Mages of Mystralia Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Game Details

Title: Mages of Mystralia
Developer: BorealysGames
Publisher: BorealysGames
Website: https://game.magesofmystralia.com/
Genre: Adventure, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 7
Release Date: 29/01/19
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

What the Developers say

In the kingdom of Mystralia, it takes more brains than brawn to succeed. You will face down giant, powerful creatures and navigate treacherous terrain. You will encounter puzzles that confound even the wisest of the old sages. And you must overcome obstacles put in place by people who do not want you to succeed.

Your path will not be easy. In Mages of Mystralia, you play as Zia, a young girl who discovers that she has been born with an innate sense of magic. Unfortunately, magic has been banned, so she strikes off to train on her own to gain some control over her powers. On her journey, she meets other exiled mages and, discovers runes with magical properties and realizes that she can combine these runes in millions of different ways to come up with completely new spells.

The story was written by bestselling author Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms fantasy world for Dungeons and Dragons, which served as the basis for games like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights, as well as about 170 fantasy books.

Key Features:

– Design spells to fight enemies, solve environmental puzzles and battle epic bosses
– Powerful yet simple spell crafting system
– Classic action-adventure with over a dozen of distinct regions to explore
– Original orchestral score conducted by Shota Nakama and performed by the Video Game Orchestra at SoundtRec Boston of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts fame

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/mages-of-mystralia-switch/#game-info

Introduction

For me, the best thing about the Nintendo Switch has been the variety of games. Yes, there have been the usual AAA titles, but for me, the access to the 100s of Indie titles is what has made the Switch and the eShop special. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know that I’ve loved games like Reverie, and more recently The Mystery of Woolley Mountain.

With that in mind, you’ll know that I’m always on the lookout for the next hidden Indie gem. So when I saw Mages of Mystralia, I was more than intrigued. Did this game cast me under its spell? Read on for my Rapid Review to find out.

Gameplay

Mages of Mystralia is a 3D action adventure game based in the world of Mystralia. The main protagonist, a young girl, called Zia, who quickly realises that she is drawn to magic, which we discover has been banned in the Kingdom. You find out the reason as to why magic has been banned as you make your way through the Kingdom.

The game is broken up into fairly linear sections, at the end of which is an end level boss. Once defeated, you then move onto the next one until you reach the final boss. One thing I did find a little frustrating was how long it took to walk to each district. I would have liked there to have been some more opportunities to teleport.

One of the game’s unique features is the ability to create and edit unique spells. As you progress throughout the game, you unlock new augments, auras and essences to add to your spells. These change the behaviour of your spells and will allow you to complete different puzzles or access previously inaccessible parts of the map.

As well as needing to create different spells to tackle puzzles and challenges, you’ll also encounter enemies and bosses who will be easier to beat with certain spells. An example of this is when I came across a stone gargoyle who would stop and freeze after making eye contact with my character. To combat this, I edited my spell so that it curved around the back of the stone gargoyle. What I loved about this game was that you could switch spells on the fly.

Audio & Visual

The audio and visual aspects of Mages of Mystralia are two features of the game that are impressive. Each area of the map, of which there are over 12, have their own theme. Many of these are fairly generic, as in ice, grass, fire and stone. Although generic, you can see the hard work that has gone into the design and aesthetics of each location you visit. The sound your wand makes when casting a spell and the visual effects of each spell makes them feel powerful and epic.

I’m not saying we nailed that part…but games like Zelda obviously nail it, like for instance Wind Waker, which obviously has very cartoony particle effects and does it very well. But in general, in the industry, it’s very hard to do that. So we kind of instead took inspiration from the visual effects like fire and explosions in manga or movies. 

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/337143/Mages_of_Mystralia_dev_dishes_out_spellcasting_wisdom_and_game_industry_real_talk.php

The soundtrack of the game is a pleasure to listen to and accompanies the journey that you take from beginning to end perfectly. The sound effects are excellent, from the sound of the spells shooting from your wand, the running water, the cracking of the ice and when enemy spears or arrows bounce off your shield. You can listen to the soundtrack below.

Replayability

Mages of Mystralia offers much in terms of replayability. There are three difficulty modes to choose from; Mage, Archmage and Hardcore. As with most games, I went for the easy option. Still, I spent over 20 hours playing the game, and although finishing the story, I’ve only completed 48% of the game’s content.

Completionists will want to discover all of the wands which have different powers to collect. There are also various puzzles to complete to open chests and new powerups for your spells.

Lots of chests are hidden behind doors which have puzzles like the one in the image below, to complete. Reaching other treasure chests will require you to have specific spell combinations.

Conclusion

Mages of Mystralia is another one of those Indie games that I’m so glad that I discovered. Based on a story by Ed Greenwood, the team at Borealys Games have created a great game with excellent graphics, a beautiful soundtrack and a unique spell creating mechanic.

You can read the comic book on which Mages of Mystralia is based right here, http://comic.magesofmystralia.com/.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Mages of Mystralia from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Mages-of-Mystralia-1496934.html#Overview

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

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