Mages of Mystralia is an energetic and clever action-RPG, set in a vibrant and colorful land with a dark history. The heart of the game is its magic system, and the puzzles for unlocking new runes and other goodies keep things from being too combat-heavy. It’s easy to get lost in spell creation, pausing battle to dip into the magic tome to tweak a few runes or throw together something new as the monsters wait patiently for you to pull your head out of the book. Zia is a fun heroine to play as, learning and growing as the story progresses, with a strong character design that never gets lost on the screen. Mystralia’s history is making trouble in the present, but with an arsenal of spell components and the ability to wire them together together to best effect, Zia has a good chance of becoming the hero the world of Mages of Mystralia didn’t realize it needed.
If you don’t mind taking the scenic route, Mages of Mystralia provides the unique opportunity to write your own spell book. Up until the end of the game, I was unlocking new runes that exponentially added to my magical arsenal. Piecing all of those runes into a new master spell made me feel like the most creative mage who’d ever lived, making this light-hearted adventure truly magical.
It’s a decent adventure with varied combat, cool boss battles, and semi-interesting locales. I’m going to keep at it until I’ve obtained everything there is to obtain, but even then I know I won’t have seen everything there is to see. Some of the neatest stuff possible isn’t scripted in by the designers, it’s waiting to be imagined and created by an aspiring magician.
Clocking in at a modest six hours after an average first playthrough, Mages of Mystralia still leaves much to be explored with the plethora of hidden chests, optional puzzles, and a special mage trial combat event to take part in. Though unfortunately it feels more so for the sake of clearing the way to a 100% completion rating, as opposed to needing these items for the quest. With that said, those first six hours of Mages of Mystralia stir up a lot of the same feelings as the old-school games that inspired it, offering a spirited and endearing romp with a charming mage and her impressively complex magical abilities.