The Last Spell
By Claire Crossman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Magical combat game is tricky, violent.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Working together to overpower evil and harm to friends and family is a frequent theme. As a player, learning how to organize and strategize your resources is necessary, and will teach kids the importance of planning ahead.
Positive Role Models
Although character backstories aren't prominent, the group of warriors that you control are fighting to protect their city from evil. In this way, their efforts to work together can be considered role model behavior. But their methods of accomplishing "good" for the town is almost always through violence, which may not be considered role model behavior to parents.
Character backstories are based in magic and talents, rather than personality and identity. Because of this, topics like race, gender, and sexuality aren't discussed or mentioned. Some warriors are women, although they are few in number.
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Ease of Play
Gameplay will be difficult for players who aren't familiar with turn-based or roguelike combat genres. Although tutorials exist, they are quick and technical in language, which may discourage some players. Completing actions and turns may take a while to become second-nature to players, and can be tricky to understand at first.
Violence & Scariness
The main premise of the game is war. Animated violence, weapons, and murder are frequent. Monsters attack your city's walls, and it's your job to kill them. A brief mention of several mages being hanged for their efforts to help your city.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Spell is a downloadable turn-based strategy and combat game available for Windows PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and Nintendo Switch. This game's highly technical, and will be a difficult starting point for players who aren't familiar with the genre. Violence, although pixelated and animated, is frequent. Fighting your enemies with violence (both physical and magical) is necessary to move the game forward. Teamwork is a strong theme in the plot of this game, and while players don't play alongside other "real life" people to build a literal team, they learn that by protecting others they can accomplish a goal. Apart from violence, adult content such as sex, profanity, and substance use is non-existent.
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The Last Spell
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What’s It About?
After struggling through decades of war, the forces of local mages come together to unleash The Cataclysm, a massive explosion of magic and danger, in order to bring an end to the battle in THE LAST SPELL. Heroes, called "Havens," hold down the fort by battling monsters, called "Clawers," that only come out at night, hoping to tear down the surviving walls of the land. In a desperate attempt to rid the world of the dangerous magic at hand, the mages cast the game's namesake, The Last Spell, in order to remove the magic altogether. This game is a turn-based combat game, perfect for players who aren't thrown off by a fast-paced and strategy-heavy playthrough. With a 60-80 hour length, The Last Spell is clearly designed for semi-experienced players looking for rogue-like adventure to dig their heels into and stay for the long haul.
Is It Any Good?
Filled with that glorious old-school arcade feel, this game amps up the classics that made the turn-based combat genre what it is today. The Last Spell is lengthy (with 60-80 hours of content), and full of detail-heavy combat that will leave magic and strategy fans highly satisfied. It's tricky, and clearly set up to encourage users to fail – but moreso, to learn from those failures and continue in their quest to bring down enemies. Despite this, several difficulty levels exist to accommodate players who are interested in the plot, but who may not have the combat experience to enjoy the game's trials.
At the end of the day, The Last Spell will be a difficult game for younger players who are unfamiliar with this genre. Understanding the game from the beginning is difficult enough to thwart players who are looking to be drawn in immediately. That's not to say that it isn't a good game – and it certainly is, visually, technically, and creatively. Whether or not The Last Spell is a good fit will depend almost entirely on the player's experience and ability to be patient while working through the trial and error process. But, players who are willing to face the challenge head-on will almost certainly have a blast! Full of dynamic visuals, advanced skill set and point systems, and a straightforward plot, there's tons of fun to be had here. With an adrenaline-pumping instrumental hard-rock soundtrack guaranteed to keep your energy up, The Last Spell promises intensity and consistently delivers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Parents can talk to their kids about teamwork and supporting others. Does the bond between mages and warriors in The Last Spell feel similar to the way you are connected to your friends?
Why is a main plot-point of The Last Spell dealing with the consequences of harming others? Is it ever okay to harm a few people to help a larger group?
- Platform: Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid ($24.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: The Arcade Crew
- Release date: March 9, 2023
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: NR for No descriptions
- Last updated: March 27, 2023
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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