Magrunner Mixes Blade Runner, Portal, And… Cthulhu?

By Nathan Grayson on July 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Man, that's not fair. Magnets will be so much cooler in the cyber Cthulhu future.

At the very least, I have to give 3AM Games credit for fearlessly dumping all their favorite things into a blender and hoping for the best. Last time I did that, I got a runny soup of pumpkin pie, ice cream, and the collected works of Robert Heinlein. 3AM, though, is calling its thematic Frankenstein monster Magrunner, describing it as “a first-person action puzzle game set in a cyberpunk reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.” There’s an eerily Portal-2-esque trailer after the break. I hope the final version is rife with snarky narrations from the squid-shaped End of Days himself.

As you may have noticed, there’s also a bunch of crowdfunding stuff that ties in with Kickstarter-but-for-games service Gamesplanet. Interestingly, however, Magrunner’s already fully funded and fairly far along in development, so all proceeds will go toward additional features like PVP multiplayer. The plan, then, is to launch a demo in a couple months and seek extensive feedback from players, and apparently, Magrunner won’t even launch until players are happy with it. So, if nothing else, I’m interested in seeing how that goes for them, since it’s basically crowdfunding times ten billion and with a cherry on top.

But yeah, the trailer didn’t exactly give a good sense for how puzzles will work, and goodness, I could mistake it for Portal 2 from far away, strike up a conversation with it on those grounds, and continue mistaking it for Portal 2 while it continually shouted “Dude, I’m not Portal 2. Please go away.” So hopefully, the cyberthulu theme will steer Magrunner in more interesting directions as time goes on. But hey, if nothing else, perhaps it’ll finally teach us how magnets work.

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55 Comments »

  1. Grargh says:

    So will I need a Tesla graphics card to run this?

  2. CaspianRoach says:

    Wait, wait, wait, this doesn’t make any sense. Why do opposites repel and similars attract? That’s not how magnets work, it’s supposed to be the other way around.

    • Sam Atkins says:

      Yeah, this really bothers me too. If you’re going to make a game about magnets, try not to get the fundamentals of magnetism wrong. :P

      Otherwise though, looks interesting. I love me some Portal-likes.

    • The First Door says:

      That is really annoying, isn’t it?

    • LionsPhil says:

      A youth playing excellent 16-bit puzzler Quadralien means I am unable to mentally accept these rules.

      Also, how not to make a pitch video: spend over half of it, and most of it up-front, waffling about who you are. If it takes more than one sentence (for example, “Tim Schafer, I co-designed DOTT”), you’re probably not really notable enough to be more interesting than showing off the actual game concept.

  3. Mr Labbes says:

    Shouldn’t red repel red? The system sounds a bit unintuitive.

    Apart from this, it looks cool. I haven’t played most of the FPS puzzlers that came after Portal, so I’m still glad they exist!

  4. Inigo says:

    And you many know Frogwares for their Sherlock Holmes game series.

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh dear.

  5. Salt says:

    I love that their rationale for going for crowd-funding on an already funded game is to “allow you to choose what features we add”. How do you choose what features they add? By pledging money and hoping the total goes over their targets (or just pledging €400,000 if you want an iPad version).

    I think I’ve just seen the future of democracy.

    • sneetch says:

      A better way of doing that would be individual funding tracks for each of those 4 things, if that were possible and their purpose was actually to have us choose what to go into the game.

      • Shortwave says:

        That is honestly the only thing holding me back.
        I’d love to play this were it a FULLY co-op game.
        But I’m not going to gamble and hope it will be.
        I simply don’t care enough to.

  6. Gittun says:

    Is anyone else confused by the thought of pvp in a first person puzzler? I have no clue how that would work without being ridiculously clunky.

  7. sneetch says:

    “… Cyberpunk and the Cthulu Mythos written by HP Lovecraft …”

    Wow they managed to get Lovecraft on board? I’m in! :)

    Looks interesting, but I’d like to see more about the horror aspects before I bite.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      “Look at that sad little octopus”… now mix that with Cthulhu.

  8. Whallaah says:

    First Person Puzzle Platformer…

    There are no four words that can turn me off more then those… Wait, that’s actually a lie, it’s still better then ’2D Side-scrolling puzzle platformer’.

