Ikenfell Review

Introduction

Ikenfell is a turn-based RPG that was developed by Happy Ray Games and published by Humble Games. It was released on October 8th, 2020 for PC and Consoles.

Review

Something strange is happening at the magic school of Ikenfell, and somehow Maritte’s sister Safina is caught in the middle of it all. Maritte hasn’t heard from Saf in a while and decided she’d come search for her, even though she’s an “ordinary” and she knows the school could be dangerous. But as she gets closer to the school, she manages to get magical powers herself. With limited time, and a deep dark secret hidden in the school, Maritte starts her journey to try and find her sister.

Now this all sounds like a very silly adventure. That’s because at the start it was. As I explored the magic school, I even got some Harry Potter vibes. Which I absolutely loved, so I felt I was pulled into the game even more. Looking for all the secrets in the school, and seeing all the wonderful places. Like the center for Alchemy, or the Garden, or even the Library that was filled to the brim with books about magic! Even though you never truly get to interact with anything. But let me tell you, the happy adventure doesn’t stay happy for too long at all.

It gets dark and twisted, filled with lies, and deception, and characters that have deep dark struggles. Some feel like they’re not good enough for anyone around. Some who are so jaded, they can’t trust that anyone is who they say they are. The way the characters feel fleshed out, really helped me love each and every one of them. Even when they’re being complete jerks for no reason. Like Perticia, the character that was made to be clearly hated by the player, she ended up being my favourite in the end. The game even has some twists that I absolutely didn’t see coming. Or the wonderful lore it sets up to explain the creation of the world with all the magic in it. Who doesn’t like the idea of a giant sky god called Rava, who laid a ton of eggs, and each child from those eggs went on to create everything in the world. Plus the game even dabbles in the forbidden arts known as Blood Magic. Now that part of the game is really messed up, and very very sad. This game got me choked up so much I felt for everyone, as I already said.

It doesn’t help that throughout the game, the music really helps set the tone. Like in the dark and hidden Archives, the music is eerie and really gives off the “nobody knows about it” vibe. Plus when the game really starts to ramp up on the characters deep rooted problem, the game has a piano score. Pianos make any sad scene even more emotional! So it really helps accentuate the feeling of helplessness that each character feels when it comes to themselves. There’s no way you would hate anyone in this game.

The game itself is very fun in combat. As it has an active battle system, where you have to press A/X depending on the system you play on, to deal more damage or take less damage. Each move in the game that all your teammates have even have all their own animations, with their own timing required. Every attack also had their own range. So you had to plan where you moved to on the grid before initiating the attack. Or have everyone lined up right so the defence skill hit everyone. So the battle system doesn’t stay too stale at all. Plus each teammate is very useful in their own right. There were many times I was switching my team around to best suit the area. Like enemies that I knew hit hard, I had a character who would increase everyone’s defence, and someone who would cast regenerative healing that healed someone every turn.

The game itself even has some accessibility options for the battle system. If for some reason you can’t get the timing of the attacks down, whether it’s slow reaction time, or a disability, you can set an option so that all of your attacks are a “good” rating and you can always try to get “great” rating. Though I never tried this option myself to see how easy it is to get a “great” rating, it was a fantastic option!

You also can’t have an RPG without a ton of dungeons! Each dungeon is unique and magnificent. As you travel around the school grounds to unravel the mystery. Even getting the dungeons sometimes requires puzzles to get into. So it made exploring every dungeon a blast to do, even if I was never sure what way to properly go. But that’s what makes great dungeons great! Is this the proper way to go, or is it a way for good gear?

If there was one thing that really got to me though, it was the last boss. Is this spoiler-ish? It could be. But either way, it was awful. The boss has 6 phases to get through. Each one is worse than the last. Plus the boss summons minions throughout the whole fight. So you not only have to deal with small enemies and the boss, but if you don’t kill the small enemies fast enough, you easily get overrun. Plus the last boss has some really awful attacks that can separate your team on the battlefield. This was infuriating to me, especially when there were a ton of enemies. I eventually made it through the battle after 2 long hours. I know to some, this isn’t a big deal, but for me, it truly was. I’ve played many RPGs and this is near the top for worst last bosses ever. But I will admit the pay off was awesome and had me tearing up. I was really sad when I saw that credit screen roll because I wanted more of this universe and characters in it.

Rating

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Great Characters
  • Amazing Setting
  • Fantastic Story
  • Fun Battle System

Cons:

  • The Last Boss Fight

Summary

{I cannot recommend this game enough. Play this game. Especially if you love a Harry Potter like setting. The story is dark and twisted. The characters have deep rooted problems that they have to work through. The dungeons are unique and fun to work through. The battle system never felt like it got old. This is quite literally one of the greatest RPGs that have been released in recent times. The only downside to me was how long the last battle took. But I can look past that. Play this game!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Happy Ray Games
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Humble Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £15.99/€19.99 Europe / $19.99 North America
Trophy Information: 28. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 6 / Silver 13 / Bronze 8

Ikenfell | Release Date Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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