I absolutely love MadPea games. Not only am I always curious what adventures/mysteries they have planned for us, I’m always excited to test my puzzle solving skills. MadPea’s Spellbound is the newest, exciting MadPea game that was released last year in November. Most hardcore MadPea fans have probably already had their fun and completed the game way before I finally got around to trying it, but for those of you on the fence about trying this experience out, I’m telling you to rise up and take this challenge! This one will test your resolution, attention to detail, endurance, and overall critical thinking skills. Spellbound is a must-play! Who is ready to enjoy this magical experience?
WARNING: THERE WILL BE SOME SPOILERS RELATING TO VISUAL GAMEPLAY, BUT NO SOLUTIONS TO PUZZLES, NO SPECIFICS TO ENDINGS, AND NO SPOILED SURPRISES. If you want a completely unbiased experience for MadPea’s Spellbound, go play the game now by visiting this location! For more general information about Spellbound, go here.
::GB:: AQUA Water by Takuya Jinn @MadPea Spellbound Starting Area
::GB:: Masical necklace by Takuya Jinn (MadPea Spellbound Prize)
MadPea Spellbound Pet Owl – Aqua by MadPea @MadPea Spellbound Starting Area
Oxydate. Feed the Beast Tattoo by MonaSax95 Resident @Skin Fair
Admittedly, my MadPea game repertoire is not as vast as many other hardcore MadPea fans, but I’ve completed five games so far: Sinister Slaughters, The Tower, Seven, Nightmare in New Orleans (NiNO), and now Spellbound. Aside from MadPea gaming, I am an active gamer both in video games and board games so I’ll be discussing MadPea’s Spellbound based on my own personal tastes and perspective. My rating is completely my own opinion and will be different from everyone else’s.
Sound design 7/10
Misc. (loading screens, environmental lighting, etc) 2/5
MadPea’s Spellbound is a magically spectacular visual treat. Like all the other MadPea games I have played, the adventure takes you into MadPea’s meticulously created world – this time, to the Spellbound Academy of Sorcery, set close to the quaint village of Willowshire. If you love the magical world of Harry Potter, then you will love Spellbound as you will be playing as a first year student in a school of magic and mystery but with a completely unique storyline. Being a huge fan of the wizarding world, I absolutely was excited to play this game.
Spellbound starts off in a village right outside the Academy of Sorcery where the castle is the main central location to navigate the multitude of rooms within the school vital in progressing throughout the game. This confined space serves more as a portal to apparate you to a total of 20 different rooms. I absolutely loved exploring the castle and anticipating what is behind each door once the level was unlocked, finding great angles to take a snapshot.
So for those who read my review about Nightmare in New Orleans, you’ll know I was so in love with the sound incorporated throughout the game, especially the voice talent of everyone you would interact with. This time in Spellbound, MadPea has brought more of this humanistic feature to this magical, virtual game. I’m not as enthusiastic about the voice talent for Spellbound as I was for NiNO, but each ‘NPC’ did bring quite varying personalities depending on the House they represented. I do wish each of the Headmasters were actual avatars though. It would have made the rescue effort more humanistic and impactful.
Virion Blackstone was headmaster of Ignis whose gruff voice conveyed a bit of arrogance. Cloven Morel was headmaster of Terra whose timid voice showed that this professor was likely a tad strange and eccentric. Lyndis Wavecrest was headmaster of Aqua whose proper English voice commanded respect and level-headedness. Mizette Zephyr was headmaster of Venti who seemed quite gentle and kind with a whimsical-like personality. I do wish there was more story/history to each house described by each headmaster to entice students to join their specific house though. I understand that competition between the houses was not even a factor of the overall storyline of the game, however, I feel allowing the player to feel more invested in their choice of selecting a specific house would contribute a bit more to the overall effort of saving the school.
I’m not sure how many were able to witness, but the revolving guardian gargoyles upon Miss Horlage’s time schedule in the Academy castle was a really nice touch. More surprise magical elements would have been awesome like animated/interactive portraits! (Or were there more magical surprises and I just missed it?!?!)
Spellbound is a pretty cool game, especially for those who appreciate magic. In a nutshell, it is a lot of puzzle solving with some elements of hunting and a little bit of combat as well. As a first year sorcery student, you are tasked and challenged to learn different spells that eventually will help you in the end of your journey. There are a total of 12 spells to learn, three specific spells per House. The overall storyline was pretty straight forward and easy to follow.
I love these sort of magic themes because anything can happen – there is no limit to what can be done and no need to follow any real rules of physics. Spellbound isn’t bound to any rules the non-magical world must follow to function. That being said, I was expecting a bit more imagination in this magical world. Yes, there was a lot to this game in terms of moving from one level to another, so there is a lot of objectives and mechanical content (more on that below). However I felt the concept of ‘magic’ could have been pushed a bit further.
