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iPad  header logo

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Wand lust

Product: Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet | Developer: Ludosity | Publisher: Paradox Interactive | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet iPad, thumbnail 1
Magicka is an attempt to make the side-scrolling brawler work on a touchscreen device. It takes the basics of the genre, then cleverly twists them into new shapes that work better than floating joysticks ever could.

So you've got your combos and special moves, as well as all the rest of the violence you'd expect from a beat-'em-up. You've also got impressive cartoon graphics, a deep co-op mode, and a rich vein of humour running throughout.

And it's all squished together in a package that works on a touchscreen in ways a traditional entry to the genre never could.

That's magic

IAPs explained
The currency of the game is called crowns, and you use it to buy new weapons, robes, familiars, and single-use scrolls that give your power a boost.

You collect crowns as you play, but if you want more, you can also throw down some real-life cash to get them quicker. The cheapest bag of currency gets you 1,500 crowns, and the most expensive will get you 100,000.

You don't need to spend to enjoy the game at all, but if you want the best weapons fast, it's the only way you're going to be able to do it.
You play as a young wizard tasked with freeing a fantasy kingdom from violence and oppression. With a tongue lodged in your cheek, a magic staff, and a slew of different spells at your disposal you set out to right some wrongs and kill some bad guys.

These spells are represented by a series of buttons around the bottom of the screen. They're your basic elemental fare, with fire, lightning, earth, and water all present. You also have a healing spell and a shield spell you can use to fix any damage you've taken and protect yourself during tougher fights.

Your movement and attacks are all controlled with taps. You tap a spell, then tap the enemy you want to fire it at. Tapping a spell more than once adds to its potency, but if you're trapped in a corner it's sometimes a better idea to spam out a few quick attacks to buy yourself some breathing space.

Different enemies have different vulnerabilities and strengths, and learning which spell to use when is part of the game's allure. You can also combo together different elements to create different attacks.

Violent words

Blending together a heal spell and an offensive spell, for example, creates a beam that blasts out of your wizard and does large amounts of damage. You learn other combinations as you progress, until you've built up a powerful arsenal.

The game doesn't quite eradicate the problems of action gaming on a touchscreen, though, with the control method occasionally slipping up and firing a bolt of electricity in your direction instead of at a foe. And while it is slick, some might find it a little one-note.

Still, Magicka is a fast, funny game, and its four-player co-op is the frenetic icing on what's a delicious, if not quite filling morsel.
Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 28 March 2013
A quick and entertaining arcade blast, Magicka isn't perfect, but it'll make you smile all the same
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