“The world as you know it will never be the same. In Life Is Magic, the streets and shops you thought you knew have been transformed into a mystical fantasy world, waiting to be explored.”
Life Is Magic is a fantasy based free to play game from the makers of Global Outbreak and Rescue Rush, redrobot.
You enter into this alternative fantasy reality of your own surroundings and have the choice to play as one of four characters.
The Monk, a holy kung-fu master who has the special ability to control water and the gift of healing. The Machinist, a cyborg with the power of science and the ability to use electric blasts to defeat his enemies. The Mage, a dark sorceress who summons both embers and fire with her dark magic to defeat her enemies. Then last but not least you have the Ritualist, the Ritualist is a voodoo sorcerer who uses his mystic voodoo to poison his enemies. He is however not a free to play character from the start of the game, he can be unlocked by completing a quest later in the game or by purchasing him for $10 through the in-game store.
Once you have selected the character that you wish to play with, you will enter the map at your current location. You can then begin your journey of fighting your way through different dungeons and reaping the rewards of your battles. You can then sell the items that you collect in your inventory and take your extra gold to a market and purchase better weapons and armours. The battles are all turn based, which makes me think about Pokemon(TM) straight away, but with much, much better graphics. You are limited to one weapon per dungeon raid, but you get more options when it comes to your selection of spells. The higher your level, the more spells that you can take with you into a battle.
So I played Life Is Magic for just over a week and experimented with all three of the unlocked characters and it is possible to play the game without actually spending any physical currency. But it is exceptionally slow and involves a fair bit of screen time. At the end of the day it is more of a freemium game as a free to play game. There were certain points of the game where I would complete a quest or work through all ten levels of a dungeon just to be rewarded with close to no experience. So progress is very slow at times and this kind of kills it for me in the sense of game longevity.
As for the graphics, they are quite beautiful when it comes down to the fine details like characters and creatures, but are pretty poor when it comes to the world map and the map of your area. The animations of the battles are really well done and you can see where they invested most of their time when it came to the design portion of their game.
Most of your map is just a dull green with brown roads and the occasional dungeon and market. Sure, if there are more players playing in your area then there would be more buildings that would populate your map. But the areas that I have explored have been rather disappointing, as redrobot spoke about amazing 3D streets. Hopefully when more players start playing Life Is Magic things will look completely different.
The game can get quite technical if you really play it to its full potential, but you can easily just use the basic weapons, armours and spells to get through the game. But if you are looking for a bit more entertainment out of Life Is Magic you can combine different items to maximize your attacks, your defence and your rewards. There are a seemingly endless number of outcomes when it comes to the rewards that you can earn after a successful battle. One thing that I quite like about how the loot system works is that once you enter a dungeon, you either need to beat all your enemies to receive all your loot or opt out before you are beaten by an enemy and lose your entire loot. So if you get too greedy and you haven’t levelled up your character enough, then you might find yourself losing out on some much needed XP and loot.
The game has two major currencies, the first one being gold, which can be won during your escapades in different dungeons or by selling items or by purchasing it through the in-game store with physical currency. The second one is Crystals and these are much harder to come by, you can either purchase them through the in-game store, or you can very slowly collect them when you level up, (you receive one per level up).
You can also invite and battle alongside friends as they join you on a dungeon raid and help you to achieve victory against harder foes. You can also send in-game messages to your friends and the game even has integrated push notifications. I did try to test a co-op dungeon raid, but the connection bombed out and my friend never managed to join me in my quest, even more annoying is that now every time I enter a battle I have the translucent outline of my friends character that I can’t get rid of. But this seems to just be a bug and hopefully they will sort it out in the next update.
My overall impression of the game is that even though the graphics and the fight scenes are beautifully executed and the game has been very well thought through, it is still a freemium game. If you don’t intend on spending actual money, then you will find yourself growing bored of the game after a while, as progress is very slow. Even the way that the XP has been balanced leaves much to be desired, somehow the amount of screen time that you have to invest to achieve higher levels is quite high.
Although my area was pretty much a deserted island, as I found very few users in Berlin to play with, they did add a teleportation system, where you can travel to other areas. But for that you need to collect “travel tokens” which once again is a separate in-game currency.
But I do like the game and I think the developers did a great job in carrying the theme through in all aspects of the game. I usually stay away from fantasy games, but this one was a bit different as the Machinist has a very Steampunk feel to him and that immediately appealed to me as I am a Steampunk fan.