REVIEW: Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil

Like it or not, the ‘indie updates to sort-of-popular classic games’ train continues to roll right along. Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil Save Japan ($1.00)— I don’t care who you are, you gotta love that title— is a somewhat modern homage to Bomb Jack, a tough, combo-based arcade platformer originally made by Tecmo.

Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil - Screen

The changes here are of the cosmetic kind, though, as the core gameplay is largely similar to Bomb Jack. Using various images and art of the iconic Mt. Fuji1 as its background setting, the game asks our eponymous heroes (local co-op is available) to collect all the coins in a given stage (60+ levels in all) while on a timer and avoiding a gang of monkeys, birds, and other fowl foul creatures that form the evil-sounding ‘Zodiac Gang’.

You’ll have a generous ‘jump’ in your step to do so, and you’re able to hold down the button to get more height, or tap it to hover and avoid enemies— and their erratic patterns— on your descent.  While you have no ready-made offensive move to dispatch foes, you can use a Pac-Man-esque powerup spawn to temporarily turn all enemies into cats(!) that can be captured for additional points.

With that emphasis on scoring, the ‘coins’ in this game can be collected in sequence (similar to how the bombs’ fuses would spark in Bomb Jack) to further build up points and maintain a combo. This comes with the trade-off of putting you in more danger. With extra lives at a premium (and one touch meaning instant death), it presents that classic conundrum of weighing out risk and reward.

Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil - Screen2

Of course, that decision of risk might be made easier with the fact that the leaderboards are local-only. For a game born in the arcade and meant for competition, that’s a bit of a downer.  A few other issues come into play as well. There’s some slight slowdown when multiple enemies are on-screen, and possibly other potential bugs (I once got a Code 4 after completing level 20).

Neither detract too much from the overall game, though, which is fun for casual players and the challenge-seeking set. Just don’t expect much beyond the continual hook of achieving a high score, or any fresh ideas, and you’ll be fine. Ditto the game. Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil2 may not be original, but it is a modern remake done… fine.

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This review is also featured at Indiepitome


  1. Which really rubs it in how close I was to the mountain last year without actually climbing it. One day, Fuji-san. One day. 
  2. From now on, I’m calling every pair of people I see by that name. 
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31 thoughts on “REVIEW: Magic Thighs & Slightly Phil”

    1. You need not. 🙂

      Won’t be able to watch any of the conferences live, being at work and all, though I’m sure I’ll have plenty of coverage to sift through later on. It’s Christmas for gamers!

    2. I was off today and I must say I enjoyed myself. Every day that passes I’m more and more likely going to get me an X1 soon or sooner than I expected.

    3. Whew! Did about an hour of catching up, and this what I came away with:

      PS4 seems to have a certain window of exclusivity for some of the big games, while Xbox One will have all the DLC first for the multi-platform big games. Good thing I own both, so I can pick and choose. 😀 Everything looked flippin’ gorgeous, of course.

      Glad I held off on GTA5, too, although I totally expected them to port it to the new consoles. All the other cool kids (developers) are doing it. 🙂

      You’ll definitely have to pick up that X1, though. Tell you what, Sunset Overdrive1 looks more and more fun each time I see it, and that’s a nice exclusive for Microsoft. Not to mention that whole Titanfall thing. Nice to see Mighty No. 9 added to the ID@Xbox list, too.


      1. Ha! Funny that I mention the game, and the new trailer is the ad at the bottom of this article (at least for me). How’s that for karma? 
    4. I didn’t even notice it but you know what, I don’t have ads on these pages anymore. Got me a little free program called ad blocker plus. It’s been doing a bang up job of blocking all kinds of intrusive ads that are on most web pages.

      https://adblockplus.org

    5. Wha? What?! You mean to tell me I can’t count on your .0032 cents for visiting this page? You’re going to take food out of my fictional children’s mouths? Take the money out of their fictional college funds? Yeesh. My also fictional wife is currently cursing you out. 😀

    6. FYI, you can disable ABP for specific sites. Like this one for example! So Tim, your fictional wife can fictionally give me a fictional high-five.

