DrakTalk – Mages of Mystralia

Received via Kickstarter (Mage King reward level)

I wanted to hold off on a review until I had finished the game, which I did this morning, quickly followed by finishing up the few achievements I had left. After finishing the game I can say that I don’t regret in the slightest backing the project and have been recommending the game to all of my friends.

The game itself was written by Ed Greenwood, of Forgotten Realms fame. It has a very bright and colorful visual aspect. While it does have combat and a few mentions of darker content (very glossed over), it’s suitable for school-age children and older gamers alike.

The game story isn’t super deep and I really hope they expand on it with future DLC, but where Mages really excels at are its spellcrafting system and its puzzles. Every spell in the game is something you have to craft yourself, from a simple lightning slash to screen-filling homing fireballs that explode with ice. The puzzles come in two types. Some you have to craft a spell with just the right properties to fulfill the requirements, and others you have to move connectors to form a specific pattern. The last thing I’ll mention here is that the soundtrack is EXCEPTIONALLY well done, and really adds to the game experience.

There are some downsides. Quests are very basic, mostly in the errand/fetch category, and there aren’t very many of them at all. Some of them seem very very basic at that, with some NPCs seemingly losing interest in what they asked for. In fact, some of the NPCs are very basic, something that occurs in most games to be honest but with the low NPC count in this game its much more noticeable. My only other complaint is that if you boil away all of the exploration and rune/bead hunting, the game is actually quite short. I have roughly 22 hours in the game, but 3/4 of that is all treasure hunting.

Pros:
Amazing spellcrafting system
Vibrant, cheerful colors
Overall story is great
Awesome puzzles
Spellcrafting deserves two mentions
Amazing soundtrack

Cons:
Quests are basic and simple
Not enough quests
NPCs aren’t fleshed out
Main story is a bit short

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