The incredible success of Pokémon GO has confirmed the interest of the general public for augmented reality games. Unsurprisingly, numerous developers grew more interested in AR, with some titles already at work. Maguss
, one of these titles, has secured its funding via Indiegogo and already possesses a core community that is constantly growing. While it does not have an official license behind it, Maguss allows you to take on the role of a wizard and live an adventure close to the classic MMORPGs... but in reality augmented. As such it is not unusual for some to compare it to Harry Potter.
The idea was born in Copenhagen, the Danish capital, in July 2014. After mounting a first prototype in June 2015, the Maguss team launched a Kickstarter in August 2015. It took a second prototype and the success of Pokémon GO for then to once again present Maguss on Indiegogo. Since then, the campaign has been successful, and since last February the developers were able to launch their first open-beta and send backers their magic wands … The title is a kind of MMORPG in which players must use their phones to cast spells and participate in a long augmented reality adventure with and against other players.
The games starts, as you would expect from any MMORPG, with the creation of your character. The customization is rather simple, with about 4 premade choices for each gender, as well as the selection of an Order (quite like the Teams in Pokemon GO). While there are no classes per ser (since everyone is a wizard), players can choose spells among the four different types to further customize their character. Your looks may also be altered depending on what your wear. Thus nothing too extravagant in this aspect of the, but enough for the immersion.
As you can see from the picture above, it is possible to play with a magic wand. This small accessory, which for some should make all the difference, is surprisingly an integral part of the gameplay, since it connects to your phone through bluetooth, much like the Pokemon Go Plus accessory. The accessory is compatible with all Android devices, in version 4.1 minimum, and iOS 7, and has a motion sensor. This allows players to cast spells in the game if they move their wand according to a pattern. According to the designers of the game, the wands have a battery life of 48 hours; note that it is possible to recharge them via the micro-USB port that equips them.
Your phone will display the different spells you control and will show you its various effects, as well as the gesture to be made, whether with your finger or with the wand.
For what purpose? Well, Maguss presents itself as a MMORPG in which you will have to ally with other players to complete quests, and fight monsters ... but also other players. At the beginning of the game, the beginner wizard will be able to join one of the four Orders in the game. The Order of Enthrallment is the equivalent of Gryffindor, the Highmoon Brotherhood can be compared to Ravenclaw, while the Fellowship of Wizardry may evoke Slytherin. Finally, the Circle of the Guiled is more like Hufflepuff, by default due to its yellow color, rather than by its title. Concerning the comparisons with Harry Potter, the developers were very clear that the game had no official license; the artists have opted for an artistic direction closer to classical fantasy, which gives the game a real soul, far from the easy pastiche that one could fear.
Maguss has also thought of players that either do not want to go outside, or unable to. Players also receive daily rewards as they login, which can either be monetary, or in the form of random items. It will also be possible to challenge other players from the comfort of your home, via a classic matchmaking system. In this system of duels, it is above all question of anticipation and strategy. There are different types of spells, from magical protection, to the invocation of mysterious creatures, passing by charms and offensive spells.
However, the content will remain somewhat limited unless you go out and explore the world of Maguss. Note that while wandering the streets, in search of some dungeon, you will be able to fight a number of critters, going from the mandrake to the troll. There are also herbs and such as well as treasure chests that appear over the map for the players to loot. Of course, Maguss uses the GPS of your phone to move your character over the map. As for Pokémon GO, the inhabitants of big cities will see more activity on the than those enjoying the calm and serenity of the countryside. The game also offers players a crafting system where they gather materials on the map to then create potions through a mini-game. These range from health potions to attack/defense boosting ones, and will be essential when exploring the map, and even more so when diving into dungeons.
While Maguss may not benefit from the same success as Pokemon Go, it will without a doubt have it’s own niche. The game does a great job at not only emulating a world of sorcery, but also immersing players into it. Finally, while Maguss is intended to be a free-to-play AR wizarding mobile MMORPG at it’s launch, they only way to play it currently is by backing the game on their website
and obtaining an Alpha Key.