Guest Review – Should I Buy? – Magicka

Hi guys! Today’s post isn’t following the every-three-day-schedule I know, but I’ve got a special piece from themickanator who writes The Game Scene over at So enjoy! 

“Do I have any PC gamer friends?” How you answer this question will also be how you should probably answer the title. Magicka is not a game built for single player, but club together with 3 chums and you’ve got a great deal.

The story plays out the typical promising-student-embarks-on-epic-quest-to-save-the-world narrative, but it certainly doesn’t take itself seriously. Without giving too much away, you have to save a powerful but misunderstood wizard to restore peace to the realm, all under the guidance of your teacher who is certainly not a vampire. The dialogue is as light-hearted as the aesthetics, with most of the voice acting being done is a sort of simlish-like language which is a source of many giggles on its own. Despite that, the actual game play is not as jovial.

I said Magicka is not built for single player, and by that I mean that it is nearly impossible to get very far on your own. Let me explain why. You have 8 basic elements under your control, and you can mix up to 5 of them to create more powerful combos and ‘magicks’, special spells which are learned from books along your journey. Controlling your mage and your magic is an unusual system. But not hard to get used to, however, the difficulty lies in the game mechanics.

Mages aren’t fighters, sprinters, swimmers or, well, anything athletic. Your walking speed is just enough to evade pursuing foes, but the more elements you have loaded ready to cast the slower you move. And while casting you are motionless. Oh, and do not cross the beams… However, don’t let that put you off! All these difficulties may be frustrating, but they provide many hours of frustrating fun, and a fair few funny moments.

Now, let us suppose that you somehow get bored of the campaign (or your friends), but you still need your Magicka fix. There are a number of other game modes you can indulge in with your spell-casting chums. There is versus mode, which has 3 variants on death match, and Challenge mode, which mainly consists of survival levels.

These 2 modes can then be further expanded with the relatively huge list of DLC available too. The most notable of these is the Vietnam DLC. Yes, you read correctly, Vietnam. This provides challenge mode with another survival map, and a mission level which records your time, so you can keep trying to better yourself. It really does take place in a Vietnam setting, with enemies (still goblins) and allied soldiers (sadly not goblins or other mages) wielding guns. These guns can also be used in other levels in both challenge and versus modes.

Also, as with most of the other DLC, it provides you with an additional set of robes to choose from. Each set of robes have special abilities and have a different starting staff and sword/gun. All of that for £3.49, and the cheaper DLC going as low as £0.59.

So all in all, Magicka is a fantastic little game with a superb sense of humour, all for a very agreeable price. The campaign, versus mode and challenge mode will keep you occupied for many hours, but it is a game not suitable for the casual gamer or the chronic rage-quitter.

(All prices from Steam)

Magicka – £7.99

Complete Pack (1 copy + all DLC) – £16.99

Four Pack – £23.99 (4 copies of the base game, one for you and 3 to gift to friends so you can play together!)


Vietnam – £3.49

Final Frontier – £1.99

Marshlands – £1.79

Party Robes, Frozen Lake, The Watchtower – £1.59 each

Nippon, Wizard’s Survival Kit – £0.59 each


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The DLC debate « The Game Scene
  2. Willow Wood
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 13:37:45

    I’m not much of a casual gamer, but the idea of playing this with Chex/Mitch and another ‘chum’ (love that word) does sound rather fun. I’m not sure how my patience would cope with an incredibly slower than slow mage (mmm, mages <3), but the promise of obscure humour does help to counter-balance it. I suppose we'd have to see! 😀


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