Khairete! This is long overdue, as the semester has been a battle! Mikaius here, victoriously marching in with games, fresh booty from the War of Sales (not to be mistaken for the War of Sails, which I lost miserably)!
Yer a wizard e’rybody! Or rather, you can be, with these games!
(1) Rogue Legacy by Cellar Door Games
This game is something special. I can play it and play it and play it forever. It’s a simple Metroid-style game with RPG-Roguelite elements: run around the castle, get gold, lose gold, buy things, kill things, repeat until you can fight a boss. Do this for every section of the castle, then do it all again! The sheer volume of character classes, upgrades, and other items, ensures that the game doesn’t get old. The downside is that you can also get very stuck, very easily, if you’re not making enough gold in your runs to meaningfully spend it before the next run. Eventually though, you reach a point where you will obliterate everything that crosses your path, as you upgrade, even in New Game ++etc. mode. When you get to that point, mindlessly slaughtering monsters may lose its charm, but might also be a great way to get through that massive backlog of podcasts we both know you have.
(2) Hocus Pocus by Moonlite Software
Yer a wizard! No, really. A straight up wizard. You shoot lightning bolts at monsters. You platform. It’s an Apogee platformer for the PC! This is a great little game, loads of fun. Not much to say, but being able to pick it up as part of the 3D Realms Anthology on Steam was fantastic. However, the Duke Nukem portions of that anthology will be stripped out as of next year, so it may be better to spend less on Hocus Pocus itself over at GoG.
What to say about this series? It’s a Diablo clone. It’s Diablo. It’s even got some of the developers from the original Diablo working on it. Hit the dungeon, fire off your magical bolts, have an adorable pet ferret, beat the big bad! In the first game, you have three classes: a wizard, barbarian and rogue. The correct choice is the wizard, of course, because he is a steampunk wizard that shoots magic from his giant gloved hand. It’s a solid play, the animation is beautifully fluid, the mechanics are top notch and the aesthetic is right on.
Torchlight II is a step up, but if you’ve already gone through Torchlight, it just may not hold the same weight. The step between them is the same as Diablo to Diablo II, single-town-hub with a dungeon to overworld in traversing many environments. Now the classes are wizard, melee-rogue, ranged-rogue, magic-barbarian. Torchlight II also introduces multiplayer to the game, so now you can adventure with your own personal Hermoine and Ron!
(4) Magicka by Arrowhead Game Studios
I don’t have much to say on Magicka. I haven’t really played it myself, but I have watched lots of it be played. What a manic time it looks like! Absurd and fun! Combine all kind of magical elements and blast your enemies, your friends and yourself into the next life! Looks like madness!
Go ahead and grab it on Steam – go crazy and set everything on lightningfire!
(5) Trine by Frozenbyte
This is an interesting game. A puzzle platformer in 2.5D, with three playable characters. You can play in co-op or by yourself, switching between any of the three characters at will (but only one player can be any given character at a time). A wizard, good for moving objects around and making magical boxes to stack up, a rogue to flit about and swing with a grappling hook, and a warrior to punch skeletons real good and use his shield for protection. Good design, cute aesthetic, fairy tale all around. Fully recommended you hit up Steam or GoG for a copy, or for the whole trilogy! (Though fair warning, the word on the street about the third game is not pleasant.)
(Header image designed by Thomas Taylor, taken from Hypable.)