I love a good fantasy game, but beyond that, I love a game that lets me explore my creativity. Mages of Mystralia lets me do just that. In "Mages of Mystralia" you play as a girl named Zia who discovers she’s a mage when she accidentally burns her house down and is banned from her village. Zia is soon taken in by a secret group of Mages who informs her of an impending evil.
The great thing about the magic system in "Mages of Mystralia" is the ability to customize your spells in several ways. When you first learn magic you have a basic fireball. But as you progress through the story, you will learn how to command ice, earth, air, and electricity at will. Scattered throughout Mystralia are hidden areas and puzzles that have runes, which will allow you to manipulate your magic in unique ways; adding runes such as duplicate, movement, homing, and more will make you a magical force to be feared by any foe. Finding out what works and doesn’t can sometimes be a test of trial and error, but overall the level of customization to the magic system is as deep as your imagination will allow. Simply cast a spell with the touch of a button and let your magic fly. You can also set up multiple spells under a quick access menu to help you on the fly.
The open world of Mystralia is not as open as some AAA titles, but it is still large; the map is split into twelve key locations and, in true adventure game style, you will be doing a large amount of backtracking. Especially if you want to see and do everything the game has to offer. Outside of the main quests, Mages of Mystralia has a fair amount of side quests for you to tackle, which ranges from mini-bosses, fetch quests and even an arena that offers prizes for your skill.
As much as I enjoyed playing Mages of Mystralia, I found the story itself to be under whelming. Zia had the potential to be a more interesting protagonist, but the storyline never gets there. She’s turned away from her village and becomes an outcast because she is a mage. While fleeing her village she meets her “master” who is supposed to teach her how to control her magic, but throughout the entire story her “master” doesn’t teach her anything. However, on your way to Haven (a secret sanction for Mages), you find a spell book that teaches you everything you need to learn. After making it to Haven, you learn that the people hate Mages because they are feared, but this hate is being cultivated by a high-ranking official for unknown reasons. Zia is immediately tasked with stopping an impending evil, but there is no build-up to this. Zia is inexperienced and knows almost no magic, but has the weight of the world on her shoulders and this quick turnaround is great for tension but makes for poor storytelling.
With its coloring book art style, Mages of Mystralia is a very beautiful game, with vistas ranging from snowy mountain peaks, lush forests, and fiery volcanoes. I like Mages of Mystralia a lot more than I was expecting myself to. Despite a lackluster story, which you could finish in about six or seven hours, Mages offers up deep gameplay and fun combat. If you want a decent action-adventure game then this should absolutely be on your watchlist. I give Mages of Mystralia 4 TOV Stars out of 5.