Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
Buy On
  1. One of the year's best surprises, offering a wonderful mixture of strategic gameplay, imagination, and colorful story telling.
  2. If you can grin and bear the sometimes overly cutesy presentation, you'll find a game with more options for customization than us lowly gamers deserve (and besides, you can make some disgusting doodles as compensation).
  3. 85
    A lot of fun and allows you to create and design the doodle of your dreams. While the gameplay itself is shallow, the doodling is as deep as the ocean.
  4. 85
    The only title in recent memory that successfully combines adventure, role-playing, arena battle, and paint programming into one huge amalgamation of entertainment. Come to think of it, it's probably the only game to create such an arrangement.
  5. If you ignore Magic Pengel, you’ll be missing out on a wildly original concept that allows you to draw and bring to life characters straight from your very own imagination.
  6. May be a bit over a very young child's head, but much older than that and the combat system of the game may make them lose interest in it when they realize they can't assign skills.
  7. GameNow
    The drawing system is brilliant - simple sketches transform with ease into wonderfully animated creatures. [June 2003, p.50]
  8. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Therein likes Magic Pengel's beauty... it's the fact that you can bring to life almost anything you imagine. [June 2003, p.106]
  9. Game Informer
    Be warned - great skill is required to get something that doesn't just look like a Jell-O mold gone awry. [Sept 2003, p.109]
  10. While not a perfect piece of interactive entertainment, it's enjoyable, and thanks to the way you can customize the Doodles, it's fun to play again and again.
  11. Perhaps the biggest problem in Magic Pengel is that it relies too much on a gimmick—fortunately, the some of the game’s shortcomings can be overlooked because the gimmick is done so well.
  12. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    As a game, it's merely OK, but as a creative toolbox, it's exceptional. [June 2003, p.121]
  13. Thankfully it all boils down to a great, hour eating, and life sucking game that you won’t put down for some time. If you love to draw, Magic Pengel shouldn’t be missed.
  14. A one-of-a-kind title, partially because of its art direction, and partially because of its incredibly unique character-creation system.
  15. 70
    It's a flawed-but-fascinating curiosity and addictive despite itself thanks to the truly awesome monster generation. [June 2003, p.113]
  16. Edge Magazine
    Magic Pengel isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, a rounded and satisfying videogame. But it is, without question, a rounded and satisfying stretch of the imagination. [Nov 2003, p.92]
  17. A jack of many videogame trades (RPG, “Mario Paint”-type paint program, “Pokemon”-like arena battles, etc.) that somehow succeeds at making a fun and coherent whole out of its many disparate elements.
  18. 70
    While many aspects of it are excellent, the gameplay is flawed enough to occasionally frustrate and sometimes make Magic Pengel feel less like a game and more like a chore.
  19. Its incredibly addictive drawing and animation succeed by providing a unique opportunity for your imagination to run wild, yet I can't help but be disappointed that the rest of the game doesn't meet the same impressive standard.
  20. GMR Magazine
    If only the battle system were as imaginative as the character creation, Magic Pengel would be one of those quirky and lovable games everyone looks back upon fondly. As it stands, it's just quirky. [June 2003, p.69]
  21. PSM Magazine
    Magic Pengel has a fantastic premise, but overall, there's just not enough here. [June 2003, p.32]
  22. 60
    If the core battle system was more robust and there was more to do than just fight and draw, Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color could have been a landmark title.
  23. The painting is cool and the characters are likeable, but this is more about your own imagination than your own fun.

Awards & Rankings

#97 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Mar 21, 2015
    Hidden gem.
    A unique, turn-based RPG where you create 'doodles' to fight in a very simple rock-paper-scissors style combat system, similar to
    Hidden gem.
    A unique, turn-based RPG where you create 'doodles' to fight in a very simple rock-paper-scissors style combat system, similar to Pokemon. You fight battles to earn color to draw more doodles. Different colors give different elemental powers and strengths. You can buy doodles from some of the people in town, or make them all yourself. The doodling system is simple and very flexible, if you have the resources to draw something, it can be drawn. The plot is very simple, but something about the locations, the art style, and the simple plot work very well together. The innocence of the entire game gives it a very nice charm, and the conclusion to the plot was satisfying. The game is short for an RPG, about 15 or so hours to beat the main plot. However, there's a fun 2-player mode where you can battle doodles from two separate save files, and post-game you can still create doodles and enter tournaments, giving the game some longevity.

    If you can track this game down, you should definitely give it a try, it is by far one of the most unique experiences you could have on any console. Also yes you can draw a giant dick monster and fight with it.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 29, 2012
    This game is just terrible. I mean, the first few minutes of the game is just plain stupid and boring. The gameplay is as stale as anything.This game is just terrible. I mean, the first few minutes of the game is just plain stupid and boring. The gameplay is as stale as anything. It's basically an over-glorified rock paper system, and the customization is cool, but if you have no interest in the game then customization is bad. I don't understand this game at all, and it's terrible, just plain TERRIBLE Full Review »
  3. JoeW.
    Sep 7, 2003