Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
I'm trying to fend off a giant snake that can kill me with a single bite. So far, I've blown myself up about four times in a row, using a trick shared with me by someone else who plays the game - it's called the ARSE bomb, named after the four keys that make up the spell. Oh, I've also detonated villagers, slaughtered my entire graduating class of mages, set trolls alight with meteors, and managed to explode a teammate with healing grenades.
This is Magicka, and if you've not yet played it, you've been deprived of something incredible. If I were to refer to it as one of the best indie games ever made - easily worthy of standing side-by-side with the likes of Amnesia and Cave Story - I wouldn't be exaggerating in the slightest.
The story, as it goes, is simple. You're a wizard, and part of a sacred - and extremely prestigious - order in a world inspired by Norse mythology. Your headmaster (who totally isn't a vampire, by the way) sets you and up to four friends on an epic quest to defeat an evil sorcerer and his legion of terrifying creations. As high fantasy goes, the developers were extremely self-aware when developing the story for the dungeon-crawler; expect the game to comically poke fun at itself on more than one occasion.
Along the way, you'll probably blow up each other on more than one occasion. You'll probably light yourself on fire. You'll probably drown, get eaten by trolls, get slaughtered by goblins, and get crushed by a giant demonic chef. At least once, you'll intentionally crash your game to your desktop (there's actually a spell called "Crash to Desktop." I dare you to go for several hours without trying it at least once. There's an achievement for doing so, by the way).
See, the most fascinating thing about Magicka is the magic system. You are equipped with eight different 'base' elements. Each of these elements can be combined with a number of other elements (and each element also has a natural opposite with which it's often incompatible). In addition, certain combinations of elements can be used to craft devastating spells; these spells are discovered as you play through the game. One such spell - thunder - can ruin pretty much anything that isn't in a cave if you're quick enough with your fingers.
Since its release way back in 2011, the game's gotten worlds better, through the inclusion of a huge array of different expansion packs which explore everything from the Vietnam War to the Cthulhu mythos. Oh, there's also a veritable banquet of different player models, equipment sets, and challenges, as well. The most recent of these is Grimnir's Laboratory; an arena which randomly locks elements for use.
Oh, just one thing to note. Magicka tends not to work so well on certain graphics cards, particularly mobile ones. Might wanna look up details on your card and setup to be sure that you won't run into any potential problems while trying to run the game. Though my desktop can run it (relatively) flawlessly, my laptop can't even look at the game without stuttering like a broken car motor.
Anyway, if you haven't played it already, you should give it a try. It currently costs $9.99 on Steam.
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."