The Thaumaturge – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Fool's Theory
Publisher: 11 bit studios
Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

The Thaumaturge – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmosphere, Interesting combat concept, Story
Bad: Combat execution, Blocked quests, A lot of walking back and forth
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Thanks to the popularity of games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, the CRPG has been more popular than ever, and it seems that every developer and publisher is jumping on the bandwagon again. We see a lot of fantasy RPG titles being advertised as the next Baldur’s Gate, and most of these titles end up being rather disappointing. In the same genre, we have The Thaumaturge which tries to ditch that traditional format for something with a more original theme. We get transported to the early 20th century to Warsaw in an alternate universe. While the game certainly nailed its overall atmosphere, the gameplay left quite a bit to be desired.


The Thaumaturge takes us back to the early 20th century, albeit in an alternate version of Earth where the Russians control all the power in Warsaw. You’ll be playing as Wiktor, a thaumaturge who has lost his spark. Wiktor has lost the connection to his so-called Salutor, the spirit that he can see and also use to manipulate those around him. When he hears that a man by the name of Rasputin would be able to cure his ailment, he travels to a backwater village to do so. It doesn’t take too long before Wiktor gets his mojo back, but he cannot celebrate for too long as he receives word his estranged father died. Now, Wiktor has to return to Warsaw to arrange certain family affairs, and Rasputin decides to tag along. Of course, upon arriving in Warsaw, things are not what they seem and Wiktor finds himself being dragged into a variety of cases.

All in all, the main story of The Thaumaturge is great, and you do have a few different options to affect the overall flow of the narrative. Some options, however, were a bit underwhelming in the grand scheme of things, but the main storyline is still quite interesting and appealing. The side content didn’t always manage to win us over, but we did still enjoy exploring the different side stories in the world of The Thaumaturge.


Even though we didn’t run the game on the best system available, it’s noticeable from the get-go that The Thaumaturge does have its fair share of rough edges. The environments all look crisp, but seeing almost everything in the game consists of static objects, that’s not a hard feat to accomplish. There were a lot of clipping issues when it came to the environments. The character designs are decent, even though some of the character’s faces were a bit off-putting, and even children looked as if they were already past the age of 55. Wiktor is probably the most likable character in sight, but some other more important characters have great character designs as well. We did very much like the character models of the Salutors, who all looked quite creepy. That being said, the game itself still looks good, and the atmosphere is nailed down to a T.


The sound design is decent, albeit like the graphics, a bit flawed. The overarching soundtrack is great and again heightens the overall atmosphere. The sound effects provide decent feedback, but they’re nothing to write home about. It’s the voice acting, however, that’s very hit or miss in this case. Wiktor and a few other main characters are all voiced by what seem to be more experienced voice actors. Many of the side characters, however, are voiced by very inexperienced actors and the dialogues often sound very unnatural. This is not only due to the cast’s capabilities as some dialogues are just written to be as awkward as possible it seems. Even so, we understand the game’s setting and that an accent for this region is not uncommon, but the English voice cast should have perhaps ditched the accent as it is not consistent throughout the characters’ entire performances. We wouldn’t have minded if the game just opted for full Polish and Russian voice acting instead.


The Thaumaturge is a fairly traditional CRPG in which you explore the world around you, complete quests, and gain experience when doing so. While combat is still an important part of the game, you’ll notice that the narrative and the side stories take center stage here. The offset is quite simple, as you just walk around the small enclosed areas you find yourself in and you use your skills as a thaumaturge to complete quests. That being said, while the gameplay isn’t bad, it does feel like a lot of strange design choices were made and that things could have been a lot better than they currently are.

Combat in The Thaumaturge always follows the same format where Wiktor is the only party member that takes damage. On top of that, Wiktor can control the different Salutors he has under his control to attack his foes or inflict them with nasty status effects. You can swap freely between the unlocked Salutors, and thanks to this, you do have quite a few attacks and spells at your disposal. Combat, however, is quite tricky, as all your enemies will attack Wiktor, so there aren’t multiple characters who can soak up damage. Enemies also hit quite hard, and as a result, we found the combat in the game a bit difficult at times, and sometimes even unfair. When you lose half your HP two turns into a battle combat becomes rather annoying. This was still the case when we prioritized side content, making sure we gained as many levels as possible. Some status effects also proved to be underwhelming, and some enemies are also protected, forcing you to weaken them first to break their defenses. As a result, we often disliked the battles we found ourselves in, and we did miss having a few additional physical party members. We also missed having useful items in combat, such as potions.

The gameplay loop in The Thaumaturge was enjoyable, albeit a bit bland at times. We did like exploring the world around us, even though exploring might be somewhat of an overstatement. The world of The Thaumaturge is very static, and outside of quest NPCs, you can’t really talk to anyone else. Dialogues are still quite linear, except for a few different story branches here and there. Outside of a lot of newspapers, letters, and diaries, the world also doesn’t offer that many collectibles or fun items you can actually use. These newspapers and other items do add a bit of extra lore and also reward you with more experience than combat. Even so, everything felt a bit too simple. We found ourselves having to go back and forth all the time for different quests. As a result, we felt as if we were playing an isometric walking simulator at times, albeit with an interesting and engaging story. Quests themselves also follow an odd format, where you can start a quest to then be locked out for some reason because you have not reached a certain point in the game. This is annoying to fully immerse yourself in a quest to then suddenly be halted for no actual reason. This again forces you to go back and forth even more, further dragging out the experience. Add to this the fact that you’ll be spamming your perception ability to reveal items more than you would spam Revelio in Hogwarts Legacy, and you have yourself a fairly tedious way of tackling quests.

All in all, the controller support is decent for the game, but we couldn’t help but notice some more finicky segments when having to switch between Salutors. We often noticed the controls weren’t that responsive, and it sometimes took us several tries to actually swap between Salutors. Other than that, the game does work well enough with a controller, but the menus are still a lot more pleasant with a keyboard and mouse setup.


Even though The Thaumaturge lured us in with its captivating story and its sublime atmosphere, it sadly wasn’t able to impress us across the board. The game felt a bit undercooked when it came to the gameplay aspects and the many different items it wanted to embed. We feel as if the developers wanted to try to cram as many different mechanics into one game as possible, and due to this, many of said mechanics felt unpolished and somewhat tedious. Even so, if the story still sounds like your cup of tea, and you like the overall setting, we still suggest checking this one out keeping in mind the gameplay that shows a lot of rough edges.

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Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

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