I was a big fan of the Harry Potter series growing up. While admittedly I didn’t care much for the adventures of Harry and co, I was completely mesmerised by the world. I guess being a child growing up in a cold, destitute British city, the idea of being whisked away to a magical school and having these wonderful adventures seemed mighty preferable. Surprisingly, few games have attempted to capture the magic found within the books and films. While there are a few indie and triple-A games in the pipeline, including the much anticipated Hogwarts Legacy and Witchbrook, my desire for a magic-school game has thus far been unsatisfied. That is, of course, until I played StoryArcana.
“The charm and personality brought to the distinct voices of each character help distinguish them and make them incredibly memorable.”
StoryArcana is an isometric adventure-puzzle title about a young boy who suddenly finds himself a student at a magical school. From the offset, StoryArcana does everything it can to truly draw you into its immersive world. The game’s stunning pixel art visuals help transport the player to a uniquely distinct magical world born not out of tropes but genuine creativity. From the eerily inviting town with its myriad of colourful shops and shopkeepers to the vast and detailed school, everything feels packed to the brim with carefully crafted details and love.
Meanwhile the game’s stellar voice acting makes the world feel full of life. With each and every character you meet being fully voice acted, you begin to build a personal attachment to each one. The charm and personality brought to the distinct voices of each character help distinguish them and make them incredibly memorable.
“StoryArcana is shaping up to be an incredibly important and interesting indie title.”
Outside of the visuals StoryArcana still manages to impress with its varied and intriguing spellcasting mechanic. While the combat and platforming do feel like it needs slight tweaking, namely to the speed at which platforms and enemies seem to move in contrast to the rate at which you can fire projectiles, what was available in the demo still felt incredibly unique and immediately caught my interest. The ability to switch spells with a simple swipe of your mouse makes spellcasting feel fresh and fun. Additionally, the way you use spells within the platforming and puzzles felt inspired and innovative.
StoryArcana is shaping up to be an incredibly important and interesting indie title. It’s clear where its inspirations come from, but despite this StoryArcana still offers enough innovations that it feels exceptionally unique. This is definitely one to keep your eye out for, especially if you’re a fan of the magical school setting. I’ll be eagerly anticipating the game’s full launch.
Be sure to head on over to StoryArcana’s Steam store page to try the demo out for yourself. You can also wishlist it on Steam to be notified of any future updates.