Despite this small preference of mine, there was -a lot- of content to this game. In fact, about 8 hours of gameplay. Out of all the games I have played so far, Spellbound is the longest game I have played through. It took me several nights to complete it all, breaking it up into several hours per night. I will say that because it became a routine for me to log in and get into solving mode, when I did beat the game, it felt bittersweet. I was happy that I had finally completed the game, but then I was saddened that the game came to an end LOL!
Another thing I liked was the extra Spellbound activity for Premium members. As a MadPea Premium member, this added bonus was a pleasant addition to the whole Spellbound experience. Upon completion of the extra Premium side-quest, MadPea Premium members are awarded with an achievement.
My favorite objectives are the explore/search ones where I have to hunt down specific items so the Alchemy lab and the Theatre were the most fun ones for me. I loved the Alchemy lab puzzle since it involved hunting aspects under a time constraint. I also really enjoyed the mini fairy tale element found in the theatre while searching for clues. There were tons of puzzles to solve in Spellbound, ranging from small line puzzles to even a one-on-one dueling match! I really enjoyed every single objective. The end goal was crystal clear where the player must “level up” to unlock more challenges while figuring out what dark power has been encapsulating the Academy.
These objectives were quite cognitive heavy. Most of the challenges involved attention to detail and then using that knowledge/clue to complete the task. While the puzzles themselves were isolated objectives, the numerous rooms served as duel purposes in which made the game flow with more depth. Essentially completing that room’s level did not necessarily mean the room would not be used for another purpose later on. I liked the multi-functionality of each phase, giving the game more immersion of the actual game environment.
MadPea executed the mechanics of the game beautifully. What I mean by that is there was a seamless flow of learned skills to objective completion. Things just made sense and it was fun figuring out how to achieve success! Every magic spell learned had a purpose and depending on the circumstances, the player needed to adapt and figure out which spell would help them complete the quest. There were enough magic spell varieties that forced players to think about what they needed to do next.
I was spoiled with the Nightmare in New Orleans gameplay where there were multiple endings to the game, making it repeatable. Unfortunately, it did not seem like there were multiple endings for this game (not that there should be). But maybe it would have been interesting to see four variations of the ending depending on the House the player chose. It would have tied the House sorting in a bit more and gave more meaning to the fact that students needed to choose their allegiance wisely.
The interface of the game HUD was good – only thing I wish it had was a minimize button to save space on my screen when I was not using the HUD. Design was sleek and visually nice and the overall function of the HUD was intuitive.
Peripherals & Prizes
There were four optional outfits players could purchase – each representative of the four different Houses. These outfits were custom made by the amazing creator of Gabriel!
Other wizarding accessories include pet owls and magic wands. Every student, at the start of the Spellbound game, is given a temporary wand to use for spell casting gameplay. However, I’d recommend getting your own wand by playing the MadPea Wands Gacha as you can conveniently keep it in your inventory, and each one looks pretty cool compared to the basic wand. There are a total of 10 different wand styles. Allow the wand to choose the wizard! The pet owls are actually game enhancers that have the ability to help you detect when mana crystals are nearby. Throughout the game, you will need to continuously search for mana crystals to level up so these owls can help you save time if you are not the best hunter.
The prizes at the completion of the game are mostly decor items. Each one of them were pretty nice as MadPea got some awesome creators to contribute to the awards. If you are interested in seeing all the prizes for MadPea’s Spellbound, check it out here.
Overall Game Difficulty 3/5
Medium difficulty. I completed all puzzles on my own without needing to purchase any hints. For those who do need a bit of a nudge in the right direction, players can purchase hints with the magical skeletal hour glass that is located at the start of every challenge room. Players can choose to purchase two hints or purchase a pass to skip the whole room entirely.
Overall Rating 8/10
I had a lot of fun playing MadPea’s Spellbound. The scoring adds up to 7.5 out of 10 but I’m adding a little extra to the overall rating for the sheer length of this game. Lots of effort and planning was put into this game and the game’s value just based on time spent on gameplay alone is worth the 1K price tag. Spellbound is a game really well made with fun and challenging objectives with great visual scenes – I definitely recommend this game to those who are interested in challenging your mind or just simply love magic!
This game is especially good for:
Explorers/Adventurers (curiosity is your weapon)
Challengers/Completionists (Just beat the game)
Thinkers (mind over matter)
Creators (collect resources and build your objective)
Strategists (advanced thinkers who maximize profit and minimize loss)
Socializers (lots of player interaction and engagement)
My Personal Tips
Pay attention to details – for the C Personality types (DISC) you will love this
Take lots of notes – you will be glad you wrote things down lol
Take your time – this is a long game! Take the game in and enjoy it 🙂
MadPea Games Ranking (as of March 15, 2019)
- Nightmare in New Orleans (rated 8.5)
- Spellbound (rated 8.0)
- Sinister Slaughters
- The Tower