Who knew training to be a wizard could be so dull?
If the Harry Potter series has done nothing else, it has definitely given the world a fascination with the idea of being a young wizard. Magic Life attempts to capitalize on this fascination by putting you in the role of a budding apprentice who’s just arrived at the curious Islands of Magic. Unfortunately, despite an interesting premise and a ridiculously adorable presentation, Magic Life fizzles out when it comes to the actual gameplay.
It plays out as somewhat of a mishmash of Harry Potter, Animal Crossing, and a social freemium game. You’ll play as a budding wizard who has arrived at the Islands of Magic in an attempt to learn the ways of the wand. The island–or islands, as you’ll eventually unlock additional locations–are filled with characters, shops, magical creatures, trees, and more. You’ll be able to interact with some of the characters, and if you log-in via Facebook Connect the island will become populated by all of your friends. You’ll also have a home of your own to buy furniture for and decorate, but the majority of your time in Magic Life will be spent completing quests.
There’s a Quest Master who will help guide through the process of turning into the next Dumbledore, and he’ll do this by giving you a steady stream of things to do. Sometimes this involves collecting items like wood or fruit, other times it involves getting rid monsters like cyclops’, and, of course, you’ll have to cast your fair share of magical spells, turning people into pigs and enchanting weird stones. In order to cast a spell, however, you’ll first have brew a potion, which involves collecting all the necessary ingredients and then…waiting. Depending on the spell it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours for it to finish brewing.
The problem is that few of these quests are very interesting, and worse still, they repeat a lot. You’ll be asked to repair the same fountain many, many times, as well as collect a certain amount of fruit, defeat a certain number of cyclops, magically fix a certain number of dying trees, and more at an almost absurd frequency. And since completing these tasks consists of nothing more than having the right spell or items and then simply clicking on something, the repetition quickly becomes annoying. Who knew training to be a wizard could be so dull?
Despite how boring the game really is, many players will probably be roped in by Magic Life‘s incredibly cute and charming visuals. All of the characters sport a super-deformed style that’s reminiscent of the MySims series, and everything is bright and colorful. There’s also a good amount of customization in the game, as you can purchase numerous outfits for your character and furniture for your home.
But the cute visuals and plentiful customization options aren’t enough to mask just how boring Magic Life is. The repetitious tasks and uninspired gameplay make this game more of a habit than anything else. There’s lots to do and see, but none of it is particularly interesting. Hogwarts, this isn’t.