Life is Magic is a massively social RPG which takes advantage of your smart phone or tablet’s location services to map the world – or the USA to start, and determine where your home base is. It’s from the same folks who made Life is Crime, and is a pretty decent way to kill a few minutes here or there on the train, bus… but not if you’re driving okay? It is a fantasy game but based on real life locations, which is to say, it pulls your local area map in as your local map, but it is re-skinned to look like a fantasy landscape. That cool little restaurant around the corner from your office may be a spell shop, the auto place an armor shop – you get the picture.
Players choose between three classes; the Machinist, Mage or Monk. The Machinist is your typical tank and the character inspired by Nikolas Tesla. The Mage is your ranged magic user, and can specialize in different elemental spells, while the Monk was inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and is quite literally a turtle with healing spells.
You home town is the Magic Tower you belong to and it has membership and social hierarchy. Your local chat will also be attached to your area, but players can chat globally as well, and you can visit other Magic Towers when you travel. The three status ladders in game are Wealth, Power and Influence. Wealth or gold buys equipment, Power is your level and Influence is earned by completing quests.
Play is turn-based and asynchronous and you recruit a magic circle of friends whose characters you take to dungeons with you. They will gain loot and experience with you, but fortunately, will not suffer any negative consequences should your party fail. Basically, you are making use of their characters, their skills and powers. Group size is a max of three (3) and if you have ever played Dragon Age’s face book game, you will know how that mechanic works.
Dungeons are found in your local map as well. Maybe that Starbucks around the corner has a dungeon in the basement with a mega boss. Players advance through the levels, building up powers to eventually use on the dungeon boss. Loot does not leave the dungeon until you do. If you die in there, you lose your loot, and that is how dungeons fill up with loot as well. The loot you gain on the first level follows you to the second, and so forth, but it doesn’t mean that you have to dig through all twenty levels of a particular dungeon in one play session. You can log out IN that level and pick the game up again another day.
Created by Red Robot Labs, Life is Magic follows on the heels of their Life is Crime game which also uses real locations. Due to release in the fall, Red Robot Labs plans to launch the game on iOS and Android. Players will all play on the same server and be able to link up with friends via Facebook and Twitter. Eventually as cities fill up, and critical player mass is reached, the PvP game will be released in a game update. Being a social game, it will also allow you to post your statuses on Facebook or tweet about a victory. The game will be free to download and play, and they will monetize on virtual goods. “Reality had a good run” is what Red Robot Labs says about the game; let’s try a fantasy world this time around.