Mages of Mystralia is ceaselessly charming. From the moment you’re in control of Zia, a brave young woman with magic thrust upon her, you’ll be meeting clever mages, exploring wondrous landscapes, and crafting your own unique spells from a truly clever rune system.
Mages of Mystralia’s top-down combat seems simplistic at first. Players can use a melee attacking spell to thump goblins, a fireball that flies short distances, a blast of short-range ice, and a magical shield. Swapping between them is easy, with each spell mapped to a button, allowing players to quickly use whichever is needed.
Things get complex, interesting, and even more fun when runes are added to the mix. Each of those four spells offers customization through runes the player collects in their quest. These can add changes in direction, increased power, added effects, longer range, and other helpful properties to a spell.
Not only that, but they can change a spell’s effects entirely. For example, the shield spell can become a damaging dash with the right rune, or melee attacks can send bolts of lightning crackling between nearby enemies. These new spells add a lot of depth to the combat by adding tons of variants, and it’s also really appealing to see which combination of runes will give you all-new magic.
Magic isn’t just for use in combat, as there are many puzzles hidden in the world. These require special spell compositions, reflexes, and brain power in equal amounts, but are almost entirely skippable for players who want to focus on burning goblins. However, they do offer upgrades and more runes, and are often creative in their solutions, so they’re entertaining and well worth getting.
Ed Greenwood brings the same great writing that helped him create the Forgotten Realms setting and his other stories. With his flare for sarcastic spellcasters, quick-witted characters, rotten villains, heroic redheads, and worlds with depth, he fleshes out a story that is light and fun, filled with nods to deeper lore all told by crafty, likeable characters. Especially Zia, who is both optimistic and helpful, but also realistic in her somewhat sarcastic attitude at the adult mages making her do all the work.
The soundtrack is both soothing and adventurous, from rousing boss tracks to the calming guitar that plays in the game’s village home, it’s a sweeping soundtrack that stirs up feelings of adventure as players explore the various bright, pretty places across the game’s world.
Mages of Mystralia mixes clever spellcasting and magical customization in a fun fantasy world that players won’t want to leave. It offers near-endless creativity with its magic in a realm of great characters and beautiful places to explore.