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Life is Magic

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Rocking the suburbs

Product: Life is Magic | Publisher: Red Robot Labs | Format: iPhone | Genre: Location- based | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Life is Magic iPhone, thumbnail 1
From the very first time we picked up a book, we were told that magic was waiting to be discovered in the world around us.

While there's no arguing against the near-magical level of technology in our smartphones and tablets, the type of magic that we were really looking for - the kind with orcs, elves, and fireballs - remains stubbornly elusive.

Until now. Thanks to Life is Magic you now have a way to track down this sort of magical adventure - and it's much closer than you might expect.

Magic, magic everywhere

Life is Magic is an engrossing location-based RPG which takes place in a mystical world that maps neatly onto our own. Geographic regions are divided into fantasy kingdoms, while major cities retain their mundane names.

New York City remains New York City, for example, but it's located in the kingdom of Osteroth (that's north of Benimy, mind).

As you start your quest you can opt to play as a Monk, Mage, or Machinist. Each class is similar to the others in terms of attacks and magic prowess, but the three are aligned with different elements, which helps them against certain enemy types.

Once you've selected a class you're encouraged to explore the world around you. Literally. Zooming in on the overworld map will reveal your character's banner, which hovers over the fantasy depiction of your real-world location.

If you're in a major city, you'll be spoiled for treasure chests and dungeons to discover, but those in more rural locations will be treated to a lot of trees and empty space before they locate the odd treasure chest or dungeon.

Mystical maps

Once you find a dungeon, Life is Magic really hits its stride. Each dungeon is separated into a number of floors, with each floor consisting of a single battle. Every time you win a battle you receive loot and the option to delve to deeper levels or exit with your loot.

IAPs Explained
Life is Magic splits IAPs between two familiar types: Gold and Crystals.

Gold is used to purchase equipment (armour/weapons) in-game and is plentiful enough to handle most low-to-mid level purchases. Higher level items may require you to spend on some gold. Prices range between £1.49 / $1.99 for 20,000 and £69.99 / $99 for 1.3 million.

Crystals have a broader range of uses. You need crystals to purchase MP potions (which allow you to progress through dungeons) and buy new spells at the shop. Additionally, you can trade crystals for keys to open treasure chests with and teleport stones to zip about the map.

They're certainly the high-value currency of the game, and the prices reflect it. 50 crystals will cost you £2.99 / $4.99 while £69.99 / $99 will only land you 1,500 crystals.
This creates a challenging management aspect to the game, as you have to be sure you have enough hit points (or party members) to overcome the challenge on the next floor - defeat in combat means expulsion from the dungeon and the loss of all the loot you've acquired.

Small suburbs will offer a handful of low-level dungeons that are perfect for solo grinding and XP advancement, while larger cities host imposing tower dungeons that require a couple of party members to battle through.

Whether solo or as part of a team, the fights themselves are simple turn-based affairs that are accessible, fun, and fast-paced. In short, they're everything that a random encounter should be in a casual-friendly RPG.

Where does this leave us?

Less fast-paced, however, is the game's system for replenishing your magic points, which controls how many dungeon floors you can unlock or advance to.

In a game where you compete against other players for resources, it makes sense to limit playing time or activities to an extent in the interests of fairness, but it still seems like an unwelcome impediment to enjoying the game.

Life is Magic is a great concept that stumbles a bit in the realm of in-app purchases. If you're willing to be patient, or spend a bit of currency, however, it will reward you with a fun and rich experience that blurs the lines of fantasy and reality.
Life is Magic
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 17 January 2013
Solid RPG fun delivered in an interesting package, Life is Magic will help you see the world a bit differently
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Apr 2013
Post count:
NKAbacus | 02:16 - 25 April 2013
This is the first mobile game I've played where the developer allows you to have as many accounts as possible. If you have 2 devices, you can play up to 6 characters (3x2) with a new class coming soon. If you have 3, you can play 9. The reason is simple: RRL wants you to spend as much money on crystal (in-game currency for each character as possible). To accomplish this, RRL restricts you from pooling gold, crystal, or MP with your other characters.

LIM advertises itself as a GPS/location-based game -- but both of these functions serve NO purpose at the moment. You don't compete with other players for real territory (as advertised). All you do is grind dungeons. If you're the first to complete a tower (a level 4 dungeon), you get your character name on it. The benefits of this: nothing. If you want, you can also do PVP. Mind you, you will not be successful at climbing the PVP LB unless you buy crystal for spells, or have other members with spells bought with crystal. That's all there is to this game.

The armory and stores that sell gear are useless as you can find much better gear in dungeons. However, the most you can get from selling a wep worth hundreds of k in gold is a few hundred. Make sense? Absolutely not.

A lot of the esthetics in the game (stores, etc) are just that: esthetics. Again they have no real purpose. Power & Infuence are also equally useless. As well as gems.

There are only a handful of GPS-location based games in Appstore & Google Play (just type in GPS games). These games are REAL GPS games where you compete with real locations. LIM is the best looking game with the worst gameplay and the least content. Life in Magic should really be called Dungeon Grinder.

On the positive side, LIM does have a great engine in its R2 technology. The sprites are beautiful and the music is decent. But that doesn't make up for a game that has zero depth and no content. Potential? Yes. But they are a long ways away.


- LIM has great graphics and great sound.
- The objective of the game is to grind and get the best gear, then brag on chat about it (that's all they talk about).
- This is NOT a GPS location-based game.
- The game is turn-based -- you only get x amount of 'MP'. Once you spend it, you have to wait for it to replenish (1 MP per 90 seconds).
- There are no commodities to trade other than gear.
- RRL handcuffs and puts restrictions on players to entice you to buy crystal in a way other games don't.
- Signs of favortism from the devs on certain players (never a good thing).

- Just google "GPS Games" and try them out. They have far less restrictions and a million times more depth and content.
Jun 2011
Post count:
iCat3GS | 02:31 - 19 January 2013
I think it's US only :(
Feb 2012
Post count:
SRBian | 14:33 - 17 January 2013
Not available on the UK's iTunes it seems