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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Review - Magic Pockets

Review - Magic Pockets

Posted by Rob Gibson on 00:00, 30/10/2000 | , ,

A cute Bitmap Brothers platform game by Renegade. Reviewed by Rob Gibson.

Note: This review was originally written for the Illusions disc magazine well before Acorn Arcade was born, so we make no guarantees that this game will work on more recent machines. Many thanks to Richard Goodwin, Phil Coleman and Rob Gibson for allowing us to reproduce this review on the site.

When I first saw Magic Pockets at the back of a copy of PC Zone (not that I would actually buy that sort of thing, you understand), I thought oh no, not another tired old platform type game with cutesy graphics; the Bitmap Brothers must be slipping. Then when I heard that it was out on the Arc I wondered if the whole Acorn scene has gone Bitmap crazy, starting conversions for the sake of it.

So how wrong can one person be?

At first glance it does seem like just another platform game, apart from the fact that the graphics are exquisitely drawn - even better than Xenon 2. You wander around collecting things, some of which give you extra lives or some other power-up, and you also get to shoot at thing that get in the way.

The first shock came when I was standing at the edge of a pit that contained a couple of snot creatures (similar to the green ghost in Ghostbusters); they wandered back and forth in a standard pre-defined path sort of way that we've all seen so many times before. But no! The little snot spat at me, leapt up onto the higher level where I was standing, and proceeded to chase me! Stars circling my head from the bashing I was taking, I let fly with the standard weapon, which appeared to be a small whirlwind, and I had soon dispatched the blighter to the great hanky in the sky. Taking note of a message contain in a scrolltext on the 'continue' screen I decided to test the Bitmap Kid's jumping ability; instead of falling down into the pit, I jumped up then fell down into it, and hit the floor in a roll, bowling down the snot's companion. So, two ways to massacre anything foolish enough to cross your path. I was feeling on pretty safe ground so far.

Your cunning adversaries


I got a little further, after blasting through a rockface and flying via a bubblegum bubble, then got trapped within after leaping onto a ledge only to find that I was trapped within a small box room, unable to jump out. In this sort of situation logic fast gives way to mindless violence, and I began blasting away in the hope that I could destroy some of the stone blocks as I had done earlier on in the game; when this didn't work I got seriously miffed. Then I noticed that, holding down the fire key, the kid's pockets began to bulge (actually it looked like he was fast getting a very bad case of haemorrhoids), and when I let go a huge whirlwind shot out, bounced off the walls and threw me into the air.

Starting again with this new-found skill I went around blasting as much as possible with this giant whirlwind, finding that it would also absorb the creatures it killed, and the resultant Michelin-man lookalike could then be touched to reveal an extra collectable. Also, the large whirlwinds could be used to throw my character about the screen in the roll, lasting much longer than when just jumping into a hole. Not content with this I found that there were other wonderful bits and pieces, such as the blowing of huge bubblegum bubbles to fly around, teleportation devices, invulnerability masks, or a bag which would throw tacks out when opened; when I neared the end of level one I found a bicycle and pedalled off towards the exit - I found I was killing meanies left right and centre, and if I pedalled fast enough the kid would pop a wheely and shout "Whee!". Later on there are petrol cans that turn your whirlwinds into balls of flame, a Le Mans start bicycle race with a load of trolls, which can also play "Chuck Rock" with you...

Magic Pockets animation
The star of the show


A finely crafted game, showing how games should be presented. Unfortunately it doesn't have some of the Arc-only touches that other conversions such as that other Bitmap classic Xenon 2 has, namely being icon-bar installable or any other way of allowing you to go back to the desktop without losing your data; it plays buggery with all the available memory on your machine, and for this and other reasons it's very hard to use The Hacker on this game - although I managed with a combination of skill and desperation. It does have a VGA-mode option though.

Summing up

Magic pockets is a brilliant game, the best platformer I've played, well, ever, and I realise that it must have been some sort of temporary insanity to have ever have doubted that it would have been anything else with such a pedigree. There are so many great touches that add to the game, the graphics are well drawn, the scrolling is handled well, there's a code number system to skip earlier rooms, loads of power-ups... I could go on, but needless to say if you only buy one platform game this Christmas, you can't go far wrong with this one.

Your playgrounds

  Review - Magic Pockets
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
Ian Alexander Message #87930, posted at 19:46, 25/1/2001
Unregistered user I know it's ancient, but does anyone have a PC version of this game?
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gonzalo bustos Message #87931, posted at 07:03, 30/1/2001, in reply to message #87930
Unregistered user Hi ..
I like your Pockets... I need know ...how much?... I'm a pentium 90, so I have another 486...
Can you send me the price please?

