Editors’ Choice Games
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements
Review by Angie Kibiloski
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements, from Himalaya Studios, is an old-school RPG/Adventure game, in the style of the classic King’s Quest titles from Sierra. I grew up loving those games, which set me up nicely for a life-long love affair with the adventure genre. This genre has come a long way since the 80’s, with ever-improving graphics, changing game mechanics, deeper plots, etc., but there’s nothing quite like the charm of the oldies. Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements captures that classic style, and takes me back to my childhood gaming roots.
Set in the fantasy realm of Iginor, you play as D’arc, a soon-to-be Mage who is about to take his final steps to becoming a fully initiated magic user. For the last decade, he’s been confined to the Mage’s Tower, spending every moment in training. Now, all that’s left is for the Mage’s Council to give him a set of final tasks, to retrieve 3 magical items from around the kingdom, to prove that he’s mastered his training and deserves the title of Mage. D’arc’s seemingly clear path to Mage-hood takes a turn, however, when a sinister plot emerges that could disrupt not only D’arc’s future, but that of the entire realm. Can you find out why magical creatures are rising up against their allies, and stop the coming tide of darkness before chaos rules the world, all while completing your Mage trials?
Near the beginning of the game, you must choose which of the 4 Elements you would like to be associated with. Then, you will learn various spells as you progress through the plot, all centered in your chosen field of mastery. These spells will help you solve puzzles, battle monsters, and hopefully prevail over the evil encroaching on the land. You can set your battle difficulty to suit your style of play. I prefer my adventures to focus on plot progression over challenging fight sequences, so I set my level to Easy. Near the start of the game, you’ll be fighting goblins, spiders, and other lesser creatures, mainly to gain resources, but the further you go, the bigger, badder, and more important your foes will become. You’ll roam across varied landscapes, from forest, to desert waste, to mountains, and a lovely lake, all rendered in classic, hand drawn, pixelated splendor. You’ll discover these environs right along with D’arc, as he has never set foot outside of the Tower.
As you play, you’ll meet a wide array of other characters to interact with. You’ll get to progress through lengthy conversations, all voiced and lip-synced to each character’s detailed, beautifully artistic portrait. Some of these characters are important to the plot, while others are mostly a means to get more resources. Each personality is interesting, and well worth exploring every branch of their conversation tree. If you’ve ever played adventure games before, you’ll likely be able to tell which characters are important for the main story, and which are solely side quest sources. I’m a “total completion” style adventurer, so I like to get into all the little side quests, no matter how insignificant they seem.
Since you choose only 1 of 4 Elements to learn spells from, Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements actually has some replayability, by going back and choosing the other Elements the next time you play through. You’ll get to learn different spells, and interact with different characters, altering the trajectory of your game experience just enough to make it interesting all over again. I’d highly recommend checking out their Steam page and getting started with this download. It’s only $14.99, and you really can’t beat a price like that for a quality game. If you’re not into Steam, you can also get it from GOG or the Humble Store. If you play and love this title, you should then check out their previous releases, which are remakes of the classic Sierra titles, all free to download here. Enjoy the adventure!
Minimum System Requirements:
- OS: Windows XP/iOS X 10.11
- Processor: Pentium/2 GHz
- RAM: 64 MB/2 GB for iOS
- Graphics Card: 640×400, 32-bit color, 700 MHz, 256 MB Dedicated RAM
- Hard Drive Space: 2 GB