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25 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Mage Drops on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Mage Drops is a Golf/Platform/Puzzle game from the good people at Orchid of Redemption.
In recent times we have seen quite a few of these Golf/Platform/Puzzle type games, but how does Mage Drops stack up against some of the previous releases in this ever-expanding genre.

As always when reviewing an "Early Access" game, it is worth pointing out that the game is not the finished article yet, the developers are still tweaking the game, listening to player feedback, adding or removing features to try and get the game as good as possible.

When loading up the game, the first thing you will notice is how pretty everything looks. And when things look really good, you instantly know that the developers have spent a lot of time and love on crafting a game, and with Mage Drops that is very apparent from the start.

Each course/level has the basics of golf, you start at the tee, and you need to get the ball in the cup. Aiming is done with a simple dotted line, which you can lengthen, lower, and so on until you get the desired shot. The cup itself is quite large, this instantly tells you that the platforming or puzzle elements are going to be more important than a millimetre precision shot.

You can use magic to control the ball in some circumstances after you have hit it, this allows you to influence the ball mid-flight and make that seemingly impossible shot, possible. You will be able to set fire to obstacles to clear the way, use magic rings to help you fly further. Use airstreams and even set off bombs to get you to your desired location.

The courses have your usual mini golf type obstacles, but they also have magical elements, barriers that you can control, to lift or move, or a hedge you can make appear or disappear, all things you need to consider when playing your shot. There are fans to shoot you up high, there are weird magical creatures that will get in your way. And plenty of other surprises along the way. There are even some interesting collectables.

Currently there are 7 worlds with over 80 levels to complete, the final game should have 8 worlds.

There is an easy and not so easy mode, so you can just play to explore, or you can play to beat scores. On first play through it is more fun to play the easy mode and just explore and not worry too much about getting PAR etc. Each world is unique and has different challenges and obstacles, which does make the game challenging, but never too frustrating.

The Good
Beautiful graphics and engaging gameplay really does make this game stand out. The interactive element of the levels is such a nice touch and really well thought through, using magic to slow the ball down, while you clear a path, is a really nice to addition to the game, and helps it stand out.

The Bad
Sometimes it is hard to know where the end point of the level is, you can of course click a button and have a good look around, but lazy people like me, tend to just want to get on with it, perhaps the addition of a little arrow to give you the general idea of where you are going would be a good idea?

I also don't like the name. Your average person is not going to know what a Mage is, or what it means, and Drops? Eye drops? Dropping a ball? To be fair I can't think of a better name, so I won't moan too loudly about the name.

Mage Drops is screaming out to be a console game, although it works well on PC, I could see this playing so well on a Nintendo Switch.

A fun addition to the Golf/Puzzle/Platform genre which is challenging but never frustrating.
I don't usually score Early Access games, but I am happy to give Mage Drops as solid 8/10/

Review by Jon Donnis
Out now on Steam

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