Did you ever dream of being a detective as a child? Most probably the answer is yes. Or maybe you loved spending time with your friends while playing Cluedo. I’m sure you miss those good times that are unlikely to be repeated. Well, today we are going to introduce you to a game that has many of those characteristics; or maybe, even better, you can enjoy it without the need to play with other people.
The Magister (TM) is a game developed by Nerdook Productions studio, which is based in Sarawak, Malaysia, and works under a one-man independent game developer. Distributed and published by Digerati on September 2 of the current year. TM is a blend of different genres in the industry; according to Steam it is an action, adventure, indie, RPG, but I think it should also be added as a deck-builder and resource management game. We’ll know why later.
Magister, Clues & Murderer
You will play as a Magister, the person in charge of judging, incriminating, and carrying out a whole investigation based on interrogations, searching for clues, etc., to discover the murderer of a co-worker (Magister); at least that’s what your boss expects. I’m sure it sounds easy enough up to this point, but I’m telling you right now it’s not. At least for me, it wasn’t.
Once arrived in the small town of Silverhurst, you will be greeted by the local councilman, who will have made all the arrangements for your arrival.
You will have to introduce yourself to each of the town’s citizens and go to the scene of the crime, which took place in a room of the inn. You will immediately find the body on the floor, with the first clues of the murder. And well, from here your work begins.
And yes friends, basically that is the story of the game; we must remember that it is a casual game, which presents a very well-developed game system, where the objective is very clear, but I will explain it in more detail below.
The Magister Gameplay
First of all, I must point out that something I liked about TM, is that it doesn´t have a tutorial focused on how to do things, but on how the game system works.
When you create your game (you have 3 slots available) you will have the opportunity to choose the Magister with which you want to start playing; actually, the game will automatically generate 3 characters that will present certain characteristics both favorable and unfavorable that will make their performance in the game totally different from each other, since sometimes you will have to comply with their personality traits.
For example, the religious person must attend church every day, otherwise, a debuff card will be generated in your deck that will affect you during battles. The advantage is that we have the option to reroll without limit until we find the one that best suits us.
How to get clues or important informations?
Well, one of the ways is to create certain relationships with the villagers. You can do it on a scale of 0 to 3 stars. Stars are gained by completing tasks, buying or selling items, etc. When you get 3 stars with them, they become like an open book. Since you have generated enough trust to tell you everything they know about it. The bad thing is that the information they give you is not always so relevant.
The combat system works in two ways: through diplomacy or turn-based fightings. Diplomacy will always be the first option before starting a fight, there is also quality for Magisters with which they manage to persuade and calm the opponent slightly easier. You are probably wondering what it consists of; well, at this point you will use a series of cards with which you will have to generate empathy, in order to reduce the fury of the enemy, you will have a limit of turns to achieve it, otherwise, the battle will start automatically.
As for the battle system, as we have already mentioned, it is based on turns, which really depends on a timer to determine the order of action of each character. The more cards you use in your turn, the longer you will have to wait to execute a new move. Each Magister has different cards in his deck, but you can get more through lotuses or, failing that, improve the cards you have.
Why classify it as a resource management game?
First of all, each game has a duration of 14 days, followed by the fact that each move you make to move from one place to another within the map will take you to spend in the different times of the day (early morning, morning, and so on) so you will have to learn to manage your time, which villager to help with secondary tasks, and so on.
Case solved… or not?
The final verdict may come after 14 days, where your boss will ask you to expose the culprit or the falsely accused. Or, if you think you have enough clues ahead of time, you can execute the master move.
Graphics and Sound
Nerdook Productions made a great job regarding graphics, audio effects, and music. In fact, The Magister features old-school graphics with a medieval style, characters, and scenarios with very neutral colors and audio meets the expectations quite well, since, at least it varies depending on the circumstance in which you find yourself. That folkloric music adds drama to the game.