Mages of Mystralia is a new indie game from developer Borealys Games. Located in Montreal Canada, this is Borealys’ first game. Players take the role of a young mage named Zia who is ousted from her village after burning down her house when her power awaken. In the world of Mages of Mystralia, magic is forbidden after a mad king used his powers to burn most of the countryside. But, every ten years a new mage is granted powers still and Zia is this new chosen one.
Best described as a classic action-RPG, Mages of Mystralia lets players take Zia from the start of her exile into a quest to save her world. Players learn to use basic spells at first, with elements of fire, water, earth, and air, and eventually with the help of her mentor, named well, Mentor, open up a fantastic spell system unlike anything I have ever encountered before.
Mages of Mystralia looks amazing. A mixture of cartoon animation and reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The camera pans and tilts automatically depending on the area, sometimes a more top down view and others a side scrolling game. Areas are diverse and well designed, with hidden places for those who enjoy hunting for secrets. Enemies will respawn constantly and while combat is fun and as diverse as the players makes it with spell modifications, I did end up finding it easier to just run past most of the basic baddies as the rewards they drop were comparable to just breaking open the various jars and barrels for hearts and currency.
Puzzles make up a huge part of Mages of Mystralia. Throughout areas players will find various challenges, some a matter of just moving spell tiles in the correct positions, others are in game spell challenges, lighting braziers within a certain time using various modifiers to your spells to make them fly in a circle, setting triggers as they go. Timing and aim are key there. Most are just challenging enough to be fun and reward Zia with a useful powerups.
The music in Mages of Mystralia is probably my favorite part. All symphony performed original songs, they all add a level of wonder and really drive the fantasy world setting home. The music will change as enemies attack, pushing you into the action. Mages of Mystralia uses an interesting vocal system that reminded me of the old N64 days, like Banjo Kazooie, no words just sounds mimicking different voices. This just added to the cute factor and endearing charm of the game.
My second favorite part of Mages of Mystralia is the spell system. As you progress Kia will find augmentation charms that will add things like size, range, homing, left and right (useful for puzzles), or triggers to chain other spells. I spent hours just experimenting with spells, finding the coolest and most destructive ones to flatten my enemies. If you like customization, Mages of Mystralia won’t disappoint.
At about 8 hours for the main story and many more hours of customization and collectible hunting, Mages of Mystralia will keep you busy for a while. The wonderful story and charming charming graphics and music should instantly bring a smile to your face if you are a fan of action RPG’s. Fantastic screen filling bosses with fun pattern based attacks are challenging but not overly, same for the various puzzles scattered about. At the MSRP of $19.99 Mages of Mystralia is a steal. If you enjoy the Legend of Zelda series, you will love it.
Mages of Mystralia is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on a copy provided for that purpose.