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Game Maker Games - Mage Craft
 Mage Craft by darthlupi
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Review by tapeworm
Mage Craft is sort of a Gauntlet-style action RPG with a lot more depth than you might expect at first. Certainly much more than most games made with Game Maker.

In this game, you take the role of a student of magic who is not yet very proficient at it. Or at much else, really. I'll say now that this game is difficult when you're starting out. But the protagonist gradually learns spells and builds up his various abilities and attributes. You also occasionally find unique items that significantly increase various abilities. Eventually, the mage becomes very powerful, and frustratingly hard areas become fun (but still challenging). But even when things are frustrating they are never impossible--when you are defeated, you don't lose anything you've gained.

Learning new spells is a central part of the game. You find "telling stones" scattered throughout the game, each of which shows you the components needed for a certain spell (it helps to write this down). Between areas, you create your spells using what you learned from these stones and the components you've collected. The range of spells you can learn is impressive, from fireballs that ricochet off walls, to boulders that fall from the sky, to summoned creatures that fight by your side.

The graphics in Mage Craft are full of variety. You visit swamps, snowy mountains, deserts, and more, and each area has unique scenery and enemies. Well-designed cutscenes introduce areas and advance the plot as you go along. The sound effects are varied and work well, and the music is a series of short loops that fit the game nicely.

One of the most impressive things about Mage Craft for me is the way darthlupi creates fun, intense battle scenes. The boss battles are especially noteworthy--each is unique and well-designed.

I can't really say enough good about this game, but at the same time I don't want to say too much so that I don't spoil anything. I found the game quite difficult in parts (especially in the beginning), but well worth completing and ultimately more fun and rewarding than a lot of commercial games.

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Opinions about Mage Craft
engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
100%
strange
50%
challenging
100%
polished
100%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Recommendations: The 55 people who like Mage Craft also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2010.02.19 user_ferai
Rating: 8

Just finished, and I have to say a very solid, well made game. Nice cute scenes, good graphics, and a fair bit of depth.

However, the overall difficulty--not to mention the tedium of playing the same area over and over again to get powerful enough to move on to the next area, as well as the uselessness of 90% of the spells--I could have done without.

To Sebine, I think the power is slightly randomized. If you level up a little further, the number of hits it takes to kill an enemy will be more consistent.
2009.07.22 Sebine
Rating: --

WHAT THE HELL!?

I completed the first part of the ice area, went into the second, and got RAPED by 2 knife dudes...
Then all the sudden, they wernt 3 hits anymore, it was like my fking power got reduced, and it took 5 hits again..

WTF!?!?

Sidenote: goddamnit was the dev crippled or something? Arrow Keys + Mouse isnt a very comfortable way to play
2009.07.22 Sebine
Rating: --

'But even when things are frustrating they are never impossible--when you are defeated, you don't lose anything you've gained.'

No loss for dying my ass...

When you die the goddamn enemies get harder.
and your stats dont show any decrease
2008.07.28 The HammerHead
Rating: --

Not too bad. Mainly it is your artwork that needs help. The controlling wasn't very good either. You do good work for the most part, though. Keep it up.
2007.07.12 Lavalle
Rating: 9

This game is awesome but really hard. I would have to spend a lot more time in the first three areas if it wasn't fr a bug though. Whenever you finish a full level, doesnt matter which one, new ones open up. Even if it was a level you finished already. I couldn't get past the ice giant but I finished the first level twice and I could access the haunted forest. Three times and more levels opened up. I'm still trying to just finish all levels, but I think this should be fixed, as it's a pretty serious bug.
2007.01.30 zewie-x
Rating: 9

this sound crazy!But do some one know a programer
that can make games with 3d tools like 3ds max,CharacterShop,and so on. i can toose so go in on my game lorty2
2006.11.28 rabid squirrel
Rating: --

This game is awesome!
Great graphics, great sound (really tensed you up), great game play, great polish, greta idea and originality...
BUT WHY IS IT SO HARD AT THE BEGINNING???????????
I thought good games were easier at the beginning and got harder??? I can't even get past outside the cave! Frustrating....

