While a metroidvania at it's core, Magicians & Looters does have some interesting ideas going for it. The first and most obvious is that you have to control three characters: Sword and shield wielding Brent, martial artist Vienna, and dual sword wielding Nyn. Each character has their own set of abilities needed to progress through the game, and each plays at least a little different from the others. and the game does a very good job of giving you good reasons to use each one, nobody feels too useless or overpowered.
|Characters will gain plenty of abilities throughout their adventure.|
Equipment in the game is based mostly around trade offs. Almost all of the equipment in the game has some sort of drawback on top of their bonuses, form something as simple to slightly less health or slower attack speed, to big things like no enemy item drops or disabling magic. The idea is that equipment is less about straight upgrades, and more about tweaking things around a certain stat or play style. While you will get stronger during the game thanks to leveling and ability unlocks, for the most part the game is less about linear upgrading, and more about opening up new options, it's an interesting approach and keeps the game form revolving around powerleveling or finding the definite "best" equipment.
|Amusingly, death results in all of your hard earned loot being thrown around the room.|
The game has a decently sized map that goes through multiple areas, from valleys to caves to inside a castle. The world, like any good metroidvania, also has lots of little secrets and hidden areas, I managed to find all the items in the game on my own and doing it felt like an honest accomplishment. The game is also fairly challenging. There's some tricky platforming and combat sequences set in several of the rooms in the game. Boss battles are particularly hard as bosses can pull out some surprisingly nasty, hard to dodge attacks. Fortunately death doesn't cost much in game progress outside of losing some gold and being sent to the last camp you visited, camps acting as the game's save points.
|Camps like this act as the games save points and are where you can change characters.|
Sound and music in the game are also solid. The games sound has a nice, solid feel to them, weapons hit with a loud clang, spells impact with a nice loud thud, everything comes through loud and clear and sounds exactly like you'd expect it to. The music is also good. Every area has it's own distinct music and several tracks are actually very catchy, castle looter most immediately comes to mind, and worth listening too on their own.
|Backgrounds in the game can be surprisingly beautiful|
Overall I'd recommend Magicians & looters to anyone who's a fan of Metroidvanias, especially if they want a decent challenge. The game offers a lot more than it initially seems, and is definitely worth a full playthrough.
Magicians & Looters was developed by Morgopolis Studios, it's available on Desura and Steam. It's soundtrack is available on Bandcamp.