Max and the Magic Marker – All the goodness of Trace, plus some.

We love Trace.  It’s a great game.

But at the same time, we love Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Max and the Magic Marker is their child.

Max has got a challenging world he needs to get through – and you’re the one to help him.  Using your marker, you can draw items for him to use to overcome his obstacles.  And they’re real physics objects.  Draw a big boulder to fall on the see-saw and you’ll get launched high into the air – a small pebble won’t even make you budge.  If your bridge isn’t stable, be prepared to jump that last bit of the ravine.  If your staircase isn’t properly secured, well, I hope you were planning on going down anyway.  In this screen shot, I’m dropping a “log” onto one of the guys out to harm Max.  If it’s not big enough, the purple dude will shrug it off. And if he’s wearing a hard hat, it needs to be even heavier.  There is a wonderful amount of detail in this game.

This has the same problem solving theme that a lot of other games have, but it has a very open ended solution space.  You won’t solve the level in the exact same way twice.  Your child will come up with new ideas to explore and tweak and retry again. These are the games that really make me smile when I see them, because they’re engaging the mind on a lot of different levels simultaneously.  While being great fun too!

It is a little pricier compared to other apps, but for this one, it has been well worth it I think.  It’s not quite to ItzaBitza levels, but it is getting there. And I hope they’re able to do much more with this type of gameplay going forward.  It just nurtures the creative spirit so well.

Cost: $0.99 for iPhone/iPod –

Cost: $2.99 for iPad –

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