Windows Phone Game Review: Mage in Hat
Mage in Hat is a fast paced, action game for your Windows Phone that is a little on the surprising side. The game's story line has an evil sorcerer stealing great spheres of the elements and it is your job to defeat the evil sorcerer's bosses and eventually the sorcerer himself to return the stolen spheres.
While the game description feels like a role playing game, Mage in Hat plays like an arcade or platformer game. Graphics are nice, game play rather challenging and overall Mage in Hat comes across as a nice time waster of a game.
The main menu for Mage in Hat covers options to play the game, access the game options, run through the game's hint screen, and view the about screen. Options include turning on/off sound effects, music, vibrations and help screens.
Mage in Hat has two game modes, storyline and survival. Storyline follows the game's main story and takes you through various levels where you fight minions and bosses. As you defeat the bosses, more elemental powers become available. Survival is a test to see how long you can last against a constant onslaught of bad guys.
The game board has three platforms that you defend against the enemy. Below are your vital stats and enemies remaining and your elemental powers. You navigate from platform to platform by tapping the mage's hat. You fire your elemental powers by tapping one of the five icons running along the bottom of the screen.
The bad guys are made of a particular element and it takes a certain element to take them out. Hit them with the wrong element and they grow stronger. For example, water takes out fire and fire takes out iron.
This can make things rather challenging when you're trying to remember what takes out fire enemies when the pace of the game quickens. Your first stage is a tutorial level with intro pages that will prelude game play to walk you through things. You can also check out the hint screen if you forget what element does what. If the bad guy makes contact with your Mage or his hats, you lose a life. Take out all the bad guys and you'll advance to the next level after being scored on your performance.
Game play is really an issue of timing. Beating the oncoming enemies back far enough on one level so you can move to another before the bad guys get too close. To help you along, bonus items will pop us as gift boxes. Just tap on the box to reveal the bonuses (personal favorite is the bonus that wipes out all the enemies on the screen).
Bosses are almost too challenging. They are protected by shields and shoot elemental bursts at you and your hats. As with the enemy minions, you take out the elemental bursts by shooting your own elements to take them out. The bosses shots are almost too closely timed to defend against. The bosses aren't impossible to take out just really tough.
Mage in Hat has twenty levels of game play and six bosses to defeat. Animations are nice, game play challenging and Mage in Hat isn't a bad time waster of a game. Again, the bosses can be tough... maybe a little too tough. You just have to keep firing and moving to defend against the bosses shots.
There is a free trial version available to give you a feel for things and the full version of Mage in Hat is currently running $1.99. You can find Mage in Hat here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.