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
andrew tapper Message #87932, posted at 21:16, 26/3/2001, in reply to message #87931
Unregistered user Anyone know of a mac version of this game?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Meiling Message #87933, posted at 16:29, 12/10/2001, in reply to message #87932
Unregistered user I'm looking for this game too. Does anyone have it? If yes, pls kindly email it to me. Thanks!
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Luke Message #87934, posted at 00:27, 4/11/2001, in reply to message #87933
Unregistered user Ive got the pc version, but haven't been able to play it for years... i lost the copyright protection sheet with all the codes
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Chris Message #87935, posted by Chris at 18:03, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #87934
Posts: 283
I have the game but lost the codes to move on to the next level. Does anyone know where I can get them from?? Thanks
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Jeremy Message #87936, posted at 06:45, 9/2/2002, in reply to message #87935
Unregistered user Look Magic Pocket's is a Really REALLY old game and the copy we have at home broke because it was on a floppy disk and it got dirt in it so does anyone know where I can Download the FULL!! game for Free becaus I am not paying $30 Australia just for a old game.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
MØDULA Message #87937, posted at 02:06, 24/2/2002, in reply to message #87936
Unregistered user Are we talking about a PC version ?
The PC version was absolutely terrible, but the Atari ST version Rocked ! I have a copy here for the ST if anyone wants it ....
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MØDULA Message #87938, posted at 02:10, 24/2/2002, in reply to message #87937
Unregistered user Oh, sorry, I don't have the Acorn version knocking around :(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
affane Message #87939, posted at 16:13, 25/3/2002, in reply to message #87938
Unregistered user i have the amiga version i am looking for the pc version.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
smoky McPot Message #87940, posted at 12:36, 20/5/2002, in reply to message #87939
Unregistered user Can somebody PLEASE send me a copy of this game on the PC! I'm desperate to play this game again, it's part of my heritage! by the way, the game can be downloaded from http://www.abandonkeep.com/games.php?GameID=291 but i haven't got a clue why it won't install on my PC, any help would be appreciated......
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William Gates Message #87941, posted by Bill at 09:17, 29/5/2002, in reply to message #87940
Member wehere is the copywrite sheet
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Jason Message #87942, posted at 05:14, 26/8/2002, in reply to message #87941
Unregistered user does ANYONE have the pc version
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
gman Message #87943, posted at 04:37, 17/10/2002, in reply to message #87942
Unregistered user I have the PC version....:-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Maroof Message #87944, posted at 11:57, 17/10/2002, in reply to message #87943
Unregistered user I have PC version but i couldn't be able to finish it. reason is when i reach the Last level ( or as far as i can go ) name, "Transport to go Home" there is no waay to go and the large Bubble came and kill the Magic Boy. If some one knows how to do it pls mail me.
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Kim Message #87945, posted at 23:34, 4/12/2002, in reply to message #87944
Unregistered user I've just found a website where you can download this prehistoric yet fantastic, thrilling and superb game. As a child I used to spend several days and nights playing this game, so I hope you will enjoy it as well. The download site is
Enjoy, (I know you will)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Darren Message #87946, posted at 18:54, 17/12/2002, in reply to message #87945
Unregistered user What I meant to say is that if you think Xenon 2 is good, then you should try Xenon 2000. Get it from http://www.bitmap-brothers.co.uk/features/xenon2000/
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
kukusse Message #87947, posted at 15:45, 9/2/2003, in reply to message #87946
Unregistered user Help me! I Download Magic Pocket, but I can't enter the passworld at the end of the first level (1053). How to enter it? Please help me!!
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Ardi Message #87948, posted at 14:15, 24/2/2003, in reply to message #87947
Unregistered user Downloader link is http://files.abandonkeep.com/dlfile/pc/m/magicpockets.zip
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
dj joe Message #87949, posted at 18:37, 15/3/2003, in reply to message #87948
Unregistered user I think you should make chuck rock 2 (sun of chuck) avadable to download!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Kame Tyken Message #87950, posted by kametyken at 17:51, 6/7/2003, in reply to message #87949
AA refugee
Posts: 1
If you like the games made by The Bitmap Brothers, check www.gods-country.de, you'll find comprehensive informations and stuff about all their classic games.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Boey Message #87951, posted at 10:27, 24/9/2003, in reply to message #87950
Unregistered user Would somebody please tell me where I can download the game. I had already tried downloading from URL above, but it didn't work. This is the game that I have been searching for my live.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gerd Message #87952, posted at 22:28, 1/10/2003, in reply to message #87951
Unregistered user Pllease give me a link for the full version i need all Bitmap bros. games MAgic Pockets gods chaos engine .....
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Message #87953, posted at 13:03, 28/10/2003, in reply to message #87952
Unregistered user wer can i play magic pockets
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
AHMED Message #87954, posted at 14:04, 4/11/2003, in reply to message #87953
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Tonio Message #87955, posted at 15:10, 30/11/2003, in reply to message #87954
Unregistered user bonjour a tous je recherche le nom du titre qui compose le thème de magicpokets dans l'introduction
merci d'avance.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
sherry Message #87956, posted at 20:26, 18/3/2004, in reply to message #87955
Unregistered user Hi, I have the old level sheets (the graph charts) what I need is the game to download on my pc. Help.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
ButcherC Message #87957, posted at 13:41, 1/7/2004, in reply to message #87956
Unregistered user I have the game!!! Original!!!!

But I lost the Codes for the Copysecurity!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
BunnyMilk Message #87958, posted at 23:13, 23/7/2004, in reply to message #87957
Unregistered user Ugh...none of the above links work.
somebody please post a link that works, I NEED this game.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
bahadýr Message #87959, posted at 11:56, 2/1/2005, in reply to message #87958
Unregistered user Bu oyun oldukça vaktimi almýþtýr. Þimdi o yýllara dönerek nostalji yaþayacaðým. Tabi bu oyunun pc uyumlu sürümünü download ederek
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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Review - Magic Pockets