    7. She will fictionally accept that proposal of a high-five with a fictional smile.

      It’s all good, though. It’s such a small amount, it doesn’t matter. You have to earn a set total before they pay out, you don’t know the official numbers from the previous month until well into the next one, so I’m in no danger of collecting any time soon.

      … Wait a minute. Having to wait for data, having to earn a certain amount to get payment? Doesn’t that kinda make me an XBLIG developer? I’m right there with you guys! 🙂

    8. Oh yes, VERY much the same!

      On XBLIG the min payout is $150. That’s AFTER their 30% so you need to sell $215 worth of games to get anything out. I hope they payout the remainder to everyone when they finally close up shop on XBLIG.

    9. Ha! I knew it! I’m the commiserating sort, so I had to join the ranks of indie developer hell. But yeesh, you guys have it worse than me. Hopefully they would honor any existing balances. Then again, they could have some fine print existing somewhere right now that’s all ready to step up and deny your claim! 🙂

    1. Yeah, we got a little out of sorts. The comments section can be confusing if you are not familiar with the format it follows. Still prefer this over the old way I was doing it. Actually this new theme makes everything look better, IMO.

      Oh, and by the way, sir, I have to go against your better advice on avoiding Avatarzilla. Due to the drought of decent XBLIGs, I was forced to play it and write up a review for tomorrow. My apologies in advance for not listening. 🙂

    2. Ya know, I’ll wait for your review to post my full list of greviances against that game.

    3. Eh, it won’t be too exciting, to tell you the truth. Couldn’t even officially ‘play’ it, thanks to empty game lobbies. It’s terribly boring anyway. Your list will likely be more thrilling than reading the review. 🙂

  1. Oh it wasn’t great, even at the time! I was happy enough though until I saw Combat on the Atari 2600 and thought ‘what fresh magic is this!?’

    1. Combat I liked! Those tank battles were always epic, especially the invisible mode. My house was pretty much the only one on the entire block that owned a 2600 (or any videogame system, for that matter), so we always had a crowd over.

  2. For me its fascinating to see what games are still fun to play today. Although considering this was my 1st console its not a 100% hit rate!


    skip to about 4.30 for hot game action! 🙂

    1. Man, this reminds me of my first console in the early 80’s, some Pong Clone with five ‘different’ games on it. Well, technically four of them were just variations of the original Pong, but the fifth game was some sort of shooter, where you had to hit a moving block on the screen with your lightgun. Think of it as some ancient ’First Person’ shooter 😀

    2. Hot game action? 😕

      Yeesh, those games… would not stand up today (maybe Pong, because it’s immortal, but that’s about it). Graphics aren’t everything, but back then, that’s all you had to work with. Made the gameplay better, I guess, which is why there were so many great arcade-ish games. You could argue that’s what gaming should get back to, and indies do that in some regards, but I’m still grateful to have the consoles / games we have today, faults and all.

  3. I have it on the excellent Konami DS arcade collection, its like a jolly, scrolling, platformy Yier Ar Kung Fu with power ups! In My top 10 80’s Arcade games

    1. See, that’s why I like those collections (or indie remakes) being released; even if I’m not a fan of the game itself, I can appreciate the history behind it. Gives others who were born into the Playstation / Xbox era a chance to see where certain games / ideas originated.

  4. Thank you so much…Now all I need is for someone to do a homage to Shaolins Road and my xblig indy 80’s child in the Midlands, uk collection will be complete!

    1. You’re welcome, and Shao-lin’s Road…. that one I had to Google. 🙂 Never played that one, although according to Wikipedia, it was available in Microsoft’s Game Room.

  5. If you like the idea of classic gameplay with a character by the name of ‘Magic Thighs’, I have one code to give away for the game courtesy of 20Goto10Games. Simply reply to this comment and the code is yours!

    1. Yeah, it’s not bad at all. The music / effects, as well, especially being free to the publc. Oh, and speaking of codes…. 🙂

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