Arcade 1990 Dos Infogrames Shooter

Personality-filled magical adventure

Taking a slightly unusual approach to the vertically scrolling action game genre, Mystical is a pretty neat little game which makes a pleasant change from shooters like Sky Jaguar and Commando. It's also got a nice line in humour and is backed up by some lovely graphics so if you're looking for something a little offbeat, it's well worth a look. The pleasingly light-hearted narrative sees the player taking on the mantle of Supreme Magician and embarking on an epic quest from the depths of the less-than-welcoming Marsh of Eternal Stench to the much more interesting Garden of Eden. Of course, there are the usual hordes of monsters standing between you and enlightenment so it's up to you to blast them out of existence or to simply avoid them if that gets too overwhelming. You have a nice array of spells, potions and other assorted tricks to help you out including firebolts, genie assistants and magical scrolls while the enemies are a wonderful diverse and imaginative set of creations, with walking trees, mad monks and insane doctors all amongst those out to get in your way. While nothing staggeringly original, Mystical earns a few points by simply being offbeat and humorous in a genre which is known for its seriousness and it's tough not to play without a smile on your face. The visual design is lovely, with some cracking sprites and pleasing environments to enjoy and which gives the game a huge personality. Controls too are solid as is the action, with plenty of blasting fun that should keep you playing for a while.

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