I might write more and give a rating after I get somewhere - IF I do get somewhere
2006.10.08 fatalbertthe
Rating: 10

very fun, but very hard...
Amazing graphics 4 a GM game. i'm stuck at hard ice trying to get past those 2 goblin dudes but they kill me in an instant. I HATE GOBLINS!!!! an all around amazing game though!! i give it a 10!!!!
2006.09.20 whiteboyzza1
Rating: 6

good idea, nice graphics, and ya cool, but its too slow for me, and not very fun.
2006.08.21 Imagination Nation games
Rating: 8

Either this game is easier than everyone thinks or I'm very good at it. Sure I'm stuck at what's probably the last boss (I don't know hw to kill that red Altan War Wisard), and the cursor can get buggy, but I like it.
Deserves the spolite.
2006.08.13 Rustem
Rating: 10

dfgdfgdfgdfgdfgddffffffffffffffffffffggggggggggggggggggggggggfffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
2006.08.09 ForceDevice
Rating: 5

This game is good,but not as good as everyone says.The biggest problem with it is not the bugs,the difficulty or something like that:it's that I had no fun playing it at all.And what's the point in playing a game if it isn't fun?
Oh,and here are some problems I'e noticed:
-The incredibly high difficulty,of course;
-Sometimes the cursor seemed to wrap when moving outside of the screen.This is not only weird but also bothers a LOT;
-Why does the mana take SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to recharge?This was the biggest of the problems with this game!
-The summoning magic is completely useless.
2006.07.29 shit
Rating: --

how do you play the f-ing thing?
2006.06.17 22cat
Rating: 8

This is a really good game. The only problem is that its inposable! I cant find a way (any way at all)to beet the 2nd level!(I tryed for 3 whole hours!) Can someone give me some tips, plz!
2006.05.02 mazimadu
Rating: 7

I like the gameplay and control. The music really puts me in the mood for major Zombie hunting. The only thing i dont like is the speed of the player.
2006.04.28 Rhantari
Rating: 8

Darthlupi's a ledgend
30 chars...
Purple monkey dishwasher
2006.04.13 Orangepaint
Rating: 10

Excellent game! Although I've spent hours on hours trying to defeat the last boss, which I simply cannot do. Ive gotten all but about 2 spells, which ill find soon enough. My favorite one would have to be the mini-meteors. Excellent game.
2006.04.09 Steven-350
Rating: 8

Minimum 30 characters
The game is good...I too have much imagination. I give you 8.
2006.04.08 Matrix 3-D game over
Rating: 9

This is a very outstanding game cause it has great music, great gameplay, great spells and great everything! Although its hard at first, you'll find a fair amount of spells and some spell block thingys. A good thing about this game is that you dont have to play every single level to finish the game but there could be usefull spells in some levels. Overall i'll give it a 9.
2006.04.02 Link4000z
Rating: --

Does anyone have a walkthrough for this game? The first few levels are so hard! Someone please help me!
2006.03.26 monster
Rating: --

This game is way to slow. The action doesnt start untill a long time. But besides that it a great game
2006.03.19 bearboy10110
Rating: --

i didn't rate this game cuase 999 isn't one of the rating choices :P no, really, this game rocks! darthlupi is a really awesome game creator. nice graphics, gameplay, and sounds. good game!!!
2006.03.06 Mr. Wiggles
Rating: 8

Very cool! However now that I`ve beaten it I don`t think I`ll ever play it again.
2006.02.12 Pizzaroni
Rating: 8

kinda hard though i mean the guys who run fast and the wierd spell making, but hey, its a nice game still
2006.01.31 NiCk HoMa GrOwN
Rating: --

Izzit like warcraft or starcraft? anyway is it startegy?
2006.01.27 NiCk HoMa GrOwN
Rating: --

Hey can anyone tell me how i can let u all download my games if i made them?im a noobie if already have and u played its quite stupid.
2006.01.17 chfd911
Rating: 9

