By AlisterCat 12 Comments
Let me start out by thanking LordXavierBritish, the asshole who gave me this game after I 'won' his Photoshop competition. My prize? A wonderful game by the name of Secret of the Magic Crystals, available on Steam now.
We are about to embark on a magical adventure full of unicorns, elves, and low resolution textures. I wasn't sure what I was in for, but the startup screen gives me a great indication. You know you're in for a good time when graphics options range from 'Fastest' to 'Fantastic'.
I am going in to this game with no previous knowledge about the gameplay, the story or characters. What awaits us in Secret of the Magic Crystals? Wonder? Childhood innocence? Let us take a look...
The game starts off with a slideshow describing the backstory behind the narrative, similar to other stellar games like Super Mario Galaxy.
Much like other modern games, Secret of the Magic Crystals initially deals with what seems like the apocolypse. As in post-apocalyptic FPS Rage, a giant meteor is set to collide with the earth, except the people in this world have escaped John Carmack blessing the land with Megatextures, and are instead spared the impact of the meteor. Which is the better of the two fates? You decide.
The meteor shatters in the Earth's atmosphere, and rains down magical crystals... if you believe the name of this game. In our world, astronomers might have noticed a giant meteor heading towards the earth. But this isn't your regular Earth with 'SCIENCE', this is MAGIC! Instead, these magic crystals are discovered by one old man, a university professor. Wait, professor? I guess in this world scientists are the quacks instead of mystics and psychics.
He believes the crystals have a profound effect on... wait for it... horses! Yes, of all the applications of magic crystals, horses are the only benefit of this incredible discovery. Hang on a second... nobody believes him? Impossible. Screw these students, what do they know?
The old man is then kicked out of the University for spreading his lies (we believe him though, right guys?) and retreats back to his home farm. There he grafts 2 pieces of jewellery for his grandchildren to raise horses on the farm, and that is where our grand adventure begins.
With the important stuff out of the way, we now have control over the farm. In case you were already aware of the stellar translation this game has received, my fist click on the screen results in finding an elf guarding treasure (where you ask? Let's see if you can find it in this screenshot... cos I sure can't). "You have found the Rainbow! You have found the elf guarding the treasure at the Rainbow!" declares the game. Great...?
Well, nothing happened. Moving on, pop up tutorials inform me that I am able to click on various elements on the farm and upgrade them or enter them. Surprisingly upgrading them actually changes the look of the structure. The farm is quite desolate and drab at the start so hopefully once I start earning money (there are coins in the corner of the screen) I can turn this place in to a palace.
The game instructs me to go to the stable, and inside I am greeted with my starting animal. A Unicorn! Morisa the Unicorn. Still a baby, it seems. On the left are some grooming tools so I take a brush and brush the furry unicorn to make it pretty. What? Don't judge me. After a minute or so of brushing my Unicorn explodes! What did I do!?
OK, disaster averted. The explosion was pixie dust or something, and my Unicorn is now an extra 6ft taller, muscular and has a giant head. It grew up? I guess the game is telling me now I can train my horse... or magic horse unicorn. Off to the corral.
At this point I have realised this game is a horse training simulator. Except MAGICAL. Considering you've been gifted with a magical unicorn beast and some magic crystals, you sure do some non-magical shit with it. Starting off by taking my Unicorn on a forest track which involves such mind blowing, MAGICAL feats such as jumping over twigs and branches.
The actually gameplay portion is similar to that of Rockband or Guitar hero, except here it is just arrow keys. When the horse passes under a giant floating arrow you have a 1 - 2 second window in which to press the arrow key. The the horse jumps over a trickle of water and some leaves. What happens if you don't press it in time? I don't know. The difficulty in this game is so forgiving that I got a perfect on every button press. At the end of the course it tallies up your score and with all perfects... 98%? Fuck you, game!
The other events are the exact same minigame just in a different environment. After a certain amount of activity however, your horse becomes exhausted and you must allow it to rest which is a great excuse to go feed it back in the stable or groom it. That, my friends is where my first day of adventure ends in this game.
Like what you've read? Let me know if you want to see more episodes in my Unicorn training diary.
As a thank you for reading this magical adventure I would like to give you the opportunity to win a prize. I have a number of steam vouchers to give away. Exciting, no? No? Oh, OK. But still, discounts off games. Even Skyrim! Feel free to give something in return if you like but otherwise just post your steam name and what you want, and it is yours for the taking.
Here is what's up for grabs...
|-33% off Skyrim|
|-33% off Skyrim|
|-50% off Valve|
|-50% off Valve|
|-33% off Valve|
|-50% off Hacker Evolution: Duality|
|-25% off Might and Magic Clash of Heroes|
|-50% off VVVVVV|
|-50% off Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
|-50% off Xotic|
|-50% off Frozenbyte Collection|
|Any of my Spiral Knights crap|