Fwiendship Is Mwagic

Review by beast4321 on Tuesday, September 22nd 2020
Click to play MageQuest

MageQuest is a game created by awesomefinnz

Wig1 fam-alama jam-jams, how's ma G's sqawnin'?


Remember when I said I was going to keep reviewing EGD games until judging was over? Good. Well, forget I said that.

The featured page suddenly finds itself blighted by the addition of a charming new thumbnail, featuring colours bright enough to blind a pilot or be seen from space. What is this mysterious new thumbnail? Why do I feel my retinas burn as I stare at it? Further adding to this mystery is its creator, a quirky individual and a member of the same not cringey, too kool for you role play group I frequent, where he has a penchant for forgetting to turn off his caps lock and making things explode at inconvenient times. It is, of course, the member with a new game every day, of whom without I wouldn't know how to make lemonade, Awesomefinz, with his newest release, MageQuest. Curiously enough, he released the demo for this just a few days ago, and yet now the full version has plonked itself unceremoniously onto the featured page; that's some quick game making. Has he slipped up in his haste to get this out, or is this game a spark of the impulsive genius we all wish to replicate, but so many of us fail too? Does this game deserve its place on the featured page? And most importantly, why have Adventure time, Zelda and Guitar Hero never been combined into one, gender-stereotype-fighting game?

Finz, what's the time?

Review Time

Most of us know Awesomefinz. He's a curious individual, who's imagination often leaves everyone around him beyond. This is none so more obvious than in the story of MageQuest. We have a wizard called Amy. She looks to be Asian and has pink hair (Finz has been watching too much anime, although I can't fault her graphic.) She does magic, appears to be scared or allergic to thunder clouds or something, and she's travelling about to save the world maybe. To do this, she genocides a race of green blobs, fights a monster in the forest, enters a desert, kills skeletons and wraiths, walks through a mountain that is actually an illusion for some reason, disperses a storm just for kicks, invades a castle, slaughtering its ghostly inhabitant in a fit of mindless violence, is ambushed by a robot, beats it to death with a guitar, ends up in some digital world, shooting machines and probes and then finds a spirit which transforms into the Wraith and she beats that with a guitar as well and then saves the world and and and-

What, you want me to slow down? You say I'm not making sense? WHAT ABOUT THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED FOR YOU!?!?!

And so we have the problem. I don't understand what's happening. I would like some backstory an Amy; not an essay, but a few words. I'd like some more explanation as to what's happening. And as cool as robots and digital worlds are, I'd like to know why they're relevant in the slightest. I'll admit the basic premise had some kids-programme charm, but I can't help but feel I'd have enjoyed this more if things moved slightly slower and in a more logical manner. As it is, playing this felt like a constant bombardment of nonsense I'd just got to grips with before another shell landed.

Gameplay was good fun. We have our protagonist, Amy, whom moves about through various two dimensional maps. She has a magic stick, of which sometimes shoots things upon touching the right thing (I do that sometimes when my girlfr-)


By firing these magic orbs, enemies can be killed, switches activated to open up new areas, and a variety of puzzles solved. Hazards come in the form of various moving graphics, of whom change every level to keep things fresh. There are even projectiles later on, which the player dodges to progress. So far, none of this is terribly interesting. The aim appears to be to create a game with exploration at its heart, and it partially achieves that, through lazy backtracking with felt more like our charming bubblegum-haired character was very lost rather than progressing with purpose. But I will admit, that constant changes in level design and enemies did feel like I were on some epic quest, even if I wasn't entirely sure what it was.

