Mage's Initiation blends adventure game and RPG influences to mimic the best of '90s adventure games, but it doesn't quite manage to perfect every aspect.
Mage’s Initiation might suffer from aiming itself at nostalgic fans of a bygone era of gaming, but when someone new stumbles on it, they’ll have themselves a good time…as long as they avoid forests.
It's not the reigning champion of this hybrid genre, but Mage's Initiation is a promising challenger. If sequels expand on the basics shown here, this could well be a series worth watching.
Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements acts as a spiritual successor to the adventure games of old, but its tedious puzzle design, underdeveloped combat, inconsistent tone, and awkwardly-voiced protagonist make it unfocused at best and cringeworthy at worst.
Mage's Initiation takes inspiration from classic adventure/RPG games with beautiful 2D graphics and intriguing puzzles. However, the RPG and combat elements fall short as uninteresting and inconsequential. With an open ending and a shallow story, it feels as a mediocre beginning of a saga, tak could eventually reach the level of its spiritual predecessors.
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While the combative elements leave much to be desired, Mage's Initiation to pay tribute to the old Sierra titles of yore without failing to craft an identity of its own alongside the homage. D'arc's initiation is almost too simple for its own good, serving as a prologue of sorts to a grander adventure, yet so much focus placed solely on a single story beat is exactly what allows the narrative to lend impact to any given moment. The plot itself may never get too exciting, but active world building, endearing visuals, and focused puzzles ensure that in Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements there is seldom a dull moment in D'arc's journey.
An interesting idea in Mage's Initiation is to have the ability to learn and grow through XP and a really smart gem system. You can equip a limited amount of gems at any time, and these gems give you individual buffs that are really useful, especially in battle. The hybrid nature of Mage's Initiation being that of a point and click and RPG, gives us these really cool opportunities to duel and battle throughout the adventure. It's engaging, fun and really adds to the whole thing, giving it a spin on a classic genre.