The world of retro gaming has gained a major boost in recent years with the indie gaming community. Once just a small part of the market, indie game designers have created an alternative world to the high-graphics world of modern gaming.
In fact, many designers have focused on bringing back neglected classics, including the exciting retro gaming news of the resurrection of the Commodore 64 game “Slightly Magic.”
This game is a classic of its genre and its time, but has been forgotten by time. A remake, with slightly remastered graphics and sound, was recently released on Steam. Is this labor of love worth a look? Absolutely! And here is why.
What Is The History Behind This Game?
“Slightly Magic” was designed by Colin Jones, drawn by Chris Graham, Keith Ross, and Jones, with writing by Jones and music by Allister Brimble. Obviously, this was Jones’ baby all the way.
Developed by “Astonishing Animations” and released in 1991 on a variety of platforms (including the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, and, of course, the Commodore 64) it was a single-player arcade-adventure game that focused on the travels of a magician named “Big Wiz.”
This young fellow is a slightly forgetful wizard that left his castle without taking care of some important tasks: specifically, locking his laboratory, packing his spare wand, or bringing his nephew with him.
Unfortunately, that’s not all. An angry dragon (irritated after being sunburned) has stolen the princess and knocked over Big Wiz’s spells, mixing them all up and scattering them around the castle.
As you can see, this game is very silly, which is a major part of its appeal. The story isn’t very serious and the writing is full of silly gags and fun jokes. While not always great, there are some moments that will make any old-school gamer laugh out loud.
What Kind Of Game Is It?
If you’ve ever played a game in the “Dizzy” series, you should be able to jump into “Slightly Magic” with ease. If you’re unfamiliar with that series, it’s best to think of it as an exploration game done in an action format.
You will roam around the castle, finding items, fighting bad guys, concocting spells, and solving puzzles. The spells are what really sets this game apart and gives it a unique edge.
Most of them transform you into other animals, such as a fish or a bird, in order to get into new areas. Finding spells requires collecting the necessary ingredients and the right spell word. Thankfully, once you’ve found a spell, you can continue to use it throughout the game. However, you have limited magic, so be careful.
Is It Any Good?
When it was released, “Slightly Magic” received rave reviews. One gaming publication, “Your Sinclair,” rated it 94 percent and said that the graphics and music were superlative. “Sinclair User” rated it 89 percent, while saying it was worth well its low selling price.
Unfortunately, the Commodore version did get a few bad reviews, with “Commodore Format” claiming it had sluggish controls and strange graphical glitches.
However, this new remastered version takes care of these problems by giving it better graphics, eliminating bugs, and programming easier-to-manage controls. It is now the game it was always meant to be, making it an excellent choice for retro gamers who miss silly, but difficult, gaming fun.
How Much Does It Cost?
Right now, “Slightly Magic” costs only $5.99 on Steam. With improved graphics, great sound, and a classic style of game play that has disappeared into the void of first-person shooters, “Slightly Magic” is a must-have for retro gamers that miss the fun of adventuring and the “free-for-all” nature of early gaming.