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Magic Carpet (DOS)

91
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Magic Carpet is a first-person perspective game, in which you are a mage who flies on a, well, magic carpet and casts spells. The game has 50 levels, called "worlds"; each of those is set in a sea terrain with several mountainous islands. Your goal on each level is to amass enough mana within your castle to "restore the equilibrium" within the world. Once this happens, you can head to the next level.

To collect mana, you have to find it (it is represented by golden spheres) and cast a specific spell to make it "yours". To collect this mana, you have to use a special spell to raise a castle of your own out of the ground. A balloon will appear over the newly created castle; it will proceed to fly around the level and collect "your" mana. Initially, your castle will be small and won't be able to hold much mana, so you'll have to keep casting the "castle" spell at it to make it bigger.

The levels typically have monsters and rival mages in them. Not only they can hurt you with their attacks, but killing them is often necessary, as upon death they will release some of the mana you need to complete the level. To attack your enemies, you have a variety of spells at your disposal: fireballs, lightning bolts and meteors.

There are also many other spells available to you - they allow you to heal yourself, surround yourself with a protective shield, teleport around, summon a skeleton army, or even modify the terrain by creating volcanoes and splitting landmasses. Not all spells are available to you from the beginning, though.

Throughout all the levels, you are on your flying carpet, which can move in 3 dimensions. You can bring up a top-down map at any time.

Screenshots

Magic Carpet DOS Flying really fast over the water.
Magic Carpet DOS Dragon burning the city (from the spectacular intro sequence)
Magic Carpet DOS Trapped inside a fort.
Magic Carpet DOS A murder of crows over the sea.

Alternate Titles

  • "マジックカーペット" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Too avant-garde for its own good? Maw (849) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
Move over Aladdin...there's a new carpet in town! Smackmud (5) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
An incredible experience you'll come back to every once in a while. Tomer Gabel (4394) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

The Press Says

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Feb, 1995 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
High Score Feb, 1995 5 out of 5 100
PC Gamer Apr, 1995 95 out of 100 95
MikroBitti Jan, 1995 93 out of 100 93
PC Player (Germany) Dec, 1994 92 out of 100 92
PC Format (UK) Dec, 1994 91 out of 100 91
Power Unlimited Feb, 1995 9 out of 10 90
Edge Oct 27, 1994 9 out of 10 90
Power Play Nov, 1994 90 out of 100 90
The DOS Spirit Dec 24, 2009 3.5 out of 6 58

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Trivia

Advertisement

One of the reasons Magic Carpet didn't sell well was that many gamers thought it was just a ripoff of DOOM, even though they are completely different. Bullfrog unintentionally fostered this idea with a series of ads they ran for Magic Carpet, which contained hooks such as "BFG = BFD". The BFG is DOOM's strongest weapon, and BFD is an acronym for "big f***ing deal".

Bugs

The original release of Magic Carpet contained a bug which meant you could not complete level 50. This was later fixed with a patch and was rectified in all re-releases.

Engine

Magic Carpet had what was perhaps the best graphics engine of that time. The engine features, among other things:
  • Dynamically lighted, gouraud shaded, changable ("morphable") landscape.
  • Scene reflections in the water
  • Distance fog
  • Transparency effects, such as the transparent "HUD".

References to the Game

The game made several appearances in the Australian soap Neighbours, as the Kennedy family owned it and were frequently seen playing.

SEGA Saturn version

The SEGA Saturn version of Magic Carpet did not contain all of the game's levels: The missing levels are: 9, 18, 29, 34 and 40.

Technology

  • Magic Carpet was one of the first games to support 3D viewers/glasses in many different configurations. You can use virtual reality headsets, red/blue glasses... the program will even generate a realtime random dot stereogram!
  • The first game to be enhanced for the then-new Pentium processor (as advertised proudly on the front of the box). Bullfrog recommended a P75 as the minimum system requirement, although the game ran on 486 processors and was playable enough on a 486DX/100.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #137 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • Gamespot
    • One of "The top ten games you never played": The reason for the commercial flop of Magic Carpet seems to lie in categorization of games at that time. Most gaming-magazines labeled it at as a plain "shooter" despite the game's interesting and unique gameplay as a mix between action and strategy.
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #53 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1995 - Best Game in 1994
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Game in 1994
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Multiplayer Game in 1994
    • Issue 02/1995 – Best Action Game in 1994
Information also contributed by Accetone, Ashley Pomerov, BostonGeorge, Jeanne, Martin Smith, Matthew Bailey, Maw and Mickey Gabel

Related Web Sites

Brian Hirt (10020) added Magic Carpet (DOS) on Nov 01, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Picard (29366), Charly2.0 (30546), Tibes80 (1495), Sciere (243795) and Adam Baratz (1352)