Jun 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:14 AM, Jun 22, 2017

Secrets of Magic: The Book of Spells Review

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Secrets of Magic: The Book of Spells is an indie match-3 type game that features more or less the same mechanics as the popular Facebook Candy Crush Saga; note, that this is not simply a mere duplicate of Candy Crush Saga or any other similar ones you might find online or as a mobile app—the main difference is that this title does not have any microtransactions, which I believe to be a strong selling point, for the player no longer has to wait however many hours in order to get a refill of lives in order to continue playing (nor would the player have to pay money in order to purchase lives or other in-game power-ups). Instead, everything is readily available within the game without having to pay any extra money. So, one can play however one wants and for however long one wants, regardless if one messed up a level only once, or two-hundred times.

Overall, this title is both relaxing and fun and provides a casual experience.

What is yet another selling point, besides the absence of micro-transactions, is that there is a storyline that has just enough depth to compel the player to work through the levels and help the girl on her personal journey. Additionally, the power-ups that are unlocked as the story progresses can be upgraded using in-game coins; this makes levels a bit easier, and upgrading each power-up is something to look forward to. However, it does seem as if power-ups do not automatically replenish (they may replenish after so many matches have been made) on the next level; one must wait. This can mean that if you use a power-up at the end of a level, you may not have access to it whatsoever during the next level (depending on exactly how long before it does replenish).

The music along with the graphics and setting fit well together. Overall, Secrets of Magic: the Book of Spells has a sort of Halloween theme, yet it does not suffer any sort of over-use or repetition and so does not become bland. There are several sections of levels on the main map, each with a different setting; and, within each level, a different background graphic is used. Additionally, not the same "symbols" each time. You do not always see the same symbol from level to level; for instance, sometimes you will see a pumpkin or what resembles a zombie.

Additionally, the idea of two different difficulty modes is rather interesting:

Either you can have a limit of how many moves you have in order to complete a level; or, you could get rid of the moves altogether and continue playing until the level is beaten. I have been playing on the former setting, and while some levels do pose a challenge, none that I have come across so far are overwhelmingly or ridiculously difficult. This can be good or bad, and really depends on the player. Some will enjoy this, for it allows for a more casual experience; while, other players may have hoped for more difficult levels.

There are not nearly as many levels in this compared to other titles of the same genre. I am unsure if this will change, but it would be nice if it did, allowing players more and more levels to complete; or even a sort of "part two" to the story that features its own set of levels. However, the fact that one can have multiple profiles (whether to complete the story again, or for friends and family) is a nice feature Additionally, some of the moves that involve an "obstacle" such as a spider web, or those purple flasks (which destroy in an X pattern), bombs (that destroy in a + pattern across the board) and so on, do not behave as one would expect; for instance, if you make a match that is 4-in-a-row and one of the blocks has a spider web on it, a purple flask does not result. I am unsure if other titles in the match-3 genre like this behave the same way, one would expect a purple flask to result in that situation. Aside from this, I have not experienced any glitches or lag while playing; rather, it runs very smoothly—there is not anything wrong with the game in this regard.

7

The Verdict

Overall, Secrets of Magic: The Book of Spells is pretty good and certainly offers some enjoyment to be had. Again, more and more levels is something a player always hopes for; the level most worth playing are those that have not been beaten yet. And, as said above, I am unsure whether or not more levels will be added at some point, or if the story ends once all the levels have been beaten.

Chris Hubbard

A fan of RPGs above other genres, Chris has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Some of the games that had the most influence on his gaming preferences have been the Final Fantasy and the Diablo series. More recently, most of Chris' gaming time has been going toward Gems of War and Clicker Heroes (give it a try, it can be addicting), along with open-world RPGs such as Skyrim and ESO. He's also dabbled with RPG Maker software, and it is a goal of his to someday create an RPG.

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