Dawn of Magic is a competent, though slightly generic RPG
With the advent of iPhone came the dawning of a new era in gaming. Mobile gamers can now consistently rely upon cheap- and freebie-gaming romps galore. With Dawn of Magic, developer Lakoo adds to the pot with an old-school-style RPG that’s light on originality but still a solid option for adventuring on the go.
You take on the role of a young lad thrust into peril by his family’s past. The dialogue is wholly generic, with lines barely a step above Google-translated text. However, the nuts and bolts of a workable story are securely in place. Players will be walked through the basic mechanics of gameplay, and the interface makes sense and is easy to navigate.
Dawn of Magic’s focus is on the use of gems, which are essentially spells. You’ll begin the game with two gem slots, though you can purchase additional slots fairly early on in the adventure. Some spells do direct damage to enemies or heal allies; others offer stat bonuses to party members or negative status effects to foes. The game also utilizes a rock-paper-scissors system, with elemental alignments taking priority over one another.
Combat in Dawn of Magic is a traditional turn-based affair. Fans of the original Final Fantasy games will feel right at home here. In a given round, each character can use items, execute a physical attack, cast spells, etc. Additionally, each of your party members has an AP bar for using unique character actions. Unlike mana, this bar recovers from executing actions in combat. Combat in Dawn of Magic feels balanced, though some grinding is still necessary.
In order to navigate the overworld, you simply tap the area of the screen where you wish your character to go. Unfortunately, it’s something of a slow and tedious process, and tapping to the far top left or right of the screen can cause one of your two menus to inadvertently pop up. Exploration feels clumsy, but it’s a minor frustration easily overcome.
The animations while roaming around the game’s world are a bit lackluster, though the character sprites themselves are detailed and beautiful. Battle sequences are a bit more exciting, but the enemy variety is sparse. Musical themes during combat are run-of-the-mill, with odd victory cadences that seems completely out of place with the overall premise of the game. The sound effects, however, do a fine job of conveying the action during enemy encounters.
Dawn of Magic is a competent yet forgettable RPG. The game’s main selling point is that it’s free. At that price, it’s a worthwhile adventure to noodle around with while sitting in a doctor’s office or waiting for a train to work. The characters are mildly endearing in spite of the Engrish translation, and the RPG gameplay is completely functional.
- Solid story and gameplay that are moderately satisfying. Attractive visuals. It’s free.
- Characters are silly, and the translation is amateurish. Less-than-stellar aural presentation. Clumsy overworld controls.