Out today on PC and Switch, Ikenfell is an old-school turn-based RPG that throws you deep into a magical mystery.
You see, your sister, a student at the prestige magic school known as Ikenfell, hasn’t been in contact for a while. So you’ve taken it upon yourself to journey to her school to see if she’s okay. As you get closer to the school, though, it turns out not everything is as it should be; something has happened, causing the school to go into lockdown.
It turns out your sister’s quite a famous witch, and you’re not the only person looking for her. It also transpires that she’s not the only magical person in the family. You’re not the ‘ordinary’ person you thought you were, as magical fire powers reveal themselves as you get close to the school. They’ll certainly come in handy on your journey.
Exploring the world of Ikenfell is reminiscent of the likes of Link’s Awakening. The pixelated world is charming, and there’s a lot of nooks and crannies to explore. Snooping into buildings might reward you with new weapons or accessories, for instance, and the forest around the school is littered with treasure chests waiting to reward you with useful items.
What differentiates it from the likes of the Zelda series, though, is Ikenfell‘s classic turn-based combat. The game’s top-down angle is replaced with a side-on view when you’re in combat. On each turn, you can move within a set radius, and either unleash an attack or use an item. Strategy plays a big part, and you’ll also have to employ some well-timed button presses.
Performing an attack isn’t simply a case of selecting a spell from a menu and being done with it; you’ll have to push a button at the right moment to do the maximum amount of damage. The same goes for avoiding incoming damage; a well-timed press can negate much of the attack.
I’m only early into my journey with Ikenfell, so I have a lot more to discover, but its story instantly grabbed me. Its tale of a magical school is intriguing, and the mystery you find yourself a part of just begs for more to be uncovered. Well-written dialogue and humorous characters you can’t help but love make this a game that’s hard to put down, and I can’t wait to see how the adventure pans out.
Ikenfell is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.