Mage Gauntlet Review

By , on October 20, 2011
Last modified 11 years, 4 months ago

Mage Gauntlet - GameClub
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Fun, self-aware storyline.
  • Intuitive combat system; simple controls and plenty of enemies.
  • Classic RPG feel; invokes shades of Secret of Mana and Zelda.
  • Customizable gameplay through unlockables; gives a real incentive to explore every nook and cranny.


  • Sliding movement can feel awkward; also sensitive controls can make you attack in the wrong direction.


Mage Gauntlet is the kind of Action-RPG we've been waiting for on the iOS - a combination of intuitive controls suited to iDevices; fast-paced action split in to bite-sized chunks; and plenty of meaningful unlockable features makes it perfect for gamers on the go.

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When you've built up a reputation for being one of the best at creating a certain kind of game, it would seem like madness to completely throw it out the window and start on something entirely new. So, when rumors surfaced of Rocketcat Games starting work on an Action-RPG it was almost hard to believe. Despite their previous history of ninja-rope swinging time-trial games, Mage Gauntlet made its debut on the App Store.

The game is, first and foremost, very self-aware of its nature and the story is quick to poke fun at the usual RPG tropes while simultaneously attempting to side-step them. You play the role of Lexi, a curiosity in a world drenched in magic as she causes anything magical to fail, thus making her an outcast in their society. After seeking help from a powerful wizard she's thrown in to a fight against the world's supreme evil (who didn't see that coming?) while wielding a mysterious artifact (the eponymous 'Mage Gauntlet'), granting her the ability to drain magic from the world around her.

And thus you head out and start bashing things with whatever weapon is currently handy while also dispensing gouts of magical flame. At first the game is all too easy. The virtual stick/d-pad and 'pro' control options make it a breeze to avoid enemy attacks, giving your main weapon a chance to slowly charge up (ala Secret of Mana) to unleash a dash that damages and stuns any enemies left standing. Things get even better when you collect various magical charges from objects in the world, as they grant you the ability to dispatch foes en masse by tapping the mage gauntlet and selecting from one of the stored spells.

Of course, what would an RPG be without boss battles? At the end of most zones you'll find yourself up against a nasty machination responsible for the creatures you've been battling, and after defeating them you'll purifiy the area while pocketing a neat item or two.

Instead of focusing on fine-tuned stat bonuses and the like, items are far more practical, with 'pets', clothes, trinkets and weapons modifying how the game feels. These include bonuses to specific spells; increasing drop rates of certain spell-types; or additional effects such as limited healing. Of course it wouldn't be a Rocketcat Games game without a huge variety of hats to unlock as well, though these are mostly aesthetic (but no less awesome for their variety).

Mage Gauntlet feels like the total package for iOS gamers after something fast-paced, challenging and best of all, sprinkled with touches of humor. From its classic retro feel, including an unlockable 'Master' mode for those who think they've got the 'right stuff', this Action-RPG is an easy game to recommend.


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