Reviews - Updated on April 12, 2022

Video game heroes often save their brides and beloved girls – usually they are kept somewhere under lock and key in well-guarded castles, locked in dark casemates or forcibly passed off as some greedy and treacherous, but not liked by the girl villains. But the hero of Masters of Anima, a new game from Focus Home Interactive and Passtech Games (authors of Space Run Galaxy), was not at all lucky – his betrothed by an evil sorcerer magically split and divided into separate heart, brain and body. And now we are forced to search for them and release them, in order to unite them again later.

Divide and rule!

No, this is not some pathological horror about the dismemberment of poor women. Masters of Anima is an adventure game at the intersection of RPG and strategy in a fairly traditional fantasy style. Its events unfold in the magical world of Sparks, where, as usual, witchcraft got out of control at one time. Magic was artificially enclosed in a certain framework, and we play as a young man named Otto, who has access to the powers of the Anima (as magic is called here).

Otto is a more than peaceful, kind, in some ways even naive blond who lives with his bride Ana and is just starting out as a newcomer to the caste of so-called creators. Why is the girl pushing him hard, because she is a much more powerful magician. But then a terrible Zar appears, a former creator, and now a villain, who, for his vile ritual, did with Ana what I wrote about at the very beginning …

It is interesting that the parts of the girl’s body that are separated from each other (magically, not physically) can speak. Moreover, her heart and brain were far from agreeing with each other on everything. Naturally, the mind of such a powerful sorceress thinks much more seriously and rationally than her heart – which, apparently, belongs, if not to a typical blonde, then certainly to a very enthusiastic girl. Often, during screensavers, it chatters incessantly about how Anya likes everything about Otto: his forehead, legs, nails, how angry he is, how he smiles and how he sings out of tune. The poor groom and part-time savior of the world at these moments can only cover his face with his hands and shake his head. That is, with a sense of humor in Masters of Anima, everything is in order.

Golems and Titans

But there is no time to smile directly during the gameplay – this is an original, exciting, but rather tough mixture of adventure, strategy and RPG. On a campaign to save the bride, and at the same time the world (where would it be without it in such a fantasy!), Otto goes not alone, but together with a variety of guards, whom he is able to call and recall at any time thanks to the magic of Anima.Masters of Anima game review

Almost every fight here is like a final.

Actually, under these guards, the whole gameplay is “imprisoned”. First, they are used to solve numerous puzzles and overcome obstacles. Some are able to move massive objects in order to free the passage or put some statues in their rightful place, others are able to raise stone barriers that save them from the deadly winds in the desert, others can give Otto a special rune that helps to pass through the desecrated land, the fourth are able to shoot from a distance fel crystals or get into the activator buttons. There are even guards that summon huge titans.

Many situations are built on the combination of these skills, when, for example, some hold shelters from the wind, while others move statues in an open space. And these puzzles themselves – although not very, of course, complex – are often used so that we can get to various useful “buns” that are inevitable in such an adventure. There are bonuses to experience, and some stone tablets telling about the world of the Spark, and various items that permanently increase (if you collect enough of them) the health and magical power of the hero.

Figaro there, Figaro here…

But the main task of the guards is to distribute lyuli to enemies. Moreover, there are no ordinary opponents in Masters of Anima. Well, unless, of course, we consider huge golems as such, fights with which always take place in separate arenas, often in several stages, when others come to replace one, and each such battle is supported by a final table with the results calculated.Masters of Anima game review

Any level can be replayed to collect all the important items.

That is, in fact, we always fight with “bosses” – more or less important. One such fight can last 10 or 15 minutes. And all this time you need to be very concentrated in order to competently manage your assistants. In battles, they also perform different tasks. I won’t talk much about the differences between melee warriors and archers – I’ll just say that shooters can be led into vegetation, where they are better protected. There are also guards that can pull Anima clots from golems – it is with her help that we can call on our assistants both in battles and outside of them.

Otto in this situation may not attack opponents at all, but rush around the arena like a squirrel in order to competently control the guards, ordering them to move back and forth, summoning new ones or recalling old ones in time. In general, I must say, the enemies constantly carry out such special moves, causing damage in the area, in the direction, or in general throughout the arena. And at these moments we are no longer playing for Otto – this is a real Figaro, who is here, here and everywhere trying to be in time …

He also periodically needs to break into the crowd of his subordinates and yell with a good obscenity. It’s called a battle cry, a skill that allows our guards to use their special skills to, for example, heal a hero or shoot explosives at an enemy.

As we gain experience, we level up and get a couple of ability points as a reward, with which we increase the characteristics of Otto and his comrades. Each group of guardians has their own skills. At the same time, before a new level, we are allowed to redistribute skills again – this allows you to try different tactics.

Masters of Anima game review

In addition to golems, there are much more sinister enemies here.

***

Masters of Anima has its own problems. Many puzzles are repeated, and in principle the “puzzles – long battles in the arena” scheme is not the pinnacle of game design. And the control of the guards cannot be called ideal – this is especially felt in fights, where microcontrol is so important.

But in general, nothing criminal. Periodically, situations other than the aforementioned routine occur – for example, we run away from someone or control the local “lady of the lake” to help the hero go further. And the search for useful gizmos and really difficult battles are addictive in themselves. As for the controls, these are probably my personal problems: the authors recommend a gamepad, and I used a keyboard and mouse. In other words, in general, we have before us a great adventure – cute, stylish, ironic and well-voiced.

Pluses: charismatic heroes; feature-rich gameplay; original guard control mechanics; nice graphics; nice music and soundtrack.

Cons: puzzles are often repeated; PC controls are not perfect.

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