Hands On With Mage’s Initiation

In recent years, the humble point and click adventure has undergone something of a resurgence.
For far too long, the genre was consigned to the memories of gamers of a certain age, who wistfully remembered a time when Lucasarts and Sierra were cranking out cracking games as if there was no tomorrow.

That all changed a few years ago when Telltale Games – with a little help from a certain Sam and Max – got back in the groove and gave the genre a much needed shove in the right direction and introduced it to a new generation of gamers. Fabulous point and click adventures have followed in the last few years, with games such as Primordia and the wonderful Book of Unwitten Tales giving gamers plenty to smile about.

The latest adventure to appear is Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements, a new title by Himalaya Studios which is currently awaiting full funding via Kickstarter. Himalaya kindly sent us a demo of the game and although short, it gave us a tantalising glimpse of what to expect from their new project.

You play as 16-year-old D’arc, a trainee fire mage who is summoned to appear before his mentor, Varner, for his latest lesson in the wonders of natural magic. What follows is a short but sweet introduction to the game, with the player guiding D’arc around various rooms, interacting with objects and solving some simple conundrums in a fairly standard fashion.



But the team at Himalaya haven’t played it safe by simply taking a trip down a well-worn path – they’ve injected fresh life into the genre by introducing RPG elements and have even added combat into the mix. As the player guides D’arc around completing tasks, experience points are dished out and, upon reaching a new level, points can be allocated into various disciplines, such as strength, magic, intelligence and constitution.

Adding combat elements is certainly unusual and although it’s presented here as a a short arena-like tutorial, it works well and offers up a refreshing change of pace from the methodical puzzle solving.

The control system even at this early stage is slick and well thought out, with the player able to cycle through the available options by right clicking on objects or characters of interest. When it comes to combat, the player has access to spells and potions in the top half of the screen, while a secondary click on foes enables D’arc to unleash his range of devastating fiery spells.



Although the demo only features D’arc, the full game will have more mages, each with their own spells, personalities, puzzles and sidequests.

It’s all shaping up to be a rather special game, and with around three weeks to go, the game is well on its way to reach its $65,000 Kickstarter target. So while this small sliver of D’arc’s initiation only offers us the merest glimpse into the world Himalaya are crafting, there was
definitely enough to pique my interest and I’m intrigued to see how this project matures over the coming months.

Here is a link to their Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2112639455/mages-initiation-a-classic-sierra-style-adventure

A Steam Greenlight page has been set up aswell so please drop past and vote it up:  http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=125180296


Written by Scott Munro, an avid game player and Baseball fan. Check out his blog: http://kiltedmoose.blogspot.co.uk/

Kilted Moose

I'm Scott Munro - former games columnist at the Scottish Daily Record. In 2010, I was shortlisted for Regional Games Columnist of the Year at the Games Media Awards. I've also scribbled words for IGN UK, Game People and the Sunday Mirror's games page.