The Magic of Gaming is a weekly column with news and mini-reviews of fantasy games.
Have you always wondered what you would get if you combined Clash of the Titans with Mel’s Diner? You’ll find out anyway in the new Facebook game Heaven’s Diner, a Diner Dash-type game in which you run a restaurant frequented by cherubs, angels and Greek Gods.
Yes, really. Because who hasn’t always wanted to serve crab legs to Zeus?
A much better use of your online casual gaming time is the fantasy tower defense game Cursed Treasure: Don’t Touch My Gems! on Kongregate.com, the large online game site owned by GameStop (you don’t have to register to play, just to track your games and achievements).
A deceptively simple game which includes orcs, demons, and the undead, Don’t Touch My Gems requires you to build and strategically place different types of towers on the map in order to protect your gems from being stolen by increasingly difficult waves of invaders. It’s surprisingly fun, and consistently ranks as one of the most popular games on the site.
If MMOs are more your thing, you can try Final Fantasy XIV Online — but I wouldn’t. The graphics are great, but almost everything else isn’t. There are just too many glitches and design flaws, which even Square Enix has tacitly acknowledged. Once those get fixed, FF XIV Online may be worth playing, but you might want to wait until then to take out your credit card for this one.
Another game that doesn’t quite live up to the hype is the just-released Arcania Gothic 4 (Xbox/PC/PS3). The graphics are good and, unlike in FF XIV, the gameplay runs pretty smoothly. There’s just nothing all that special about in Gothic 4 — it looks and feels like the kind of third-person fantasy RPG we’ve seen a million times before. About five years ago.
Watch this gameplay video to make up your mind (skip to the 7-minute mark to see the village):
Unless you’re a hardcore Gothic fan, I suggest you get your fantasy RPG fix with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (Xbox/PS3) instead.
The world of Trine 2 looks beautiful in the new gameplay trailer!
The downloadable platformer is slated to be released sometime next year.
Last but not least, Lionhead has released a new trailer emphasizing the combat in Fable III (Oct. 26 Xbox):