Mage’s Initiation: Reign Of The Elements is yet another Quest For Glory-inspired old-school adventure RPG hybrid, this time from Himalaya Studios. It feels weird to even say that, given that we’ve gone decades with nothing much comparable released, but this one comes not long after Hero-U: Rogue To Redemption. For those who didn’t grow up playing point-and-click (or parser-based) adventures in the 90s, you’re looking at a blend of traditional inventory-based puzzling and real-time battles, this time with an elemental magic focus. Check out the launch trailer below.
Similar to the original Quest For Glory (and also Hero-U – go figure), this one’s more of an origin story. To prove that you’re a resourceful point-and-clicker and aspiring great mage, you’re off to collect three MacGuffins from around the realm and present them to your archmage professors. I guess it’s more interesting than writing a dissertation at least, but probably a little more deadly, too. Higher education is bad enough without goblins trying to stab you in the crotch.
Rather than fall into the old traps of earlier Quest For Glory games, there’s apparently no stats in Mage’s Initiation. Your choice of elemental focus at the start of the game determines what possible puzzles and solutions are available to you, but there’s no arbitrary number checks to worry about. That was always the most maddening part of the series for me (outside of the city-maze in QFG2 – the less said about that, the better), so it’s nice to see it streamlined.
As with so many of these old-school adventure revivals, Mage’s Initiation has been a slow-burn project, too. Over ten years in the works, say Himalaya, with a successful Kickstarter giving it a boost in 2013. It’s been so long since I’ve played anything Sierra-like, but I’m curious to hear what old-school Quest For Glory fans make of this one now that it’s out. There’s also a (very old) demo on the Kickstarter page, which should give you a taste of what to expect, although no doubt a lot has changed since then.