Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is an adventure role-playing game that is only available to play on Steam (PC). It was released on 30th January 2019. Mage’s Initiation has been developed and published by Himalaya Studios, and their sole purpose is to make engaging, classic-style adventure games that are fun and mentally stimulating to play.
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements tells the story of an apprentice Mage named D’arc. The game is set in a land called Iginor where Mages and ordinary people live side-by-side. D’arc lives in a tower of his peers that are all striving to become fully fledged Mages. He was chosen for this apprenticeship at the young age of just 6 years old. He has trained for 10 years when we meet him.
D’arc is about to meet with the Mages that have trained him. Each of these Mages specialise in an element, which are Earth, Fire, Water and Air. When you first meet them, they will ask you questions to find out how you would respond to certain scenarios. This will determine what type of magic you will specialise in. From there, you begin your quest to become a Mage. The Mages will send D’arc away from the tower for the first time in 10 years. You will have to do some work within the tower to be ready for your journey, and from there you have complete freedom to explore Iginor.
The biggest issue I have found with Mage’s Initiation is the manoeuvrability. Everything feels extremely clunky and stiff. There is no fluidity to the characters’ movements. This, in turn, has affected the game’s graphics. It seems that Himalaya Studios were going for a classic feel, but it actually feels like the game was made in the 90s. The graphics that are available today should have given plenty of opportunity for the game to be visually stunning, but even though the artwork is amazing, the game is just let down by the movement and graphics.
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements allows players to use their mouse or trackpad to select where they would like to go and how they would like to interact, i.e., speaking, touching and looking. The game also allows players to use the directional arrows on the keyboard, as well as set buttons, to traverse map. I have tried using the directional buttons from the keyboard to manoeuvre the character around the map and found this extremely difficult because the character would get stuck and would randomly stop moving. After a while, I gave up on this and reverted to using the mouse to click where I wanted to go.
Another issue that I have found with Mage’s Initiation is the fighting system. A different magical spell can be assigned to each number on the keyboard. I have found that when using the spells and fighting in general, everything feels extremely clumsy. There were a lot of times where I would just be running around all over the place trying to hit my target.
There is no targeting system whatsoever, and the enemies are constantly on the go. When you cast a spell, it is very easy for the enemy to just move out of the way. The same goes for the enemy casting spells on the player. It is quite easy to dodge the enemy’s attacks by just moving out of the way. I thought this might change when turning down the difficulty of the game, but it does not. Turning down the difficulty just takes more health off the enemy when you land a hit.
An Artistic Challenge
The greatest thing about Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is how incredibly challenging it is. I spent a massive amount of time figuring out some of the puzzles that the game has to offer. The game is also extremely artistic. The graphics may not be the best, but the game makes up for this with the bright and colourful landscapes, backgrounds and buildings.
Another great thing about Mage’s Initiation is the well written storyline. I absolutely adore stories about Mages earning their Mage status. The script within the game for the different characters is very detailed. Each character has a lot to say, and you can learn so much about the world of Iginor. The game feels like a big game of Dungeons & Dragons due to the inclusion of whimsy and creativity.
Mage’s Initiation Overall
There are a few issues that I had found when playing Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements. These mainly revolve around movement, the control system and the fighting system, but there is also an issue with the graphics being quite poor. These issues definitely do not outweigh the great points to the game. Mage’s Initiation is extremely bright, colourful, artistically creative, and it has a great storyline. The main part of the storyline that I enjoyed was the script for the game. I thought it was extremely detailed and branched out to give the player a huge amount of backstory. Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements presents players with a challenging and magical experience.
Developer: Himalaya Studios
Publisher: Himalaya Studios
Release Date: 30th January 2019