Mages and Treasures Review

Introduction

Mages and Treasures is an adventure twin stick shooter, developed by lightUP and published by Ratalaika Games. It was released in February of 2022 for consoles and PC.

*A code was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review. This doesn’t affect the review, as my thoughts are mine and mine alone.

Review

One day a mage is sitting around her house, making potions and having fun, because that’s what mages do. When suddenly, she turns around and notices her most sacred treasure is gone! What happened to it? Who stole it? Why do they even want it in the first place? It doesn’t matter, because it’s time to take back what is rightfully hers!

The game’s story just sets up the world, and gives you motivation for your quest. But other than that, there’s nothing else to it. There’s no cutscenes, no dialogue, no new characters to meet. It’s just you, all on your lonesome, traversing the land and beating the baddies who took your treasure. It makes for a very chill adventure, but I really would’ve loved a bit more exposition in the way of dialogue. Even if it was just a line or two from bosses after you defeated them.

The gameplay acts like a metroidvania at heart, but it’s also a very linear experience, coupled with the fun gameplay of a twin stick shooter. As you go across the lands, you get money from defeating enemies, and keys to chests that hold more money. But this money is only used for opening gates that have health or mana power ups behind them. Nothing more. But as you defeat bosses, you get a new kind of elemental spell that is more powerful than the last, but it fires the exact same way. There’s nothing too special about them.

When I first started playing, I had a hard time staying alive. Mostly because I never thought to use my right stick to aim. But one downside to aiming in this game is you can only aim on the vertical and horizontal planes. Sure this makes it a bit less complicated, but it also makes it harder, as you have to be in front of the enemy in a sense, to be able to land a blow. I also got stuck at first, because the game doesn’t tell you that you have to interact with gates, or what the colours of them signify. So I had to figure it out on my own, and I felt a bit annoyed once I did. There wasn’t even a sign to interact with to tell me anything.

The areas you visit are all nice and pretty though. From the snow swept plains, to the dark creepy forest. They were all well designed artistically. It’s just a shame that again, they were all a bit linear. There were a few times where I kept going between a few areas to see what one was a dead end with power ups though. As I didn’t wanna leave anything behind! But after an hour and a half, I had everything back. Even my greatest treasure.

Rating

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Fun Gameplay
  • Beautiful Area

Cons:

  • Barebones Story
  • Spells Didn’t Act Different

Summary

LightUP Games has worked their magic again with another fun little metroidvania adventure. The gameplay is fun, the areas are nice to look at, and it was fun getting more powerful. I just wish the stories would start getting just a touch more loaded with dialogue. But I’m still looking forward to the next!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: lightUP
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Ratalaika Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £3.99/€4.99 Europe / $4.99 North America
Trophy Information: 56. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 11 / Silver 0 / Bronze 0

Mages and Treasures – Launch 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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