Third-party companies seem to be incapable of capturing the magic of the Pokemon games. Interactive Imagination has taken an interesting approach to this problem: Instead of emphasizing the "gotta catch 'em all" elements of play, their game concentrates on storytelling and character development. Magi-Nation feels more like a traditional RPG than a rip-off of Nintendo's franchise--the monster collecting stuff is more a marketing tool than anything else. The development team is based in the United States, and this is definitely reflected in the game's tone and sense of humor: The characters Tony Jones (the story's protagonist) runs across are fitted with genuinely witty dialogue, and the environments these figures inhabit are beautifully realized. When random, turn-based battles pop up, they're a lot of fun to engage in. The monsters may not be as interesting as Pikachu's buddies, but the sheer variety of their attack and defense moves keeps game-play invigorating. On the whole, this is a surprisingly refreshing take on an all too-familiar genre.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP