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Mages of Mystralia

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Mages of Mystralia Game Poster Image
Magic-fueled adventure both shines and fizzles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Aside from usual fantasy "good vs. evil" fare, game features themes of general heroism, training to reach one's full potential whenever possible.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Zia is a positive role model who puts the needs of others above herself. She's actively working toward making her world a better place while learning to hone her newfound abilities in creative and effective ways.

Ease of Play

Basic controls are simple to pick up and play. Complexities come in using the various runes to enhance your base spells, changing their strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and crafting brand-new ways to use them in game.

Violence

Fairly steady stream of violence, with players fighting against all manner of fantasy creatures, magical foes. Lots of combat, but no blood or gore, with enemies simply collapsing, disappearing after defeat.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mages of Mystralia is a fantasy action/adventure game available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Players take on the role of a young mage just learning to use her powers who finds herself dropped into a battle to save her world. Players fight against a variety of fantasy creatures and magical foes in regular combat, making use of melee and projectile spells. While there's a steady stream of violence, there's no blood or gore. Also, while the basic controls are simple to learn, there's a lot of complexity involved in evolving the players' spells by using runes to craft brand-new abilities.

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What's it about?

In MAGES OF MYSTRALIA, magical forces may run rampant, but only the rarest of bloodline have the ability to wield those forces as mages. Players are introduced to a young girl named Zia, whose fate is forever changed when she suddenly discovers her own magical potential. When these newfound powers cause trouble for her village, Zia begins a new journey, seeking out a mage sanctuary where she can learn to control her powers and improve her skills. Before long, Zia finds herself tasked with preventing a war between the trolls and the people of Mystralia, uncovering a sinister plot and learning more of her own destiny in the process.

Is it any good?

While customization makes this action/adventure game feel more personal, the action eventually becomes repetitive, limiting the enjoyability of the game. Mages of Mystralia uses a different tactic to bring players closer to the story. Just as Zia is learning to harness and control her powers, players use a unique spell-crafting mechanic to experiment with their own individual power sets. Starting with very basic spells, literally just casting an element, players use various runes to add new features and behaviors, such as movement, power, targeting, etc. Eventually, after some trial and error, you find yourself crafting complex strings of runes to pull off intricate spells with numerous quirks. When you succeed in making a spell come together just right, you can't help but feel the same sense of accomplishment Zia does as her mage skills improve.

While the spell-crafting mechanic in Mages of Mystralia is clearly a great highlight of the game, the rest of it is a mixed bag. The game's presentation is bright and colorful, but it lacks a lot of detail. The story is engaging but falls apart toward the end of Zia's journey. And while it's initially fun to explore the world and to help out villagers with the occasional side quest, eventually that starts to wear and feel a bit repetitive. None of this is particularly bad, mind you; Mages of Mystralia is still fun to play. It just feels that, unlike Zia, it never quite reaches the full potential of what it's truly capable of.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reaching your potential. What are some skills you currently feel you have, and how can they be utilized? How can you improve on those skills and knowledge, and how can doing so make a difference?

  • How can experimentation and trial and error help when trying to solve problems?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy

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