Spells & Secrets preview – Nintendo Switch – EnTower
With Spells & Secrets, German development studio Alchemist Interactive from Düsseldorf is looking to expand the rogue-like genre with a magic-focused title. Inspired by fellow wizard Harry Potter, Spells & Mysteries isn’t just a Hogwarts clone. Above all, it brings exciting ideas to the genre, so that a high replay value is guaranteed. But what exactly makes spells and suspense so interesting, and why might it be the right choice, especially for beginners in what is currently the most popular genre? Learn in our exclusive preview.
Some spells pack a punch.
As you know from other magic school games, in Spells & Secrets you slip into the role of a student and you can customize your character at the start. The character editor here is really comprehensive and no matter what gender you identify with, you can find the perfect look for you. Once you’ve given your character a name, you’re good to go. As a first year student, you arrive at Griffenstein School and something unexpected happens in the first few minutes, which is why the school hallways and rooms are suddenly filled with monsters instead of monsters. curious students.
Your journey always begins at the very beginning, on the Griffenstein School campus, which serves as a hub or safe space. In the beginning, the yard is still very barren and empty, but that will change as the game progresses. Incidentally, the yard isn’t the only safe place, as you can unlock and explore 10 different areas in total. At first you will only find a teacher there who will teach you new spells and some tricks to test your magic on before even entering a dungeon, which is typical for the genre.
As the title of the game suggests, you don’t fight evil opponents with a sword, a bow or an ax, but with various magic spells that you can learn during the game. According to the developers, this is a lot, so at one at any given time, you’ll be able to gather your favorites from a wider selection or experience. Here, the will was clear and distinct that nothing opposes the furious creativity of the players.
Take a look around the rooms so you don’t forget a treasure chest.
The dungeons themselves are randomly generated, so you always have to deal with new rooms and paths. First, in each room, you’ll find an artifact that replaces or enhances one of the spells you choose. For example, if you have levitation in your repertoire, an artifact will amplify the action with lightning, causing an electric shock to enemies you’re levitating. But you have to be careful, because the attack can quickly backfire and hit you…
In the dungeon, you will face different enemies and you will have to determine which spells are effective against which monsters. However, you can also work with your environment here, as the already mentioned levitation spell also allows you to move furniture and has some power against monsters. Here joyful experimentation is desired and sometimes yields surprising results. With certain abilities, you can even transform into objects or monsters and, if you feel like it, challenge the whole dungeon as a little flying dragon. Of course, small bosses or big final bosses also await you in the form of a strong wizard who has a lot on the box and does not surrender right away like the first colored blob.
Another part of the game is about the nameless secrets, that is, the secrets hidden in the castle. Every dungeon cell has one that must be understood. Here you also have to cooperate with your surroundings and some puzzles are easier to solve than others. In some cases, you won’t be able to solve the puzzles right away because you don’t have the appropriate spells yet, but don’t worry, the secrets won’t go unnoticed for long. Additionally, you can collect gold, potions, and other stuff from dungeons or buy them from shops and vending machines. However, you lose all of that if you die inside the dungeon and return to your center, so you only have your experience points. A classic roguelike.
In cooperative mode, you can explore dungeons in pairs.
The inspiration for Harry Potter doesn’t stop at the setting, as there are also so-called factions that can be compared to the four different houses of Hogwarts. Each faction has its own expertise in the game which brings its own advantages. For example, you can specialize in artifacts or potions, but you can also collect companions, called acquaintances, which you can tame in dungeons and then take one from your collection with you. can go. Already collected companions will be placed in your hub, where you can interact with them even outside of the dungeon.
Finally, Spells and Secrets also offers a cooperative mode, so you can go with a friend. It allows you to simultaneously explore dungeons and engage in battle against evil opponents. You can also duel in the classic way. However, beware of co-ops, as a spell can quickly cast a spell on your friend and not your enemy.
Overall, Spells & Secrets already runs very fast and smooth. While battles aren’t as action-packed as in Paatal Lok, for example, spells offer entirely new options for asserting themselves against opponents. The difficulty level is also kept very low at the start, so beginners can have fun and don’t put the controller aside in frustration. Plus, the graphics are really cool, making you feel like you’re in magic school and want to jump straight to the next lesson with parchment and ink. Of course, there’s a story behind it all that needs to be explored as well, so a solid full package is coming out so far.