Mage's Initiation is a graphical adventure game with RPG elements by Himalaya Studios. The most obvious influence on the game is the Quest for Glory series (whose creators are working on Hero-U, which I previously mentioned). The art style is certainly evocative of those 90s Sierra adventure games I am so fond of, and it's no wonder when you look at their back catalogue.
|(all picures from Himalaya Studios)|
Under the name AGD Interactive they produced excellent remakes, including Quest for Glory II and King's Quest. They gave the games a major overhaul, while also keeping all the charm of the originals. They went on to form Himalaya Studios, which released Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine in 2006.
This time, they've turned their attention to magic, mystery and the fantastical land of Iginor. You control the aspiring mage D'Arc, who is trying to prove himself worthy. Your initiation takes the form of three tasks set to you by the Mage Masters, which will take you across Iginor from the goblin-infested forest to the snow-topped mountains.
One of the more interesting quirks of this project (to me anyway) is that they're providing different interfaces for the game. There's the classic Sierra interface, with a bar of interaction icons that is revealed when you move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, but they're also planning on including a "verb-coin" interface, which will be familiar to anyone that played Curse of Monkey Island.
While the Sierra interface has always been my favourite, it's good to see alternatives to suit various people's needs. I can appreciate that there are a lot of adventure game fans out there for whom the Lucasarts style is preferred.
They've got loads of great bonuses for those willing to pitch in above the price for the game itself, with t-shirts, collector's boxes, maps and more. I'll be getting a boxed edition, mainly because I love this sort of game and wish them lots of success, but also because I really enjoyed their previous games and I believe they deserve a bit of credit for those free remakes which are so popular!