Marcus Level is an endless runner with character
Marcus Level is a playful endless runner with platformer elements. There are 20 levels spanning four worlds in Marcus Level and players must complete certain tasks to earn badges to unlock the boss and bonus levels in each world. Players progress through the levels by jumping on or attacking enemies and jumping over obstacles. The in game currency called ChocoBongos can be used to purchase powerups, upgrades, and to unlock some levels. Marcus Level require iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPod touch 4th generation and up.
Players can earn up to five badges in each level (one for completing the level, one for getting all of the ChocoBongos, one for getting all of the secrets, one for beating a time trial, and one for completing the level without using a checkpoint). Badges can be obtained by completing the level while meeting certain conditions like a time trial where you try to beat a time set by a character named Ephi or getting all of the ChocoBongos in that level. These challenges seem fairly easy but the difficulty level varies dramatically from level to level depending on which badge you are trying to get. Sometimes, getting the badge for beating the time trial is really easy because the quickest path to take is obvious and other times the path is much harder to realize.
A lot of the time getting all of the badges requires replaying the level over again as taking the quickest path usually means you won't be able to get all the secrets in the level at the same time because they are on a different path. Having to replay a level lets players explore different paths and this is rewarding for the player because they might be able to complete a badge requirement on their own without having to use a powerup.
Powerups can be purchased with ChocoBongos at the start of a level and these help players find secrets, get a head start on Ephi's time, have more life points or collect the ChocoBongos easier. Players can use the secrets power up to direct them towards the hidden secrets. The time power up is helpful for beating Ephi's time in a couple of levels in particular where it is harder to quickly navigate the level. The life power up gives players an extra chance to get through a level if they are having trouble with enemies or obstacles without having to restart from the beginning.
Finally, the magnet power up is used for drawing the ChocoBongos closer to you. The magnet was not as effective as similar power ups in other games as the range for the magnet is not very large. A lot the time, players collect nearly the same amount without the power up as they do with it. One solution for this problem is that you can upgrade the power ups so they are more effective. However, it is weird that players would have to choose between using their ChocoBongos for upgrades or having the power up for that level. It would be nice if the magnet power up was a little bit better to make choosing the magnet power up a better choice from the start.
One other problem in Marcus Level was that the area you are suppose to touch are a little too small especially for the jump and action button. This leads to players pressing thinking they have pressed the button to perform the action and expecting the character to react but he doesn't. Sometimes this is frustrating to deal with and takes a little away from the enjoyably fun nature of Marcus Level.
Marcus Level features a cartoony art style meant to represent a video game world. The main character in the game, Marcus, fits in well with the rest of the art style and plays up the fun nature of the game. Each world features differently themed enemies which keeps Marcus level feeling fresh and the character design with the enemies encourages players to keep going to see what the next world's enemies will look like. Marcus Level is US$1.29 on the App Store and recommended as a great endless runner that incorporates platformer elements in a challenging yet fun cartoon environment.
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