The fantasy concept of magic has always played a part in modern culture. Just taking a glimpse at the Harry Potter series raking in billions of dollars, there's an audience that just loves the fantastical elements of magic.
Mage in Hat, created by Only Mad Games and published by DevRain Solutions, embraces the wizardry and sorcery theme with open arms in a teleporting action game.
You play as the central hero of the game, Mage-In-Hat, and you must retrieve the Great Spheres of the Elements from the Evil Sorcerer. Each new environment or chapter you unlock in the 20-level game is introduced with a cutscene to progress the main plot. The story doesn't develop much further than that, but it's a premise that sets up the rest of the game as well as its core gameplay mechanic.
Each level of the game, your hats are on two platforms while the Mage is present on one. However, enemies will be encroaching on all three platforms, so you have to 'teleport' between each stage by tapping on the hat. From there, you must fight off enemies by using the elements at your disposal: fire, earth, water, iron, and wood. Some elements will defeat enemies, but others will strengthen them so you have to play the game wisely.
As you destroy incoming enemies, you can also earn Bonuses which are wildcards that can help or hurt you. One example of a beneficial bonus is the ability to freeze time and thus kill all of the enemies with ease; another example of an unhelpful bonus is the fast-forwarding ability which pushes enemies towards you faster. There is also a Survival mode in which you must survive for as long as possible with whatever elements you have unlocked from the Story mode.
The controls are worth a mention here, since they will either be praised or the source of frustration. The layout is great with two axes of controls you must manage. But when things get frantic and you fight off different elemental types of enemies, there are times when mis-taps occur and in the heat of the game that's the last thing you want to happen — and things do get more challenging as the game progresses. Boss battles in particular are tough to beat without replaying multiple times, and worse there are no checkpoints for boss levels so you have to go back and defeat all of the little enemies all over again.
While that might sound painful and at times it can be, the gameplay of Mage in Hat is strong enough to keep you playing even if you repeatedly suck. There is something quite satisfying about playing the game, as you survive by managing the controls and the multiple variety of enemies.
+ Challenging gameplay
+ Lots of "Just one more round!"
+ Unique art
- Boss battles can be a little too challenging
- No checkpoints in longer levels
4 out of 5
Mage in Hat offers magical gameplay that compels you to keep playing, even when things get tough.
Overall, we really enjoyed playing Mage in Hat despite some of its more challenging aspects. While boss battles and the lack of checkpoints will definitely cause some struggle, playing the game is so satisfying that you might not even care. For $0.99 this is a solid purchase with wonderful art and great replay value in the form of Survival Mode. Download it now by clicking on the tile/link below, or by scanning the QR code to the right with Bing Vision on your Windows Phone.
|Mage in Hat|
by DevRain Solutions