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I feel as if, from the get-go, I had a completely different expectation as to what this game would offer me. Part of it is the title: there are magicians, but there’s not exactly much magicking; there are “Mysterious Times”, but rather than the times our characters live in being mysterious, there is quite literally a “Mystery Time” each week. More importantly, though, there are no ‘Quests.’ Or, maybe there are – I didn’t finish the game (and there’s a very good reason why), but I played the game for almost two months without finding a single ‘Quest’.

Still, I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Just because the name is misleading doesn’t mean the game should be excluded from getting a fair critique, and Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times is no exception. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Magician’s Quest has been likened many times to “Harry Potter meets Animal Crossing.” In fact, I watched a video where even a Konami employee made the same connection. You go to a school of magic and learn how to cast spells and stuff, which is its likeness to Harry Potter. And, it’s like Animal Crossing in the way that there’s a town, and you talk to people…and stuff? Can you tell I’ve never played Animal Crossing?

Anyway, the game works like this: Every day (the game synchronizes with the DS’s internal clock), you have to go to class and learn how to cast magic spells. Then, you have the rest of the day to mess around and talk with people who live around town. Magic is cast by arming your magic wand with symbols. For example, if you load the symbols “Magic”, “Transfer”, and “Who?” into your staff, you can use your wand to transform into a nearby classmate.

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The story is a simple set up for the gameplay: since you’re the only person from the human world going to magic school, you’re also the only one who can solve some wacky, mysterious mysteries for some unimportant reason that I forgot. Either way, at one point in every week, there is a “Mystery Time” where the sky gets all funny looking, and you can find strange items on the ground.

After Mystery Time is over, you can run around campus looking for the mystery of the week to be solved. There are thirty-eight mysteries which occur in a specific order, as well as fourteen mysteries that happen on very specific weeks of the year. So, if you really wanted to ‘beat’ Magician’s Quest, you’d either have to cheat, or play for almost an entire year (which is why I didn’t finish it).

Here’s the biggest problem, though: these mysteries, as far as I played, do not require any magic whatsoever. There is an element of the game where you gather bugs, fish, plants, and other stuff; and a lot of the times, the mysteries revolve around finding items, or even just performing one action frequently enough. This brings me to my second gripe: they’re not even mysteries! You just find  someone who will ask you to do something, and then you do it. It’s strange to me (or perhaps I should say mysterious?) that one of the main aspects of the game has virtually no use for magic, and is not even puzzling or exciting, as the word ‘mysterious’ might suggest.

Another thing that bothered me about magic is the class times. You can set what times you want the classes to start, but not in a very specific manner. Instead, you have to choose whether or not you want to be able to attend classes from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, or Midnight until Noon. So, for us real human beings who get up, go to work, be productive, and go to sleep at reasonable hours, the most likely time of the day that we’ll play the game to attend classes – 8:00 PM through Midnight – are out of the question. Why even give us such an option if it’s going to have arbitrary limit imposed on it?

So, what’s left is the Animal Crossing aspect. Now, I’ve never played Animal Crossing, but from what I understand, the whole point is to run around town, doing whatever you feel like, talking to whoever you want to, whenever you want to. For a game like this to be fun, the world has to be expansive and exciting, and the people have to be interesting enough for you to want to keep coming back.

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Magician’s Quest offers neither. The magic school campus in which the game takes place is incredibly small. Sure, there’s your dorm, apartments for all the characters, as well as the school building and shopping center; but, I figured that would be a given! Beyond that, there are maybe three or four extra locales, with almost nothing to discover (although the haunted house was a fun way to kill ten minutes). So, the scope of your own self-perpetuated adventures is limited. Other than that, you can buy stuff to deck out your room, which is kind of fun.

The characters were interesting to talk to at first; they all have eccentric personalities and say the craziest things! …Until, you realize that they repeat the same few lines over and over again. Even worse, some characters repeat the the exact same lines as other characters, verbatim. This really made it hard for me to get riled up about the social aspect, because it now felt as if I were talking to a DS cartridge instead of an exotic person, from an exotic world, attending magic school with me.

What really broke the character interaction aspect for me, though, was the rumors. Every once in a while, when you talk to one of the townspeople, they’ll tell you a rumor like “Kelsey was throwing hadoukens in front of the school” (I made that one up). Quite frequently,  though, the game glitches out when trying to tell you a rumor, and it’ll say something like “You’ll never guess what I saw! Kelsey  The Rumor   Stuff.” Or maybe “Kelsey   The Rumor in front of the school.” I’m not sure what causes this to happen, but if you didn’t feel like you were talking to a robot before, you will after this begins to happen.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to derive any enjoyment out of this game. In fact, while it was still new, it was a lot of fun to take in the sights, learn magic, talk to people, and solve mysteries. But, before long, the small world grows stale, you realize that all the mysteries are just fetch quests, magic is rather uninvolved with the entirety of the game, and the people are just too unreal to enjoy. You’ll have to find something really charming to hold onto if you intend to see the entire game through. Still, I think you might be better off listening to Harry Potter movies in the background while playing Animal Crossing.