    But really, is there still such a large market for such games? I played Portal and a few more of those, but is it really so magical? A game like portal has a lasting appeal for an hour of 5, what am I supposed to do with them after that time?

    • Fuzzball says:

      1) Get Portal 2
      2) Be amazed.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Maybe you shouldn’t extrapolate your own tastes to everyone else?

      So you don’t like puzzle games. There are people who likes them.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      Nothing?

      Portal itself is free now and it cost less then a lunch back when it came out. It’s a pretty good deal for 5 hours of awesome.

  9. thestage says:

    1. pretty

    2. least imaginative thing in existence

  10. Muzman says:

    It is lies. Nobody knows how magnets work.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      In every magnet is a tiny Jedi that either has to quickly force push or force pull depending on how close they are to another Jedi or Sith. They know this because they can sense the others presence through the force.

      That is why if you put a magnet to your ear (really, really close) you can hear a small sigh when you move it away from another magnet or a small scream when another magnet gets close.

      It’s simple science.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      One of the great mysteries. Like cats.

  11. rustybroomhandle says:

    Pretty much everything is derived from something else. Just saying

  12. Rikard Peterson says:

    The company name explains how they came up with the strange mix.

  13. Godwhacker says:

    Oh look, more cube-and-button based testing.

  14. sonofsanta says:

    The screenshot above the fold made me think the setting would be Hard Reset crossed with Lovecraft, which would be excellent, but the video is indeed very derivative. Bit disappointing tbh.

  15. Unholymess says:

    That is possibly the blandest looking attempt to tick all of the “cool kid” boxes I’ve seen in quite a while. And the fundamental misunderstanding of the principles of magnetism is laughable, especially as it’s the core mechanic of the game. Very poor indeed.

  16. jRides says:

    How much funding do you think they’d need so you’d be able to buy the full game?

    • Muzman says:

      I was thinking, since they’re so rich, I tell them to release it now and they give me ten bucks for the good advice.
      Seems fair.

  17. smoke.tetsu says:

    I like how it actually shows the weapon in the HUD view unlike a certain cutesy puzzle related game that came out recently.

  18. JustOneWay says:

    He gets extra points from me just for having an original copy of WHFP and and original copy of WH40k on his shelf.

    None of your second or later editions for this chap.

  19. belgand says:

    What’s with the smirking jackass you play as? I took one look at him on the video link at that site and knew I did not want to click on that video. I mean, he feels like a classic 90s-style Poochie and that isn’t helping them since the game itself seems like it could easily be one as well.

  20. Shooop says:

    Yes, very very yes to anything Lovecraftian, but I’m shit at puzzlers. Damn.

  21. Iskariot says:

    The only reason I got here were the words ‘Blade Runner’.
    If only someone would make a Blade Runner RPG/action game.
    I would love to hunt some Nexus models in a large open cyberpunk city world.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    It got cancelled. Perhaps.

    We can’t have nice things. :(

    Edit: Well, that’s misleading of you, comment system. This is supposed to be a reply to kud13 above about Prey 2.

  23. 3amgames says:

    Nathan, thanks for the coverage! We appreciate your input :-)

    We try to watch all the comments that follow but not able to address everyone physically. The discussion about polarity and magnetism goes at Magrunner’s page at Gamesplanet Lab. The main idea is that our focus tests showed that it was actually difficult for the players to get used to the way it works in reality.
    We do address most of the questions at http://www.lab.gamesplanet.com/magrunner/comments/
    Feel free to pop in and participate :- )

  24. Krovlar says:

    It doesn’t seem that hard to believe that a company making a magnet gun would make the colors change so that red attracts red. It may not be how the science works behind the gun, but it’s what the operator of the gun would most likely best be able to understand. Your average idiot isn’t going to be able to wrap their head around the fact that the two reds shoot away from each other.

    Secondly, I really think this game could be amazing. I hope the actually jumping platforming is kept to a minimum and that it is mostly puzzle solving with a little platforming, ala Portal 2, but the settings, graphics and gameplay look very enjoyable so far.

  25. Noodlefighter says:

    Anyone else thought Hard Reset when they first saw the picture?

  26. jimzhang says:

    OH,it’s disappointed. Blade Runner.