Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times (JP) (Enchanted Folk and the School of Wizardry in Europe) is a video game for the Nintendo DS that combines fantasy, adventure, simulation and role-playing. The players in this game take the role of a student in Magic Academy to learn the mystery of magic and casting spells, whilst trying to build up relationships with fellow students.
As players attend Magic Academy, they'll be immersed in a living, breathing world where time flows as it does in the real world, and each week, player's wizardry skills are put to the test in a new magical adventure. Custom avatars can be made with 1,500 varieties of clothing, furniture and characters to choose from. Additionally, players can learn new magic spells and abilities by forming different bonds with the 150 unique characters populating the world. Different stories and adventures will be revealed depending on what bonds are formed with the game's characters and how the player chooses to solve each of the 52 adventures. Use more than 100 magic spells to become the greatest magician of all time!
At the start of the game, you get to create your own character by selecting your gender, your name and appearance. As you progress through the game, you will be able to buy new clothes and accessories for your character at Vivian's Boutique. After enrolling in Magic Academy, you will have to attend classes to learn new spells. You must make sure that you remember your timetable otherwise you may forget that you have a class and miss it. These spells will be put into good use in a series of 52 adventures. There is also an option of customizing your dormitory room in the school. Enchanted Folk also features Wi-Fi cooperative play meaning you can connect online and chat using the "magical alphabet". The game has been known to be undoubtedly similar to Animal Crossing: Wild World on the same platform however, Enchanted Folk seems to be far more fantasy like and there also seems to be far more much to do. Being very similar to Animal Crossing may also be its downfall. Due to the success of Animal Crossing, players may feel that they have played the same formula before.
There are far more eccentric characters than there are in Animal Crossing, you can let your friends stay in your dorm by connecting on Wi-Fi or local multiplayer (they will stay in your room as an exchange student), you can form a band (each villager will play a different instrument) in which you can choose a wide range of instruments and you can shop till you drop with a wide range of shops around the village!
Once a month "Mystery Time" will occur when the Nutcracker score plays and the gameplay is different; you can have exclusive lessons and catch exclusive bugs and fish. The following day, a strange villager will appear with a quest. These quests are not difficult, and a reward is earned after each one you complete. The Mystery Time villager could range from Satyr, a hippie who wants to have a "jam session" with you, to Death, who you must find if you can't give him candy. There are also dragons and fairies and everything in between.
- Study at the magic academy to become and Master Wizard
- Over 150 fully interactive pupils to befriend
- Multiple storylines depending on your friends
- Lend characters to a friend's games to learn even more
- Played in real time - new challenges every week
- 1,500 customizable features including clothing, characters, spell upgrades, furniture and accessories
- 52 mysterious adventures for players to solve using their magic abilities
- Single player story mode, up to 4 player co-operative play
- Use the standard alphabet or magic alphabet to chat with any player via Wi-Fi
- Download additional items
Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times has received generally positive reviews in Japan but mediocre reception in America and Europe. Sales in Japan and America have been very good. In Europe however, sales haven't been doing well as many retailers haven't even heard of the game and a lot of the online retailers being out of stock. Below are the reviews:
- 8/10 - VideoGamer
"Despite the fact that it is clearly being marketed at children, Enchanted Folk is a surprisingly deep game. Fans of Animal Crossing may feel that this is a little too similar for its own good, but other young gamers should have plenty of fun with their magical studies. The slow pace won't be for everyone, but kids who do like this will probably play it for a long time."
- 7.5/10.0 - IGN
"The magic system is interesting, allowing for basic communication with AI and serving as a slightly larger core offering, but in the end it’s pretty basic to say the least. It doesn’t always seem like AI characters are getting what you’re saying, the magician quests are pretty simple all around, and the main story – while there is one, unlike Animal Crossing – is very straightforward and basic. Bottom line, Magician’s Quest (Enchanted Folk) is different kind of Animal Crossing design. Yes, it’s the best one we’ve seen on the system so far, and it actually has a lot of depth and interesting moments if you care to pour countless hours into it, but for 99% of the DS-owning population out there I’d suggest playing Animal Crossing. If you’re already bored of Nintendo’s effort, this one isn’t really fresh enough to breathe new life into the genre."
- 63% - NGamer UK
"There are a couple of neat features in Enchanted Folk, but it gets too bogged down with boring activities and doesn't make enough of its magic theme."
- 2.5/5.0 - RPGamer (Zack Welhouse)