In 1994, Bullfrog entertainment released Magic Carpet, a game where you flew about on, you guessed it, a magic carpet. The game became a cult classic, but besides the sequel Magic Carpet 2, no similar games were made. 20 years later, developer Ranmantaru games attempts to fill that void with a spiritual successor called Arcane Worlds.
As of now, only the framework of Arcane Worlds is done. Its only game mode throws you into a world with a small tutorial, where the basics of collecting mana and creating spells are explained. You then discover a portal, by which you can travel to other randomly generated planets. During these visits you collect treasures that serve as ingredients for creating new spells, that range from a simple lightning bolt to the ability to create an erupting volcano.
Having never played the original Magic Carpet, I had no real reference point, which means that I can’t compare it to the Bullfrog classic. What I can tell you however, is that the controls feel tight and responsive. Flying around is a breeze and more importantly, fun. Playing around with the various spells, slaying monsters and terraforming as you please, is also very entertaining. But after an hour or so you stumble upon the real problem of Arcane Worlds: that this entertainment doesn’t last forever.
After exploring a couple of planets, you’ve seen everything that Arcane Worlds currently offers. Shooting fireballs at flocks of birds becomes stale surprisingly quickly, and the terraforming is too rough around the edges to be fully enjoyed. The fact that the developer has put the development of the game on hold in favour of other projects, doesn’t help its case.
But then again, I’m not the target audience of Arcane Worlds. This project isn’t meant for people who weren’t even born when the original came out: it’s a love letter of one devoted fan, aimed at other, similarly dedicated fans of Magic Carpet. As of right now, I can only recommend Arcane Worlds to gamers who want to support the development of a HD version of Magic Carpet. Otherwise, I’d recommend waiting until full release.
You can find the video on my channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDIjyIMaly4