Developer: Paradox Interactive
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Magicka was something of a big deal when it exploded onto Steam back in 2011. Unfortunately it was only available for PC so lots of Apple folks missed out. Because of this, all the element combining and exploding bodies is totally new to me. I suppose that’s a good thing because Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet is probably the most fun I’ve ever had with an iPad.

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet is a prequel to the PC original. One of four colorful-robed wizards gets cursed, resulting in their mere presence acting like a magnet for all manner of nasty critters. Naturally the other three wizards aren’t to happy about this, to say nothing of the poor sod with a target on his back, so they all set out to get rid of the obnoxious thing. A task that will most likely leave the countryside in ruins after all is said and done. Let’s just say these wizards aren’t exactly careful where they aim.

Like any good spell caster Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow have almost complete command over the elements. Everything from earth to fire to lightning to a couple of non-elements that are still quite handy in a fight can be flung around with a couple of taps. In fact, tapping is essential. Up to four compatible (i.e. not fire and ice, water and lightning, etc) forces can be queued up by selecting their icons, with different combinations having drastically different results. My personal favorite tactic is summoning a rainstorm, blasting enemies with ice, and then following up with an exploding fireball to their frozen faces. It makes a bit of a mess but it can be quite effective. New recipes can be learned after completing certain levels, although every spell is available from the start so long as players can figure out the combination, but money is the best reward as it’s needed to buy new staffs, robes, familiars, and so on.

When I first started out, even though I was having lots of fun, I was expecting the tap-based controls to be problematic once things started to get really chaotic. In a way they do sort of lead to a bit of fumbling but between the relatively well-telegraphed enemy attacks and the surprisingly sturdy wizards it’s never really a problem. In fact, being totally overrun and resorting to a few desperate spells can be quite entertaining.

Having never played the first I can’t say much about how Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet holds up against its older brother. It might be a great treat for long time fans or it might feel pointless since they have a graphically superior version laden with DLC. However anyone who hasn’t experienced the insane spell slinging yet absolutely needs to download it to their iPad and start playing immediately.


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