When I first saw this game in the Steam store, I instantly fell in love with it. Not only was it beautiful, but it had the awesome gameplay AND great mechanics to go along with the gorgeous graphics. What more could you want from a game? Offering a simple yet deep spell crafting system, Mages of Mystralia is set up to be a fantastic adventure from start to finish. Let’s take a closer look!
The story opens when our young protagonist, Zia, discovers that she comes from a particularly rare bloodline that can use magic. The initial shock and discovery of her powers cause her to lose control of them, and she accidentally sets her house on fire. Confused, alone, and terrified at what she had just done and what she could do in the future, she exiles herself from her village and sets out on her own. Shortly thereafter she meets an odd fellow simply known as “Mentor”, and he directs her to Haven, a magical hamlet for mages to come together to share and learn from one another.
With nowhere else to go, Zia decides to head to Haven. On her way there, she falls off a bridge and into the valley below, where she discovers a powerful tome that speaks to her. It says that “she’ll do” and teaches her a few basic spells to help her reach Haven. Once there, she is tasked with all sort of objectives to help further her study in the magical arts and discovers a war is coming. It’s up to her to learn as much as she can to help stop the upcoming war.
This game has a distinct Zelda feel to it, in that it allows you to roam the land and battle monsters, find treasure, and upgrade your equipment and abilities. As an action adventure game, you’ll find yourself facing hordes of enemies and big bosses, with only your spells to defend yourself with. Fortunately, Mages of Mystralia features a robust spellcrafting system that eventually allows you to create your spells in an impressive amount of ways.
You start off with 4 runes: a projectile spell (Fire), a melee spell (thunders), a shield spell for defense, and an ice spell. As you progress, you’ll find/earn more runes that you can add to these basic ones to customize the effects and behaviors of your spells. For example, at first the fire spell just drops a small, stationary fireball that explodes after a few seconds. However, once you find the Movement Rune, you can add it to the Fire rune and throw fireballs across the screen! Even more than that, there are additional Movement Runes and also Trigger Runes that allow you to change the way spells move and what happens when they hit a target. The possibilities are quite endless.
In addition to the Runes, you will also find a myriad of other items. Different Wands are available, which can be found or purchased with Green Soulbeads. There are also Purple Soulbeads which can be used to upgrade your maximum health and mana when 4 are collected. Mana regenerates slowly over time, so you never really have to worry about running out or stocking up on potions. However, you can do so if you wish and use a Mana Charm to restore your mana in a pinch!
This game is insanely gorgeous. I found myself taking a ton of screenshots and just stopping to look at the environment of each area I found myself in. Each area is colorful and vibrant, full of small details, and greatly immersive. It made me really want to help Zia protect this beautiful land! One thing I really enjoyed were the loading screens. Yes, you heard me right. Each loading screen has a bit of art and some lore for the area you are moving to. It really helped me get to know the land and the stories behind it, which only served to immerse me deeper into the game.
Musically, this game is like a fairy tale. Very simple but enchanting tracks play literally everywhere. It makes you feel like you really are playing a fairy tale, and that’s kinda what the game is. Haven’s theme is probably my favorite, and the theme from the Swamp is great as well. It was dark and gloomy, which perfectly matched the spooky feel of the area. Get used to magical tracks as you play this game, as you’ll be hearing a lot of them!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Mages of Mystralia and can’t recommend it enough to anyone looking for a magical adventure. Zia’s journey is one that relates to many people who are also trying to find and make their own way through life. A beautiful game with tons of customization, Mages of Mystralia is well worth giving a shot, and I recommend you do so if you are able.