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Treely Magic: Arcane Worlds

Wood you believe it?

It's amazing the difference one change can make. The last time I peeked into the rug-ged world of Arcane Worlds, a game basically built out of memories of Magic Carpet, it didn't have trees. It was just a barren world beneath a burning sun that you could flood or crack open with spells. That was kind of enough to give me a few hours of fun, though. The latest update, that coincides with it attempting to break through the outer crust of Steam Greenlight, is available to download, and I noticed the worlds are created with a layer of foliage. So I reinstalled it.

There's still not a lot of game in there, yet. Just the tech and the world, and straggly, unconnected bits of the end-game in place. You can generate lands and fly around, prodding at the land and seeing the results of the world breaking spells, or fighting the arrow-like dragons. Like the last time, I found flooding the plains was an entirely pleasant procedure: watching the waves spreading out and inter mingling in the choppy waters in front of a dipping sun is a pretty good way to spend an hour. But you can now open portals to other world and hop on through. Eventually the changes you in each will ripple across the whole game, but right now they're discrete places to just visit.

The trees are lovely.

Even if Arcane Worlds only ever copied Magic Carpet, that would be enough for some people to be excited about it. Billy from Neighbors would definitely buy it, and John would make a face. It does a really good job of reminding us of Molyneux's rug-based adventure game, down to the way the base is extruded from the ground, but it already looks like there's more to it than that.

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