Sorry Darthlupi, but i just had to release my HAXED Save Game of Mage Craft! LOL

Tired of low stats? No spells? No $$$? Cant unlock all the levels? Well... Just download my HAXED Save Here: You might need to save target as, or possibly may need to copy paste the code into the old save file! http://www.freewebs.com/anetgames/Game_One
2006.01.15 Concrete
Rating: 7

HEY!!! I know this game! its awsome (Troll boss too hard) its funny i didn't read from any of the spell stones lol..i got only a weak shot and managed to reach the fairy war place!!!
2006.01.15 Concrete
Rating: --

PS : Have you seen thesodamachine around??
i need to have a chat with that guy
2006.01.01 Heartless
Rating: 8

One of Darthlupi's Finest....
2005.12.27 drdemention
Rating: --

Clever, clever. I think I might just download and play this for a third time. Seriously one of the better GMG games.
2005.12.17 KillJOY
Rating: 8

ok game, ver very difficult and frustrating at times, the story is very good and there is much spells you can learn. I hate, though that the cursor sometimes moves somwhere else usually resulting in death.
2005.11.11 MadClown
Rating: --

download link is broken..............
2005.09.13 SonicLegacy
Rating: 9

Gameplay: Very deep but occaisionally very hard.
The challenge is great wheras others moan I like using my head against enemies. But until you get more power tread carefully!

Sounds: The music is quite good, wish I knew the file type :sad:. The sound effects are mid - quality but suitably so.

Graphics: The game has very good graphics, I've never seen them before so I'll assume lupi made them. The main character consists of two sprites, a rotating one for the top haly, and animated legs, this makes a nice overhead walking effect.
Its all very well handelled, there can be many effects and characters on screen and it won't lag, or maybe its just my PC.

Replay Value: Its very fun to return to easier areas after becoming more powerful, crushing those pathetic mortals with your god-like power! Ahem. But that doesn't last long, I'm gonna look for some secrets, there are bound to be some. I found one thats just a small patch of sea with Lupis name there and agressive... dwarves I think (Haven't been there in a while)

Overall: A very fun, challenging game, enjoy!
2005.09.04 Link4000x
Rating: 7

I just played this game and I don't see how everyone really, really likes it. I think darthlupi did a really nice job on it, but it's way to hard in the beginning. The cursor would sometimes switch really fast to another area without warning. I didn't like that very much. I did liek the story, I found the beginning very interesting. The sprites also look good. Although I didn't find this game tastes, you should try it out and see if you like it becasue most everyone else does.
2005.08.11 pyroshot
Rating: 10

Wow! this is one of the best games I ever played in GM. definitely make a sequel. it is a glorious product by you, like all the others you made. oh yeah, can you like PM me spell combinations in GM community?
2005.08.09 Time Wraith
Rating: 9

Ah, Mage Craft... a true GM classic. Although one may regard it as outdated from the technical point of view, it was revolutionary back in its day. I congratulate darthlupi on creating what is generally considered to be the first in-depth RPG-style status system. The AI in Mage Craft is formidable, rendering the game's levels enjoyable and exciting. The large number of spells that can be acquired significantly boost the overall replay value. Mage Craft's only flaw is its high difficulty level, which forces the player to devote a considerable amount of time to 'levelling up'. As a whole, Mage Craft is a superb (and satisfyingly lengthy) game that is a tribute to darthlupi's admirable programming skills.
2005.08.01 Dr_baconman
Rating: 10

Holy moly. I remember this! I played it around 30 years ago (or 2, whichever sounds more reasonable) and couldn't do anything. I was stuck worse than... a guy who is stuck on a normal game. Now, when I play it, all of a sudden I understand everything, from map movement to spell-making. This game turned out exellent. A bit hard, mind you, but excellent. I hope to see young game-developers looking at this and exceeding it.

