Maguss is a massive mobile multiplayer game based on casting spells, brewing potions, defeating magical beasts and fighting other players in turn based combat (true PvP!). Maguss was funded via a campaign on Indiegogo in 2016 and has entered open beta yesterday, on February 17th 2018.
Maguss is currently played by around 1 million players around the world and has great potential to satisfy your cravings for an AR game featuring magic and wizards before the Wizards Unite beta starts.
Gameplay and core mechanics
Maguss is heavily based around two game loops: spell casting and potion brewing, and both loops are reasonably fun and engaging.
Spells are unlocked via simple spell book mechanism and they fall into four categories:
- Dark Arts spells are mostly DOTs and debuffs
- Sorcery spells are the main source of direct damage
- Charms heal or buff the player
- Invocations provide utility and shields
Each spell you unlock can be added to your deck, which holds up to ten spells. You cast spells by drawing special patterns during combat. Spell patterns are not tied to spells, but are rather bound to a particular deck slot which your spell is assigned to, making it easy to learn the patterns.
Drawing spells and spell patterns is incredibly fun, but the way in which game recognizes pattern is a something completely different: it’s buggy, unreliable and often frustrating.
Certain patterns are currently so frustrating that we’re rarely even using them – mainly the «unfinished circle», aka the second deck slot! Things get better as you practice more and this is just the beta version of the game, but we certainly hope it will get better in future versions.
World, MMO and PvP aspects
The world is arguably the best and the worst part of Maguss. The world and the overworld map are designed to work properly both in urban and rural environments, giving every player a similar amount of wild spawns, materials, chests and more. Although this is a very fair system, the lack of any real world markers (aside from streets) makes the Maguss world feel much like a skin than a real AR game.
The creatures are generated randomly (confirmed by developers) and they «float» around the map in a set bounding box. In order to fight them you have to be in their vicinity, but the floating mechanism can move them away from you while you’re walking, which in the ends, makes you just walk straight and fight whatever floats your way.
A similar story can be said for PvP, which is very buggy at the moment, but is a nice novelty and can be done from home (via the dueling system).
All that aside, where Maguss really shines is the MMO aspect of the game, as it shows actual location of nearby players on the minimap. Seeing someone else in the game for the first time creates a mixture of feelings that we felt last time with Vanilla World of Warcraft. It’s quite incredible and disturbing at the same time.
Graphics and audio
Graphically, the game looks decent. It’s not the best looking mobile game out there, the textures are a bit smudgy and character design is often uninspired, but it’s not Runescape either. We would appreciate more diversity and color when it comes to creature and character designs.
The sound design is good: spell and brewing sound effects feel «wizardy» enough, overworld music is a cheerful and memorable tune and we especially loved how the game blends different music during combat and exploration phases.
Curiously, we liked much more how Maguss sounds than how it looks.
Community and developers’ attitude
The Maguss community and developers are great. Maguss devs actively reach out to their player base, talk with the community, share feedback and updates on the status of the service.
It seems that the team is currently under heavy pressure to iron out all of the open beta bugs, so we advise patience:
Need some sleep. Support will be back in about 5-6hrs. 🙂
— Maguss (@MagussGame) February 18, 2018
You should give Maguss a try. The game is in heavy beta, it’s currently at version 0.1.1 and there is a ton of things wrong with it, but it’s really really fun when most of the core mechanics works.
Seeing another player on the map for the first time scared the living hell out of us, bit it is that kind of unique experience that makes Maguss so interesting.
If you’re an existing Maguss player, we hereby invite you to create an account on the Wizards Unite Hub and write guides / articles for Maguss newcomers – there’s a ton of interest for the game and you can use this channel to help out everyone who’s stuck.