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Magicka iPad Review

By , on March 28, 2013


Magicka
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5

PROS

  • A sharp reduction in depth compared to the PC version, yet still retains the core fluidity of the self-guided elemental magic system.
  • Online multiplayer adds a whole new layer of insanity to the game; you're almost guaranteed to lose a friend or two from 'accidental' deaths.

CONS

  • 2D brawler setup means there's less 'exploration'; a key feature of the original that paired brilliantly with the free-form magic system.
  • Item variety feels lacking; some fun game-changing abilities, but the penalties make the investment seem excessive at times.

VERDICT

This isn't quite the Magicka you may already know and love, but it doesn't matter - this is 2D brawling taken to the next level and the free-form magic system means you'll always have a novel way to dispatch the goons (and even friends) around you.


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If you haven't had a chance to play one of the incredible Magicka titles from Paradox Interactive, this is a special kind of treat. It would have been too much to expect the game to have been brought over without any changes - it was a game very much reliant on its keyboard and mouse control setup - and so with the help of Ludosity, Magicka has been reborn as a 2D side-scrolling brawler.

"SACRILIGE!" I hear you cry out, but your cries are in vain - the game you know has been kept in tact, albeit in a more touch-device friendly style. For those unfamiliar with the core gameplay, the combat in Magicka revolves around combining different elements to generate different kinds of spells and effects. These range from long-range beams, to large exploding chunks of rock, to creating mines and shields to protect you.

The complexity of these interactions are greatly reduced from the PC version, thanks in part to only being able to combine 4 types of elements, but the basics remain: Earth allows you to create long-range explosives; Life will create large beams of magic; and Shield can create defensive barriers. Similarly, ice and water will still freeze enemies; water and electricity are still hazardous to your health; and fire and water will create steam... most often when putting yourself out from being set on fire.

Aside from that the game feels much the same as always, albeit on a 2D plane. Dots on the edge of the screen indicate incoming enemies, giving you a chance to fire first or set up your defenses, and once you've learned them, specific combinations of elements will generate special effects (from speed boosts, to giant blizzards).

It's just a shame the wit of the original titles has been somewhat diluted. By being forced down a set path there's little room for the sorts of Easter Eggs and special rewards that came with such self-guided exploration. Side-missions do help you to earn more spells, but it's just not the same.

If there's any compensation it's that you can share the experience with friends in a multiplayer game, complete with its own set of special achievements.

Magicka for the iPad may not be as deep an experience as the original, but it's no less fun for this reduction and still a wonderful pick up for those who enjoy action titles that require more brains than bashing one or two buttons.

Screenshots

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