Tech

Master of magic, the tried and tested strategy that signals the return of the legend

Master of Magic, the proven, strategy that signals the return of one of the cornerstones of the 4X genre, in a completely renewed look.

Each of us has games that he remembers with universal affection and which have very vivid and enjoyable memories. They are the people who marked our lives as players, for better or worse, but above all for good. So when they told us we’re going to work on Try the magic masterthe new edition developed by MuHa Games and Eerie Forest Studio for Slitherine, the hundreds of hours I spent with the original rained together on an old, battered cervix, and despite the mental and physical pain of the sudden realization of being a goddess other than youth, we experienced a strange joy that we hope translates to Great gaming experience.

basics


The map is divided into hexagons

The new Master of Magic setting seems to be very traditional. Anyone who has played 4X will be at home and won’t even need to activate educational course My script to understand the basic concepts, as they are now firmly rooted in the genre (thanks in large part to the original Master of Magic). After creating the map, we ended up with a city and two units: one military that changes according to the chosen faction (in the beta version there were only three), and the other of colonists. So, the first thing we did was start exploring the surroundings to find points of interest and a place to found our second city (not too far from the first, but maybe with useful resources). In total, we were able to play the game for a hundred rounds, not much, considering the amount of factors to consider and the relative slowness of progress, but enough to start savoring the basic mechanics of the game.

The map consists of the classic hexagons with the available resources indicated above. while limits city They are fixed, it is necessary to choose well the places where they are created.

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Wasting colonists, especially in the beginning, making them easy prey for the first transient antagonist, can significantly slow growth. Units must then traverse plains, rivers, mountains, oceans, and other types of terrain to expand their general knowledge of the map, in order to identify promising terrain and understand the source of the dangers.

The Areas of interest, mentioned above, is very popular and, to be honest, it is the fulcrum of the first stage of the game. These are castles, monuments, temples, etc., just to give some examples, where there are enemies of different strength, even none of them actually protect gold, mana, things and other resources, which are basic in the early stages. On each occasion it is possible to choose whether to fight head-on, delegate to the CPU or avoid clash (necessary when forces are out of balance to our net damage). In any case, the battle summary screen always provides statistics on the percentages of possible wins and losses, so that we do not find ourselves deciding blindly.

Charm

Also in the early stages of the game (after all we can only experience it), one of the greatest dangers is the barbarian tribes, who attack the newly founded cities without warning. That is why it is necessary to develop a defensive strategy from the outset. Since the forces in the field are variable and it is never possible to feel completely safe, it is necessary to strike a balance between the construction of buildings and the construction of units. In classic 4X mode, in fact, it is possible to start only one production per city. However, you can create queues of five productions, and if you want, you can change the current production during playback, even if it is hardly an effective solution when you are under pressure and not sufficiently prepared. As a literary genre, cities are more or less rich depending on the region in which they are built. Needless to say, the available resources are reflected in the production of food and the speed of construction of units and buildings, as well as research.

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One of the most important features of Master of Magic is Charm. Unlike other 4Xs, where technologies are studied to obtain better buildings and units, increasingly powerful spells are studied here, which can be cast on the map or in combat.


Points of interest are essential, at least in the early stages of the game
Points of interest are essential, at least in the early stages of the game

There are different types: offensive, supportive, defensive, summon, and so on. The launch cost Preserving individual spells varies greatly and is central to long-term strategies implemented through play. So summoning an object can have a very high initial cost and then no longer require Mana spending, while giving a unit some bonus, such as movement speed, can cost less initially, but requires a fixed cost per shift. On the other hand, fighting bouts end on the battlefield. In principle, we had the impression that in the early stages of the game, magic had less weight than in the advanced stages, as it begins to show its effects with strength and all its potential on the gameplay, especially when you find out what points you have. , which is closely related to our magical power. Too bad we couldn’t play a full game to check it out.

fighting


It is better to fight head-on than to rely on the CPU for more balanced clashes
It is better to fight head-on than to rely on the CPU for more balanced clashes

Another platform is the system fighting. As mentioned before, it is possible to let the CPU into the clashes, but we quickly figured out that it is only worth doing this if there are forces so powerful that they completely outsmart the opponent. In the case of uncertain engagements, it is always advisable to go directly to the field, to implement more effective strategies, perhaps go to defend the weaker forces more, so as not to tear them apart every time. The system itself is quite straightforward: clashes occur on random maps, which are generated based on where the troops meet, on which units are automatically deployed. Each of them has a certain number of action points, which he can spend to make his moves. Of course it is also possible to cast spells, one in turn, as long as you have enough mana (which in turn tends to become the most important resource of all).

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Cities are becoming more and more densely populated, both with people and buildings
Cities are becoming more and more densely populated, both with people and buildings

Overall, the clashes seemed perfectly balanced to us, even if the AI ​​seemed to lean towards fairly straightforward offensive tactics. It must be said that we had few group battles, that is, with a large number of units, and in many cases we could not even fight, because the opponents were very strong (they demanded advanced units that we were not in a hundred cycles. able to get), so he would need This aspect also has to properly check the final version (yes, we wanted to play with it more… Positive, right?).

We loved Master of Magic, either because it reminded us of the many hours we spent with the original, or because it appears to us as a cleverly developed title, which embraced the major novelties of the genre. Of course there are many things to check, a hundred rounds is not enough to evaluate and therefore we could not deepen the middle game and the final stages where they should express themselves at their best. In the meantime, we have a healthy desire to keep playing with it, which seems positive to us.

The region

  • The smell of Master of Magic seems to be present
  • Magic is the essence of the game

doubts

  • Some graphic uncertainty

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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