Magicka blasted its way with a bolt of lightning onto the gaming scene in 2011 and now has decided to teleport its way onto your tablet with Magicka – Wizards of the Square Tablet. Does it have the guts, robes, and cheese to hang with its big brother from the consoles?
30 Second Review
(+) Controls well
(+) Fun gameplay
(+) Great humor
(-) On the short side.
(-) Difficulty can ramp up very fast
Like the Swedish Chef… WITH FIRE!!
For anyone not familiar with the franchise, the Magicka universe is a medieval-styled world based largely on Norse mythology. You play as one of an order of mages who fights against evil and monsters in the world (and tends to smell of cheese for reasons unknown). What really sets it apart is the sense of humor, with the game taking shots at and making references to all kinds of pop culture from Star Wars to Twilight and beyond. The characters speak in a made-up language that can only be described as sounding like a cross between Swedish, German, and gibberish. Whatever it is, it fits perfectly with its snarky storytelling and sense of humor.
Fire and Ice!.. That didn’t work…
The gameplay is basically the same as the console game and revolves around combining eight different elements into different spells to cast. For example, cast fire, and you will simply spray a short-range flame that damages nearby enemies. Cast a fire spell along with a life spell, though, and now you get a long-ranged beam of fire that can target enemies all the way across the screen. It’s a lot of fun playing around and seeing what kinds of combinations you can make. But be careful, each element has an antipode that will cancel it out. For instance, it should be pretty obvious that casting water and then lightning will not end up working out too swell. Additionally, as you progress through the game you will learn different Magicks–specific combinations of elemental spells to create a particular high-powered or special spell. They can range from teleportation and reviving to calling down lighting or meteors from the sky.
Fireball to the Stomach!
The one thing that stuck out to me about Magika when I played it on PC was the difficulty. That game was brutal–not only were the enemies tough, the save points were very few and far between. Thus, I spent a great deal of time replaying segments over and over again. At first Wizards of the Square Tablet did not seem too difficult on the easier difficulty, but that did not last very long. This exponential difficulty ramp did make for a few frustrating points. However, the respawns are much better, placing you just before the group of enemies that took you out.
My only other real complaint for the game is that it is a little on the short side. I beat it in maybe 3.5 hours, and I could see faster players knocking it out in as little as two. There is some replayability from challenge levels, so that could add a bit more time, but the campaign still felt a bit short in my opinion.
Grab Your Robe and Get To It!
Overall, Magicka – Wizards of the Square Tablet is definitely worth giving a go for a couple dollars. The humor and gameplay have made the transition to the mobile world perfectly. Though on the short side, it is still tons of fun blasting goblins and the like with lightning, or simply calling it down upon yourself. It gets a solid 7 out of 10.