Magicmaker Platform: PC Developer/Publisher: Tasty Stewdios LLC Price: $9.99 A Wizard’s Dream One of the delights of playing as a wizard is being able to cast spells and use magic to defy the laws of the non-magical universe. Traditionally, this fun often comes to a halt due to limited spells and magical abilities. Magicmaker understands this pain and alleviates it by allowing you to experience a wizard’s dream of conjuring all sorts of spells resulting in various attacks and magical abilities. Want to cling on walls? Shoot lasers, summon minions, or even spawn turrets? That and much more are all possible! Just another day for a wizard. Magic Debunked Magic usage is divided into 3 functions, regular attack, special attacks, and the robe. You are able to allocate elements to each function’s slots to conjure up all kinds of crazy combinations that will hopefully result in the desired outcome. Each element has a grade assigned to it with Grade A/F being the highest/lowest quality respectively. Higher grade elements sport better effects. You can find these elements during missions stashed away in treasure chests as well as craft them by finding the raw materials. Every element will display two effects, one for its attack usage and another for its robe usage. So you can use it to either attack foes or enhance your special abilities such as being able to walk on walls or jump higher. There’s also a relic slot where you can get an additional special ability. These abilities aren’t as customizable as each relic has its own perk. One makes you jump higher, another will grant you a second chance if you die and so forth. If you’re feeling adventurous or lazy, you can experiment with randomization which will create an attack/robe combination for you. Another nice feature is the ability to save these combinations to load later on. An “all you can cast” buffet. Wandering Around Every level is randomly generated which makes replaying a stage much more interesting as although the main objective is the same, the design will differ. There are different difficulties for each level, completing the easiest one will unlock the harder one as expected. There will also be a freeplay version of each unlocked difficulty which lets you mess around without any pressure although if you’d like, you can take on some of the challenges presented which tweak the gameplay such as having a randomized setup which means you could end up with some really crappy spells to increase the difficulty even more. Each level also contains two objectives - a mandatory mission based one where you must complete certain tasks and an optional objective of collecting the scattered magical gems which will result in being rewarded with special loot. The game does not force you to complete levels in any particular order which is great as it gives you the freedom to pick and choose which adventure you want to embark on. Even wizards have to work. One of the mini-bosses found in each level. Eternal Magic? Even though previous titles such as Magicka have innovated the spell casting sphere, this game takes it to another level and in a much more interesting manner in my opinion. However, this comes with some strings attached. This game doesn’t look as pretty as Magicka, in fact, while the artwork isn’t ugly, it is very simplistic and looks like what you’d expect from one of those free browser games or a freeware download made by an aspiring game developer on the surface. There are some enemies and terrain that are more refined though, so it’s important to not discredit the artwork too much. Truly, this doesn’t bother me as the simplicity in appearance is a fair trade-off for Magicmaker's robust magic system. Nonetheless, I point this out for those who are more critical of the arts. The same can be said of the audio which is unlikely to win any awards but won’t make your ears bleed either. The Wizard’s Verdict After spending 10+ hours in the world of Magicmaker, I can confidently say that Tasty Stewdios picked an excellent title name as the game definitely lives up to its name. If I had to describe the game in four words, it would be: “It’s about making magic”. I also have to give kudos to them for actively updating the game accordingly by fixing bugs and implementing improvements well after release. They even included a Halloween themed mission just in time for the holiday. For the price, you’re bound to get your money’s worth provided that you love tinkering with magic as that’s where the real fun lies. Despite the missions and general repetitive gameplay not being very innovative in the sense that it’s standard platforming stuff that we’ve seen before, the magic system overcompensates for that and is what turns it into a magical experience (no pun intended). Who says dressing up is just for kids? I got flying groupies watching my back. Pros: +Fantastic magic combos +Randomized levels +High replay value +Level variety Cons: -Too much going on-screen at times -Not much guidance in terms of figuring out powerful combos -Simple graphics/repetitive gameplay may be unappealing to some Yeah, it’s not as nice looking as other titles with wizards nor perfect, but in the end, it’s all about true magic. With that said, Magicmaker casts a spell with a rating of 8.5/10 for its impressive magic system and replay value despite its shortcomings. Disclosure: A review copy was used to evaluate this game.