Review: Magic Flute by Mozart

By Dave Neumann 06 Oct 2015 0
Tamino is Italian for "climbs really slow" Tamino is Italian for "climbs really slow"


While much of my high school experience is clouded in a chemically and emotionally induced fog, there are a few school-related gems still accessible on my internal hard drive. I remember a philosophy presentation that consisted of me playing Pink Floyd's Money on a boom box while incomprehensible gibberish from a transparency was projected over my head. It was deep, man. Another project comes to mind as well, mainly because of ROCK. It began with choosing an epic poem to dissect in order to spit out an interpretation whose only purpose, I'm sure, was as a source of comedy in the English department's lounge. There was only one poem that I wanted to study, and that was Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, not because I have a sea fetish, but because it had been covered by the greatest rock band that ever rocked, Iron Maiden. As usual, I blew off the assignment until the day it was due and, having never read the actual poem, wrote my interpretation based entirely on the Maiden track. Lucky for me, the song was close enough to the real deal that I pulled a B and no one was the wiser, including myself.

That lengthy and wandering introduction brings us to the puzzle game Magic Flute. If, by some stretch of reality, you need to write a paper about Mozart's opera of the same name, I wouldn't use this app as your only source of info. That is, unless the opera is about sliding floor tiles and a general feeling of ennui. If so, you're looking at an A+.



The opera, The Magic Flute, is about a pair of chaps, Tamino and Papageno, who are on the lookout for a mystical hottie, Pamina who is the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Fair enough. The Queen gives Tamino the titular magic flute and Papageno gets non-titular magic bells and Pamina gets nothing but the love of Tamino, which kind of sucks for her as she was really hoping for a new bass. The app, Magic Flute, puts you in the shoes of many of these characters but instead of beautiful sopranos and tenors, you have an English dude yelling at you to hurry up.

Really, having someone shout at you to hurry up doesn't make the game more fun. Really, having someone shout at you to hurry up doesn't make the game more fun.


Did I mention that you also have to slide tiles? Oh, boy, lots of tiles. In fact, that's all you have to do: get Tamino--or whoever you are that level--from the start to the exit of each level by sliding tiles. As a tile sliding puzzle, it's not bad. There are tiles that don't move and other ones that do but, for some reason, you can't walk on those. The game also moves to 3D blocks at one point, allowing you to slide cubes through the air. The goal remains the same, however, and the 3D blocks just make the puzzles harder.

One of the prettiest level selection screens ever. One of the prettiest level selection screens ever, and if you get past level 25 you apparently end up at Epcot.


Graphically, the game looks great and sliding the tiles around is a breeze. As for audio, I'll give you three guesses as to what the background music is. I found it funny that they give you a slider to turn the music off, but it doesn't work, so you're going to listen to some Mozart whether you want to or not.

The point, as is the case in 90% of puzzle games on the App Store, is to acquire stars. You can get 1-3 stars when you complete a puzzle, but there's never an indication of what the requirements are. I'm still not sure if the levels are timed or count how many tiles I've moved. It's incredibly opaque and leaves you without a clear goal, which makes for a frustrating puzzle experience.

I dare you to try and turn the music down. I dare you to try and turn the music down.


What you think of Magic Flute has a lot to do with what you think of sliding puzzles. If you're a fan, there's nothing here that's going to shake the foundation of puzzle games in the future but if you're looking for a quick puzzler to kill some time, Magic Flute does what it sets out to do. If you're not a fan of sliding puzzles and find them the bane of all that is good in the world, stay far, far away.

Magic Flute by Mozart was played on an iPhone 6S for this review.

Review: Magic Flute by Mozart

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