macguffin_1.jpgA "macguffin" is a common storytelling element, long used in all kinds of media. Whenever the main characters are sent on a quest to get The Magical Item that can save the day, that's a macguffin. The game MacGuffin uses this trope to send the player through a short but fun exploration of a comedically fictional nuclear facility.

The game experience in MacGuffin leans heavily on jokes. Some of the jokes placed in the environment are appropriate for the situations in which they are found and others are random things for the player to happen across. The player also has a cell phone on them which can be used to dial the person who has sent them after the macguffin. His lines are filled with comedy as well, sometimes breaking the fourth wall.

That said, there are also some points where things like lighting and camera shake are used to good effect for creating a dramatic (or perhaps melodramatic) moment. The start menu is brilliant in its own way, with the selectable options shown on a smartphone screen and the mouse leading the pointer finger of a giant hand to make selections with.

I did have a few issues with the game, one of which was that there is no invert-y setting. Keys can be rebound, which is great, but when you make changes, they don't save unless you hit the settings button again. There's also a slight cultural mismatch issue; the game supposedly takes place in Japan, but the two people you see inside the facility are wearing Chinese outfits.

macguffin_2.jpgOverall, MacGuffin is imperfect and a bit of a mish-mash, but it works. It's clear that the game was designed to be a short (less than an hour), fun time by people who had fun making it and players who go into it with that in mind are likely to have a good time. It's out now and can be picked up for Windows and Mac at the price of $2.99 from the game's web site. It's also seeking votes on Greenlight.