For those of you that can remember Overlord, a game which has you command minions with the touch of a button on your controller, Masters of Anima is a similarly based title, whereby players control Guardians to do the dirty work and help fight against evil and solve puzzles.
You play as Otto, an apprentice of Anima, who is able to wield incredible powers that are the source of all life in the world of Spark. You covet the rank of Master so you can finally marry your beloved fiancée Ana – who is now a captive of the terrible Zahr and his fearsome Golems!
Overall, the game is about controlling Guardians to fight enemies or move heavy stone pillars out of your path to move forward. You’ll become heavily reliant on your little magical minions. You summon a squad and then direct them to a target using your controller, which unfortunately the controls feel clunky in doing this. which I can’t help feel lends itself better to keyboard and mouse on PC. Very often, I had misdirected Guardians stuck on rocks or wandering off on their own, only to discover them again later when I returned to the area.
Fighting enemies offers a challenge in itself, in the form of combining your own attacks and abilities with those of your Guardians. Rally a damage boost cry in the heart of battle and your Guardians will deliver extra damage to enemies, particularly useful on the more tougher enemies with larger health meters. It’s nice to see both your own character and AI characters you control come together to form a formidable force.
Filling your screen with the maxmum army size of 100 summoned Guardians is handled perfectly well by Masters of Anima, with no noticeable performance drops, although having 100 friendly units on screen can make combat scenarios a little more hectic at times. There are also situations where less is better.
In terms of visuals, the game features a top down camera view with 3D graphics with a cartoony direction. It does the job well enough to deliver the game, but doesn’t provide anything above and beyond the exceptional graphical game.
Masters of Anima offers a different gameplay experience, relying on a combination of your own tactically play and your Guardian choice to progress and defeat enemies. There’s a nice challenge offered throughout, nothing too difficult, but enough to push you. If you enjoy tactical arcade style games, then Masters of Anima may very well be for you.