Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic

RPG 2001 Windows Bethesda Softworks Organized Forces Action based Medieval

Unleash the wizard within

This is basically a jazzed up version of the same company's earlier Magic & Mayhem, and like that game this is a fine piece of fantasy strategy fun. It's got a well realized setting and plenty of opportunities for challenging tactical gameplay and which make it well worth digging out, especially if you enjoy Chaos (or its recent reboot Chaos Reborn). There isn't a huge amount of narrative here but what there is revolves around a young wizard who must battle against a number of rival mages in his search for his kidnapped sister. This serves as a very simple framework for the gameplay to hang on, and which consists mostly of a series of duel-like battles where you duke it out with the other wizards, in the hope it will get you one step closer to your sister. These take place in a variety of environments, from woods to sewers, but the real draw here is the magic system. There are extensive options for mixing and matching your own spells and it's this element which really shows the game's creativity and depth. For the most part, this is an enjoyable enough strategy affair. The spell system gives you the chance to have some fun being a wizard, while the battles are tactically interesting and pretty tricky. On the downside, the visuals are looking pretty ropy these days, with some very dodgy character design that is rather ugly. The interface too is poorly designed, being confusing and very much less than intuitive, so be prepared for some frustrations in this department. Sound too is disappointing, but the enjoyable gameplay makes up for many of these shortcomings and this is well worth a look.

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