Rating Category
5.0 Presentation
“Harry Potter meets Animal Crossing” might give you the gist, but it’s far more underwhelming than it sounds.
How does our scoring system work?
5.5 Gameplay
What’s fun at first will quickly fizzle out unless you’re absolutely infatuated with the concept. Still, there’s no denying that it’s cool for two weeks.
7.0 Sound
Nothing that really stands out, but the subdued nature of the music fits the relaxed atmosphere.
8.0 Longevity
The game could last you almost a year. It might not be replayable, but how many games do you continue to play for fifty-two weeks?
5.0 Overall
If you really put in the time necessary, Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times can be pretty cool. However, it does nothing to hook you, and the poor implementation of the main gameplay aspects will probably turn most people off quickly. If you purchase this game, be ready to invest some time and patience into it.
  1. Jamie, what the hell did you just review.

  2. I really, really wanted to have a lot of fun with the game. I even played it for a month longer than I intended to for the review. Maybe it’s a good thing I did?

  3. haha, this game sounds off the wall. I had to chuckle a handful of times just out of the randomness this game seems to ensue.

  4. avatar Fangy

    I rather enjoy the game, its funny and entertaining, but you are right you have to be patient and have plenty of free time. I love role play games scenario games so it worked for me.

  5. avatar coolbrodude

    you do know this game is for kids and they’d have more free time to play it and would enjoy it more.ya….

  6. avatar Maggie

    This rocks my world! but why the lame ‘true love’?

  7. avatar Magic

    hocus pocus! I will make you…!!!!!!!!
    FART!~!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. avatar Anonymous

    so whats better on DS? Magician’s Quest or Animal Crossing?

  9. avatar Bryant

    Magician’s Quest is better for the gameplay, but if you want something that lasts then you should stick with Animal Crossing.

  10. avatar FruitFlavoredSnacks

    Can anyone leave me a screenshot of the mimic mystery, where to dig a second time? I’ve been trying to get the right spot for ages and it would really help me a lot:]

  11. avatar hfjfjfkjhbjfhbfbhivbjvkbjhikbvkbjvibjh

    this game is very ausome but everyone says it sucks. i have a boyfrend in it named tv20c

    • avatar magic chick :)

      i know that dude lol . well it seems ppl’s need spare time to play . i play at night :P btw i was in such a good realationship with a boy named , marty , but i hated everyone else , so i deleted the town . now marty is gone :( but a boy named mikey likes me

  12. avatar claireyberry

    i cant figure out these ‘ mysteries , so i looked up cheats , they didnt help , AT ALL . the first mystery i had to feed a guard thing , he just keep asking for more and more and more !! i couldnt do it

  13. avatar tiffanymiller

    i wonder if any kid everyfinished this stupid thing :(

  14. avatar nintendooooo

    i had animal crossing first . i started to get bored. then i got magicians quest , i thought it was way better..until i found that i couldnt find any ; mysteries’ or ‘quests’ and i couldnt finish it . now im only play once in a while

  15. avatar magic chick

    okay this is weird , my teacher gave me a spell , i have to go in the bathroom , say, spell, then hold up a tuilp . then a girl comes out of the stall . she can tell me : who loves my , whos my enimies , and who is my freind . i found of a monkey named mikey loves me :S

  16. avatar magic chick :)

    i dont get it when you take a peson on a date . if u go buy a drink for you’s the lady tells you a price , when u take them to get noodles , he dont tell u a price , he just takes money !

  17. avatar random news !!

    this has nothing to do with the game but , i just blew like 20 bubbles ( differeent times ) the size of my HEAD !! whats the world record , probably bigger …nvm lmao

  18. avatar I love this game!

    this game is for KIDS ONLY! adults shouldn’t be playing this game. This game is fun even though you kinda have to put a little time into it. It keeps me entertained because of the things that happen only once a year.

  19. avatar guest

    I’m stuck on the mimic mystery and i know what E10 and S10 means. This is the second time i have had to solve the mystery. I have beaten all other nonseasonal mysteries. It is hard for me to find the spot for me to dig even if i am a straight A student i real life. Can someone help me so i can finsh all the nonseasonal mysteries, Please. Thank you so very much. :D

  20. avatar 12Wolf12

    I really like MQ:MT, but I don’t know what Mr. Graves wants! I’ve read half a dozen walk throughs (all identical) but none mention the class I have today. A bug with a worm-like body, big eyes, and tiny arms that ISN’T mandragora, centipede fly, or tsuchinoko. Any help, please? …or should I find a MQ:MT forum?

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