The Masked Mage – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, Adventure, Platformer
Developer: ERMedia
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Masked Mage – Review

Site Score
Good: Nostalgic pixel-art visuals, Not too shabby controls, Playable on both K+M and controller
Bad: Poor story-telling, Mediocre levels and enemies, Not challenging at all
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Another day, another platformer. These days, it’s hard for an indie developer to create a genre-defying game that stands out from other ‘supposedly’ genre-defying games. For dev ERMedia, it’s no different since they prove that making a solid platformer isn’t as easy as you’d think. Their adventure platformer The Masked Mage isn’t all that bad. Yet, it still drops the ball completely. Let’s talk about this, shall we?


From what we can gather from the sporadic conversations we have with a random fairy we met at the beginning of the game, we play as ‘the Masked Mage’ (yes, that is literally how he introduces himself). He shares with Rose, the fairy, that he’s in search of magic. It appears that magic has suddenly disappeared throughout the kingdom, and that it is now his quest to find out how and why this has happened. Nosey Rose(y) decides to tag along and they quickly form a team of two adventurers.

Besides the slightly entertaining back-and-forth banter between the two, the story-telling is a bit thick on the nose. It feels forced and far from spontaneous.


Before we dive into what the game is lacking, let’s talk about what The Masked Mage does manage to capture excellently; which are the game’s graphics.

The Masked Mage has its own beautiful pixel-art that reminds us of other, bigger, pixel-art games. That’s how good it actually is. Along with the clean interface and stunning parallax environment, the visuals are just phenomenal and a joy to play through. We loved the backdrops, as well as the properly handled animations. We commend the developers for a job well done.


The sound design is much less impressive, but it’s not too bad. The game’s score fits the atmosphere; it’s tensive when it needs to be, and can also be quite enjoyable when the situation allows for it. The soundtrack is quite varied, which is fun. It doesn’t particularly stand out, but it isn’t bland either. The sound effects are functional and they do their job.


The Masked Mage is your typical pixelated adventure platformer with some old-school vibes. As the developer sells it, “The Masked Mage is a slow-paced, peaceful Metroidvania game, focusing on exploration, atmosphere, and story.”. In all honesty, this isn’t completely wrong. However, with a pitch like that, we gamers will be expecting a game that is a solid ode to the Metroidvania genre, in which case, this is not. It is, however, very slow-paced, peaceful, and heavy on exploration. So, that part is at least correct.

From what we can gather, we go around the world, exploring and discovering new locations, memories, artifacts, and pixie dust, while in the meantime, we destroy some – also slow-paced– enemies. There’s almost no challenge in this whatsoever. The enemies are predictable and are easily killed with a single hit. The platforming isn’t too complicated either, and the only thing you really have to worry about is your health. Luckily, with enough pixie dust, you can just heal right back up.

It’s a fun feature to be able to play the game with both controller and K+M. Sadly, proper controller support feels a bit useless when there’s not much to do in the game except for walking from point A to B. The map/levels feel empty and collecting items along your journey feels so unrewarding. Exploring also feels unfulfilling, since you don’t get a specific direction to go to. It’s mostly wandering around aimlessly. The game feels endless after just half an hour. We understand that this ‘open world’ is part of the Metroidvania genre, but there is so little to uncover that eventually, it feels like you’re literally walking around aimlessly.

Again, the controls are the most polished of the entire gameplay portion of the game. With most of these kinds of indie games, navigating feels very clunky and stiff. As a result, this often makes the platforming portions of games such as this quite a pain. That is not totally the case with The Masked Mage. Of course, it’s still clear that this is not a triple-A experience, but as a whole, the controls do feel quite polished and make exploring the hollow and empty world a bit more manageable.


The Masked Mage, made by developer ERMedia and published by Plug In Digital for Steam, is a bland affair in which you can sink in some hours of unrewarding exploring. It isn’t at all challenging. That being said, it might be a good beginner game for gamers who want to get into platformers. This game, however, is not really something veteran platformers will get into, due to its low difficulty level, and its somewhat dull gameplay elements. Due to the ‘levels’ feeling extremely empty, you’ll be walking around aimlessly for the most part of the game, and the combat is almost non-existent, making it feel the developers forgot to add some excitement to the mix. Even though there are some collectibles to collect, it all ends up being forgotten mere moments later when you start exploring the empty and unrewarding world once again, hoping you’ll come across something a tad more adventurous.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Masked Mage – Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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