Where this game should really shine is its puzzles. Shots can go through objects, but not objects marked with yellow stars, leading to some careful character positioning and thought to progress, which was amusing, if nothing incredible. The third level features a mountain that isn't really there, which was interesting, but more of a trail and error, run-into-lots-of-walls-like-a-drunk sort of thing that a puzzle. Later on, coloured walls are introduced which only orbs of the same colour can travel through, leading to some interesting moments. The magnet feature is used to good affect when the player drags a set of crates onto marked areas to open up a door, clever, a little annoying because the space bar already had a feature, but unavoidable. This made me smile. So did the start of the seventh level, where the corridor gradually collapses behind you and the player quickly shoots a series of switches through walls to progress lest they be crushed; clever, and good for a quick, ten second surge of adrenalin. Asides from that, the gameplay felt a little lacking. The puzzles weren't challenging and shooting stuff requires no skill no matter how good the graphics. I can't help but feel that this really needed something more; I'm sure that with some more thought, the dual-orb feature Finz has created could've opened up a whole branch of new puzzles. I can think of a few right not. As it was, there wasn't much to the main levels. Nowhere is this more obvious than level seven; after the collapsing corridor, the player backtracks for a few minutes, nothing interesting happens, and then moves on. When making a game, the question should be, is this sequence worthwhile? If the answer is no, then it shouldn't be there. While this game doesn't exactly seem rushed, I can't help but feel that with some more time, Finz could've done something clever with this. As it is, it feels wasted.

Placement was pretty good, enemies were placed reasonably and sometimes challengingly, and many of the sequences wouldn't have worked without careful testing. However, worth noting is that at times, these puzzles could be "cheated." if you get stuck somewhere, shoot orbs at what you need to from different angles, and at some point, something will get through, even if it isn't meant to, and I cheated a couple of times with this method. That isn't too say the gameplay was bad; I would be remiss if I didn't mention the glorious boss battles; the player moves a square to catch a number of falling objects in a series of three, increasingly challenging, guitar-hero-esque combat scenes culminating in an epic finale, with squares falling very fast and purple projectiles to dodge. After a certain time, the objects stop falling and the boss is removed via an invisible widget, and watching the villain literally melt after I'd beaten it in competitive piano tiles was beyond awesome. This sort of thing has been done before, but I haven't seen it used in this way and executed so smexily. I would've appreciated harder difficulty, especially on the finale, but it will do. Helping somewhat is how incredible these scenes looked; Amy, in her usual pink, staff outstretched in fighting stance on one side, and on the other, a beautifully rendered enemy. The background was beautiful. No graphics, all done by hand. Remarkable.

The rest of the scenery was just as good. The levels were decorated with a number of graphics, grass, mountains, water, sand, etc. These were all solid graphics and nothing looked out of place. The AI's gave the right feel (although it was sometimes hard to tell what things were meant to be, and I'm not sure about those clouds or "sparks" as they're supposed to be) and the colours worked well. Each level is set inside a border, which, combined with the bright colours, set a comic, retro mood which I very much enjoyed. There were a few issues; the colour contrast in the desert was very poor, and it was often hard to spot those little white skeletons in the pale sand, and even harder to spot the "no-magic" star in the sand, which was almost invisible, and confused me for a very long time. But asides from that, its perfect.

I think I've run out of thinks to say. And with that...

I summon thee, random integer generator! -Random numbers appear as I cast various elemental whatsits or something.-

Story; __/_____:

Gameplay; ___.5/_____:

Placement; ___/_____:

Scenery; ____.5/_____:

Overall; ___/_____:

My ratings, as ever, don't show what I want them too, and I'm not sure why, because they feel fair but somehow don't get across what I'm trying to say. I'll summarise; This game is solid, very solid. There were a lot of very clever moments mixed in with some very mediocre ones. But was it fun? Hell yes. And is that what matters? Yes.

So does it deserve its place on the featured page with the Greats?

Well... it's sitting on the fence, so I'mma go ahead and say yes. It's not a game that personally I would feature if I could, but I'm happy enough for someone else to do so. Feature quality has rather gone down hill in the last few years, and I doubt that in Sploder's heyday I would give that answer, but there you have it. You should play it. It's a good way to waste a bit of time, as long as you don't want something incredible, and Finz should be proud of this. Seriously, make less games of this quality instead of more mediocre games; spending time on projects is key.

At this point I'd like to talk about how Finz is a creator with a lot of potential and a bright future on Sploder awaits him. And then I looked at my calendar.

Beast out.

as ever, no offence is intended, so apologises if any has been caused. Please direct all complaints to [email protected]