Magic & Mayhem

a game by Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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You are Cornelius Agrippa, an apprentice just out of school and ready to visit your favorite Uncle. Only trouble is, Uncle's lab is torn up and he is missing. What follows is your standard lost-relative search across a dangerous landscape. You get to pursue the clues and try to find where he has gone. (Yes, the storyline is exactly as tedious as it sounds.) Furthermore, finding clues is hardly a brain-strain, requiring merely coming anywhere near some characters in the levels you explore. You could play the entire game without paying the slightest attention to the actual plot.

The rest of the game consists of a standard resource gathering, semi-strategy type magical shoot-em out. You have mana, you park one of your critters on a power point (to restore mana), and you have the creatures you summoned. Power points are your resources, the critters are your armies. You explore each level, find the big bad guy, maybe pick up a useful item or two, and kill the bad guy. The only thing that separates this from standard beat-the-level on your quest type game is that Cornelius is a jerk. Found a helpful friend of your Uncle? Cool. Don't forget to steal his item and, oh yeah, kill him on your way across the landscape. There is no way to get around this as you cannot beat the level and move on without killing this guy who has been helpful to you. Ugh.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Game controls are pretty standard. No surprises here. The mouse is your friend, but don't bother looking for any real configuration options. Don't believe the little blurb at the start of the manual, though; you do need to read the manual and don't forget to look at the command keys. Particularly useful are the grouping commands to assign hotkeys to your troops and it's nice to know that you can save mid-level if you want to. These little features are not in the tutorial.

Enemy AI

The documentation goes to some length to mention a hot-stuff AI that matches itself to your play style. For what it's worth, the levels aren't a cake walk, even on the easiest settings. But whether this is a function of the AI or merely of going up against foes that are more powerful and know the layout of the map better than you do, I don't know. There just isn't much occasion for the AI to show its stuff.


If possible, the graphics are even more disappointing than the storyline. Sprite based and a little grainy, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate your creatures from each other (brownies look very much like red caps, two very different units). Selecting one unit in a grouping is also an exercise in twitch-control, which is more than a minor inconvenience when your king creature needs a bit of healing mid-battle.

System Requirements

Likely due to the lousy graphics and weak path-finding, the system requirements are pretty minor: P133, 32 MB RAM, 8X CD-ROM and Win95.


The documentation looks like it was done at a discount with a special on blue ink. Otherwise, there is nothing outstanding about the it. I highly recommend taking a look at the control keys, though. There's functionality in there that otherwise risks being overlooked.

Bottom Line

Not a blockbuster, by any means. If you don't mind playing a bit of a jerk through levels that are mostly the same, by all means, pick up this game. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a bit of cash to burn and a lot of free time on your hands.

Download Magic & Mayhem


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Those uptight and deeply reserved Brits of popular stereotype are about to upset your assumptions about their niceness with a new Action/strategy Blast-'em-up called, appropriately enough... Mayhem!

Set on Earth some time in the future, the game posits a world in which human existence is (once again...) under threat.A force of Biomechanical creatures, originally created by humans to do their most menial and degrading tasks, has rebelled, killing many people and forcing the bedraggled survivors into underground hideaways and orbital space platforms. One such platform, Satnet, hovers above the city in which the game is set, and from a control room within Satnet, you'll take on the role of a mercenary whose task it is to rid the city of its biomechanical oppressors and render the area once again fit for human habitation. Mayhem! is divided into five different areas of the city, including the Airport, the Industrial Zone and the Central Business District; each of these is in turn divided into five maps, with one mission per map. From your control room, you control a team of three humans, whom you must assemble and arm before sending them off in their armored vehicles.The play area is rendered iso-metrically, and is littered with buildings, enemies and puzzles, not to mention the 12 species of biomechs you'll have to overcome. You'll also encounter teleporters, sprites, secret walls, hidden tunnels and invisible sprites. Mayhem! also features two network-play options: a cooperative version in which three players each take charge of one of the team members, and a Deathmatch version, for up to 12 players, which takes place in one massive area four times the size of an original zone: the winner is the player who has used up the least lives within a particular timespan. So get going, because there's not much time left....