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"Magic Flute" Review: A Puzzle Game Inspired by an Opera

Alexandria has been playing video games since the days of the Sega Genesis. She's been writing about video games going on four years.

What Is Magic Flute?

Magic Flute is a puzzle game for iOS from LabLike. The game not only includes the story and music of Mozart’s playful opera but also serves as an accompaniment to Amon Miyamoto’s adaption of the opera for Tokyo Nikikai Opera Theatre. The puzzler is an intriguing melding of video games and opera and a challenging casual puzzle game as well.

Opera Meets Video Game

Amon Miyamoto closely cooperated with Polish studio LabLike to create this opera-inspired puzzle game. The Magic Flute opera itself is a re-imagining of Mozart’s classic in a Japanese video game world—a setting that is surprisingly fitting for the zany plot of the opera. Miyamoto’s unique stage direction lends itself to a very artistic and unique gaming experience.

Art, Music, and Gameplay

As a meeting between opera and gaming, Magic Flute is a great success. As a game alone, it isn’t half bad, either. The game follows the story of the opera in which Prince Tamino must complete a series of tasks to win the hand of the lovely Princess Pamina. This story is told through nicely narrated and beautiful cutscenes.

The art style is also inspired by Amon Miyamoto’s stage direction of the opera and looks great. The music of Mozart’s opera is well incorporated into the game. The gameplay itself is that of sliding tiles both horizontally and vertically around a room.

The stage production of "Magic Flute."

The stage production of "Magic Flute."

Puzzling Challenges

As players progress through the game, they will encounter more and more interesting obstacles that make the puzzles more challenging. Each stage of the game includes a puzzle in which players must create a path from point A to point B. Challenges include avoiding dangerous tiles, using tiles that can only be stepped on once, pressing buttons to move other tiles, switching between different characters, and more.

Drawbacks to the Game

The puzzles in Magic Flute are fun and will make you think, but some may find certain stages to be too challenging due to the minimal instructions. There are no hints of any kind available in the game. The lack of hints or directions will lead to players occasionally getting stuck on a tough stage. Players may even find themselves not knowing exactly what their next objective is, with no menu or hint to help get them back on track.

The biggest problem with the game is that it is possible to get a puzzle into an unsolvable state. When this happens, the game doesn’t notify players. They’ll have to figure out that they've made a critical error for themselves and eventually just start the stage over from the beginning. Each stage has multiple ways to solve a puzzle, and it’s rewarding to figure out the solution—yet it's equally frustrating to get stuck or not know what you’re supposed to do.

Get from one side of the board to the other, but watch out for enemies and disappearing tiles.

Get from one side of the board to the other, but watch out for enemies and disappearing tiles.

Verdict: A Unique Experience for Puzzle Fans

Those that attended the performance of the opera were able to download the Magic Flute game with their admission, and now everyone can experience this unique puzzle experience. With 32 diverse levels to complete and 3 playable characters, it is a unique gaming experience that puzzle fans will surely enjoy. The game includes the first Act of the opera. Magic Flute is a premium title that can be downloaded from the App Store for $3.99.