controls are rather trick as the movement of the marble can only be controlled by manipulating the roll and pitch of the board. The controls are rather sensitive, so it takes a delicate touch to maneuver around or across some of the pathways. All the courses are suspended in mid-air, above the inventor’s workshop, which means it is possible for the marble to fall off the board. However, the physics used in the game aren’t completely realistic, so there is usually time to flip or tilt the board in such a way that it is possible to catch the marble again.

Simply collecting all the stars scattered across the boards is enough to complete the levels, but players aiming for bronze, silver and gold medals need to beat the strict time limits as well. There are even “secret” marbles hidden on the boards which can be used instead of the default marble when found and collected. In addition, an extra mode where players have to collect red stars that are placed in more challenging locations on the board can also be unlocked as well as a challenge mode where the marble moves twice as fast. These all add to the longevity of the game, which means despite the fact that there are only 24 levels, mastering all of them can take quite a while. Even better, the developer recently announced that a level editor will be added to the game, which is great news for creative players.

The first few levels in the game are quite straightforward, but as the challenge ramps up the boards become more intricate. Additional elements, such as bouncing pads, ball launchers, bumpers, flippers and ramps are gradually increased and later levels also feature moving objects to contend with. Some of the boards even feature maze-like layouts with multiple levels and holes. Thankfully, no matter how elaborate the board designs become, it is always easy to follow the action. Anything that gets in the way of your view of the action automatically turns transparent to ensure that nothing is obscured. It is also possible to zoom in and out for a better look at the surroundings.

Although the visuals are rather simple, the texture details are good, and everything looks crisp and clear. Some more backgrounds would have been nice as everything takes place inside the workshop, but then again the focus is on the boards and not the background. When it comes to audio the game doesn’t disappoint either and features plenty of rather upbeat tracks to accompany the action.

Although 24 levels doesn’t sound like much Marble Muse actually provides decent value for money. Obviously players who only care about breezing through the levels will be done with the game in about two or three hours, but completing all the challenges is a different matter. The game also surprised us with how addictive it is and hunting down all the secret marbles or taking big risks just to shave seconds off your best time is a lot of fun. If the developer delivers on the promise of a level editor the game will turn into even more of a time sink.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP+
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 or OpenGL 3 compatible video card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7 or higher
  • Processor: Intel i5, AMD Athlon II 630, 2.8 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ATI Radeon HD 4800, or higher
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space
  • OS: OS X 10.7+
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 3 compatible video card
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space
  • OS: OS X 10.7+
  • Processor: Intel i5, 2.8 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ATI Radeon HD 4800, or higher
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 10.10+
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 3 compatible video card
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 10.10+
  • Processor: Intel i5, AMD Athlon II 630, 2.8 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, ATI Radeon HD 4800, or higher
  • Hard Drive: 720 MB available space

Related posts

Jazzpunk

Jazzpunk

I'll be the first to admit that the humor in Jazzpunk is not going to appeal to everyone, but you only need to check out the trailer to know if you'll enjoy this game. It relentlessly spoofs all kinds of games and movies with gags coming at you thick and fast. There isn't much of a challenge and the game is rather short but apart from that it is brilliant. Gameplay: Open world exploration mixed in with some very humorous mini-games. Graphics: Simple but very charming. Sound: Very fitting.

Zombo Buster Rising

Zombo Buster Rising

Zombo Buster Rising is a mindless 2D arcade game where you fend off waves of zombies that are storming your base. Killing zombies rewards you with cash that can be used for upgrades and you are eventually joined by two AI controlled partners. The game is very simple and instead of moving around, you only control the cross-hairs. There is some strategy involved when it comes to activating special abilities at the right time, but overall this is a game that can be completed quickly and easily. It usually sells for dirt cheap, though, so fans of the genre should definitely give it a shot. Gameplay: Shoot zombies before they overrun your base while collecting coins to upgrade your weapon. Graphics: 2D, very basic and featuring only one background, but at least there are plenty of zombie types. Sound: Nothing memorable about the music or sound effects, but thankfully neither is annoying.

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx

With more humour, weapons, enemies, locations and vehicles this is the best Borderlands DLC yet. A much improved effort than Mad Moxxis Underdome Riot and another chance to loot Pandora. The story is engaging and apart from the tedious driving sections this DLC is a lot of fun to play. If you own Borderlands then you definitely want this DLC as it ups the level cap and throws in some nice high-level loot. Gameplay: A much better effort than the previous DLC. Graphics: Nice but nothing we haven't seen before in the main game. Sound: The usual high standard.

Bioshock 2

Bioshock 2

A great sequel that makes a lot of improvements over the original but at times feels too much like an expansion pack rather than a full fledged title. It is still a blast to play and has some great insights into the world of Rapture but don't expect the plot to be as mind blowing as the first. Things really pick up towards the end so stick with it. Gameplay: All the tweaks and improvements you could ask for. Graphics: Very nice but its clear to see that the PC version is being held back by the games console roots. Sound: Atmospheric and moody.

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear

With its surreal setting and constantly shifting rooms Layers of Fear is a game that is both immersive and captivating. It loves messing with your perception, but also features enough jump scares to keep you on edge all the time. Unless you take the time to explore your surroundings and uncover the clues you’ll miss out on most of the story elements, so it is not a game to rush through. Thanks to its beautiful visuals and excellent audio it is definitely a cut above similar titles in the genre. Gameplay: Minimal puzzles, but simply exploring the surreal setting of the game is a nerve wracking experience. Graphics: Very polished and highly detailed. Sound: Quiet when it needs to be, but also very effective at using audio to unnerve players.

Sakura Dungeon

Sakura Dungeon

Sakura Dungeon offers a nice fusion of traditional step based dungeon crawling and the manga visual style that has made developer Winged Cloud (in)famous. Despite all the erotic content (mostly censored in the Steam version) the game doesn’t skimp on the role playing elements either. It might not be as in-depth or complicated as other dungeon crawlers, but definitely offers a fun and compelling experience. Gameplay: Explore dungeons, defeat cute monster girls and then recruit them to your party. Graphics: The 2D visuals look great despite the lack of animations. Sound: Great music, but limited sound effects and no voice acting.

Leave a comment

seventeen − sixteen =