User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Magicka (Windows)

75
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Magicka is an action game with minor RPG elements set in the fantasy world Midgård, based on Norse mythology. In the main Adventure mode the player takes on the role of a wizard, a member of the Wizards of the Order of Magick. He is tasked to travel to Hávindr and assist the king to defend the city against the attacks of an evil sorcerer who has unleashed monsters that roam the lands. The game is set in a colourful world and sports a quirky, light tone with many satirical elements. Players explore thirteen linear levels with the focus on taking out monsters to progress. It is also possible to talk to other characters and examine items the environment.

The core gameplay is centered around spellcasting. The player has access to ten forms of magic: Water, Life, Shield, Cold, Lightning, Arcane, Earth, Fire, Steam and Ice. The player can use the first eight right away. The latter two are advanced elements formed by combining two basic ones. They are stored as keyboard shortcuts to access quickly. Each element can be used to cast a basic spell; not only for attack or defence, but also to interact with the environment. Cold for instance freezes rivers temporarily (wizards cannot swim) and Fire burns wood. The player has to combine these elements to craft more powerful spells. This is done by selecting multiple elements to fill up the Spell Stick, which can hold a combination of up to five elements for a single spell. For instance: casting Earth can cause rocks to appear in front of the player, but by adding Fire to the Spell Stick they are drenched in flames. Shield provides temporary defence, but combined with other elements it can cause a deflecting wall to appear or a large bubble that surrounds the player entirely. Even summons, powerful beams, mines and various projectiles can be created that way. Because of the wide range of possibilities the player has access to an enormous amount of spells and experimenting with different combinations is not only encouraged, but also often required to exploit enemy weaknesses. There is virtually no cooldown time so multiple spells can be launched quickly in succession. There are some limitations however, as certain elements cancel each other out (Fire and Water for instance) or can backfire, causing the wizard to freeze himself, shock himself when casting Lightning when drenched in water, or putting himself on fire. That way the battles often can take hilarious turns when unwise combinations cause the wizard to do more damage to himself than others. He can for instance also heal monsters by accidentally throwing Life in the mix or send out an element favourable to the opponent.

After cooking up a spell there are three casting options: Cast Force (launch the spell towards the enemy), Cast Area (launch the spell in the area directly in front of the wizard, useful when surrounded) and Cast Self (use the spell on your character) with very different results. Many spells can also be charged before they are released to make them more powerful. These three casting options triple the amount of spell effects. With Fire for instance, the first one will send out a flamethrower-like wave, the second lights the area surrounding the wizard and the third one puts himself on fire. The casting is further influenced by discovering new staffs with additional effects. Only one staff can be carried at all times. The wizard also has access to a melee weapon such as an axe or a sword, along with blocking options. Melee weapons can also be enchanted with spells. When a spell fails (elements cancelling each other out) and enemies are nearby, a wave of air will slightly push them back. The most powerful spell combinations need to be discovered by picking up large tomes. These additional spells also use combinations of elements, but provide much more powerful effects such as Haste, Rain, Revive (brings other players back to life) or Nullify (removes harmful spell effects). Certain attacks and spells can be boosted to keep the effect going. A health bar is shown and the amount of damage is displayed visually as numbers.

The wizard is guided through the journey by Vlad, who stresses not to be a vampire and sometimes pops up to provide hints. The game can be saved at checkpoints. Multiplayer is supported for up to four players cooperatively. This opens up the ability to combine spells, especially when sending out beams of Fire or Lightning for instance. By crossing the beams they merge and provide a single, powerful attack. Four players can team up in a single attack that way, but when one player accidentally introduces an element that cancels out the others, it will cause all players to suffer damage. Friendly fire is always on. That way players can heal each other, but generally it also causes a lot of mayhem where damage is dealt in the wrong direction. There is an unlockable Challenges mode where the player enters an arena to survive as many waves of enemies as possible.

Screenshots

Magicka Windows DEFEATED...

No, suicide. :D
Magicka Windows Spiders

Yep, this is RPG.
Magicka Windows The effect of multiple spells shows. I've put down half a circle of fire and now I'm using a ranged spell.
Magicka Windows Tutorial's beginning

Alternate Titles

  • "Magicka: Ну очень эпическая игра" -- Russian spelling

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User Reviews

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The Press Says

Game Watcher Feb 07, 2011 8.5 out of 10 85
Gameblog.fr Jan 31, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Legendra Mar 06, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
3D Juegos Jan 28, 2011 7.4 out of 10 74
Gameswelt Feb 14, 2011 74 out of 100 74
IGN Jan 28, 2011 7 out of 10 70
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Feb 13, 2011 67 out of 100 67
OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network Sep 20, 2011 6.4 out of 10 64
GameStar (Germany) Feb 18, 2011 61 out of 100 61
Gaming Nexus Mar 10, 2011 C+ 58

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Is it fixed yet? 7 Sciere (270553)
Feb 22, 2011

Trivia

Achievements

One of the Steam achievements is called I put on my robe and wizard hat. It is a reference to a famous internet chat transcript where someone invites other people to join a sexually-themed role-playing chat, only to divert the conversation halfway through to an absurd wizard role. In that transcript the user accidentally encounters the same victim twice.

References

The tutorial contains a reference to the independent game You Have to Burn the Rope. When you get to the Beholder boss near the end of the tutorial, there is a wooden board in the room with the lever you can inspect. It states that it wouldn't be a bad idea to burn the rope. In the room with the Beholder there is a rope you can burn with a fire spell, killing it instantly, referencing the main goal in the indie game.

Related Web Sites

  • Magicka (Official website (English))
  • Magickapedia (an unofficial Magicka resource, in wiki format)
Sciere (270553) added Magicka (Windows) on Jan 28, 2011