Controlling a powerful electromagnet-tipped crane of the junkyard variety, the player has a limited amount of magnetic "energy" at their disposal to use to pick up, re-orient and re-arrange a jumbled pile of railway cars into a sensible sequence (spelling out "Dialog '89", the developer and year of development) with engine at the front and caboose at the rear (a loose caboose, one should note... that will shoot off the end of the screen, rendering the level uncompletable, if unobstructed.)
A cute little puzzler by Alexei Pajitnov, most famous as the creator of Tetris. The objective in Magnetic Crane is to arrange train bogeys in the right order before time runs out. Each level starts with the caboose and bogeys all jumbled up in a pile, and you must use the magnetic crane to lift the bogeys, rotate them, and place them in the right order. The trick is that the caboose doesn't stay still: it will leave as long as there is no obstruction on the rails, so this requires you to block it with something first while you arrange the other cars.
Magnetic Crane is only a "light" puzzler in a sense that you usually have a large playing field to play with (although higher levels get quite tough), and it is not so much a "puzzle" (i.e. given problem) per se than doing a jigsaw puzzle of sorts. This makes the game ideal for kids who are learning shape recognition skills rather than die-hard puzzle fans. As an interesting and early Pajitnov game, Magnetic Crane is worth a look.
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