Exceptional, indeed. I like words with 'Exc' at the beginning of them.
2005.07.25 LegoCrazy1
Rating: 8

I like the game even though i havent made it very far. At first i didnt get if thought. I had to read the instructions like 5 times.
2005.07.16 froggut198
Rating: 7

this game is pretty good, alittle boring but ok none the less. the graphics r good and the sprites look good... one question though... how do u get the sprite to follow your mouse? im still learning how to make games with game maker but ive made some ok games but i cant find a good site to host them at... teh one site i did is now down and im looking for another site...
2005.06.28 ntn052k4
Rating: 10

amazingly well made game; fun + high quality
2005.06.27 Max Mouse
Rating: 9

The game is great but I didn't get to finish it because I when I tried to load the previous saved game, it wouldn't load.
2005.06.21 Mavacat
Rating: 10

This game is not of this world. Definitely make a sequel!
2005.05.09 Doodleman
Rating: 9

I liked your game! Please make a sequel. I give Mage Craft a solid 9.
2005.03.03 TÝr0s
Rating: 7

Graphics: 9/10 superior graphics, looks great
Sound: 8/10 Not those resource sounds but they are not that spectacular to rate them a 9
Programming: 9/10 Nice effects and movement by the character
Difficulty: 3/10 Man, this game is just too f*cking hard!!! OK, the cave in the beginning is easy to clear but the field after man you're . Darthlupi, a little bit less difficult can't harm the game!!
2004.12.30 Gazzas
Rating: 9

This game is one of my favourites...Nice grafic, well programed...great job !
2004.12.23 Ergo
Rating: 8

Best RPG system ever designed with game_maker, but the battles are rather boring, but still awesome
2004.12.01 davidolson22
Rating: 10

This game is difficult, but has some excellent graphics. It crashed once every few hours when I played, but I kept coming back for more. The spells are alot of fun, although wasting magic on summoning did seem like a waste.
2004.11.23 LKCS
Rating: 9

This is my favorite GM Game, although I am very bad at it: The only thing i didn't like to much was the walking sprite of the character, it looks strange, but again, great game darthlupi!
2004.11.15 hb2
Rating: 10

it's a great game, i can't belive how much hours i spend doing this instead of skoolwork, the battle really are great , and the speeel system is the best i've ever seen, i wonder h0ow he does it ;), it's great, i love this game, you can keep playing it even if you finisehd it, that's why it's so great :)
2004.10.06 lynx17
Rating: 9

I love this game, i'm addicted but golly is it even possible to kill the first boss, I can't beat that evil snow giant, i kill the little things and i still can't beat the boss, arrgggg help...plzzzzz
2004.09.28 snipe your score
Rating: --

ok i figured it out and btw how the h e double hockeys stickts do u creaTE A SPELL
2004.09.27 snipe your score
Rating: 10

i gots a ? plz anser how the !-!e1! do u fire a spell i am at the 1lvl outside of the castle
2004.09.27 snipe your score
Rating: --

god &^%it some 1 anser plz plz plz pl :):):):):):):)
2004.09.05 JackRussel
Rating: 10

What? you Just won the game, but you can't get past the third level...?

Any way, I on the other had did win the game and I must say it is pure Gold. It is indeed tough at the start. But after my first two hours of play, I finally got stronger and things started speeding up.
Way to go DarthLupi.
2004.09.05 Sampe
Rating: 9

Great work, dartlupi! Good level desing and and great graphics! Lot of spells and everything! And the story is good too! Great job!

Rating: 9/10
2004.08.30 migileke
Rating: --

brilliant! but very difficult and i just won the game (i am now able to play all levels) by winning the second level multiple times. I'm able to win the first four levels but after that its impossible for me... btw how can you defeat tanks?
2004.08.29 angrykoopa
Rating: --

This game owns all the others.
2004.08.24 gametroy
Rating: --

ok well i figured it out... this is a realy fun game. good work on it.
2004.08.21 gametroy
Rating: --

its a good game but the little ship things on the ground that you walk up to i dont' get. cuz they have little symbol things and i dont get what they are for.
2004.07.30 TheSodaMachine
Rating: --

It's awesome, but I like Spoon Page and Raging Skies more. :-P
2004.07.09 superbean
Rating: --

I am really impressed with this game and others made by you. The experrience system is one of the highlights.
2004.07.03 Holmholm
Rating: --

At first I wanted to play this game,but it's very,very darkly
But I like idea,interface
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