Masters of Anima is an isometric adventure game in the same vein as the Pikmin games. Wielding the power of magic and the ability to control minions in order to fight evil; you set out on an adventure to save your fiancé and with her the world.
You are Otto a young Shaper apprentice of a magic called Anima (as per the title) this power is channelled from the life giving energy of your world Spark. Your goal in life is to one day become a master Shaper and to lead your minions known as Guardians. However, your fiancé Ana is taken by the evil Zahr and split into three parts and scattered around the world of Spark and surrounded by Zahr’s evil Golem army. Now you must set out on an adventure to master your powers and to rescue your love while defeating the evil villain!
When it comes to gameplay Masters of Anima is an ARPG with very similar mechanics to the Pikmin games and Overlord games. You take control of Otto with his staff he is able to control his Guardians and send them to do battle or to hold down an area in many way it’s like a real-time strategy game. Otto isn’t defenceless though he is able to do his own attacks too with a pretty decent combo system, I actually found myself bashing enemies with his staff and forgetting about his Guardians. As expected there are multiple different times of Guardians that are used for different situations from the heavy front line commanders to the keepers who steal anima from your enemies and give to you; this really brings a level of depth to the game and makes for a more strategic feel. Being an ARPG style game the player is rewarded with experience points that they can use to improve their abilities allowing for some player development along the way which really gives a feeling of accomplishment as you slowly make your way through the world of Spark.
When it comes to art-style Passtech Games really nailed the it and it just looks beautiful. With a solid cartoonish style, the game almost looks like actual figures on-screen, and with such a vivid colour palette it really is easy on the eyes. When it comes to enemy design the game also has some really unique looking golems that look quite intimidating but still cool at the same time. The music jells well with the games art style delivering a whimsical atmosphere that helped immerse me in the world of Spark.
I didn’t find many technical issues with Masters of Anima but I did have some issues. I found myself gravitating more to fighting as Otto than using the Guardians this might be more of a me problem, another issue I had was I found difficulties directly my Guardians at times during hectic battles. At times I found myself overwhelmed with controlling the groups of Guardians but it was only as it got to the later missions.
Overall Masters of Anima is a fantastic romp that fills a void for Diablo and Pikmin players and really delivers on all its promises. Gameplay wise it’s a smooth solid experience that is intuitive and doesn’t try hard to reinvent the wheel. The game’s art side is where it really shines as an art form with beautiful fantastical art and charming music it really is a treat to experience. I definitely recommend Masters of Anima for fans of Diablo and Pikmin style games and is the closet we’ll get to Pikmin being on PlayStation. A must buy.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.