Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times Updated Hands-On

We don the wizard hat and wave the magical wand as we explore the curious world of Magician's Quest.


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The magical open-ended game originally called Little Magicians in Japan is now coming to North America. Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times feels very much like Animal Crossing, in which you take up residence in a colorful and wacky town, go fishing, catch bugs, and water plants. The difference here is that you can also learn to cast spells. We didn't run into the equivalent of Tom Nook in our playtime at Konami's Gamer Night event last week, but we did like the cutesy exterior and the no-goals approach in this whimsical game.

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Magic classes are scheduled through the game's day to teach you how to cast an assortment of odd spells, some of which will help you find treasure, and some of which are purely there for giggles--such as the flatulence spell. Spells can be cast only when your wizard hat is on, so to switch back and forth, you draw a tiny circle around your character and poof! It's magic time. Each spell consists of multiple bizarre-looking symbols, listed in your menu like a recipe once you've learned it. There are five categories of symbols, and each category has 15 unique images. The treasure-hunt spell was the first one we learned, and once we had a spell in our repertoire, we were able to cast it by selecting the corresponding symbols. Once the spell is cast, you can assign it to your wand and go around town tapping the ground to hunt for treasure. After finding absolutely nothing, we cast a cloud spell, which lifted our wizard onto a fluffy white cloud hammock. We were told that the spell also puts neighboring folks to sleep, but given that we weren't close to anyone, we didn't get to see that in full effect.

In class, you'll meet fellow magic casters, and it seems that you can even develop close relationships with them. We received an overly friendly note from a boy who sat next to our wand-wielding magician. His intentions seemed sketchy, so we quickly ran out of the classroom and decided to practice some spells in the yard. If you have friends who also own the game, you can visit each other's town and hang out together. You'll be able to learn spells from them, and even cast joint spells. It looks like there are plenty of items to trade for as well as purchase, so there's a never-ending list of things to collect.

We could have easily spent hours fooling around and mingling with the locals in this adorable Nintendo DS game. If you're ready for a little bit of magic and fun, check out Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times when it is released on May 5.

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Avatar image for JadedVegas

Hmmm, animal crossing.... With a few "changes"......

Avatar image for _AbBaNdOn

Hmmmmm. Will have to track this. Do you get your own place or just a room at the academy? Does the population change depending on your actions? What exactly are those weekly events like??

Avatar image for Flipyap28

is this animal crossing just less girly?

Avatar image for babytigerjess

Omg! This look sooo fun! ^o^ I can't wait to play it!

Avatar image for chisoxrule

So when is the release date? On here and the Gamestop websites it says May 5th. However on the video and Konami's website it says May 12. Some of my friends were impatient and went ahead and ordered the UK versions.

Avatar image for thunderhorse55

well, when i saw the title i thought it would be like mage fighting and stuff. BOOO!!!

Avatar image for poweraceo

i have tryed this game, and i find it goes over and above animal crossing in great new ways. Sure there is no real goal, but unlike AC there are a ton of diffeent things to do

Avatar image for yaddy1

Looks so much like Animal Crossing...

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

I need something new and deep for my DS. I hope this is a winner.

Avatar image for Cerune

Looks interesting. Too bad they didn't show off more of the "adventuring" aspects of the game. Otherwise looks like an Animal Crossing clone with all the plusses and minuses that entails.

Avatar image for MiReflejo

I love Animal Crossing so much am I gonna love this game?

Avatar image for darth-pyschosis

looks awesome. but what about the quests?do they involve actually battling of enemies?

Avatar image for SSBFan12

This game is just like Animal Crossing.