There’s certainly no shortage of turn-based RPGs available on Switch these days and an even greater number of retro-pixel indie efforts that present their strategic adventures in an increasingly overused 8 or 16-Bit graphical style. Honestly, we love them really but it can definitely feel a little wearisome at times prepping yourself to dive into yet another one of these oh-so-cute SNES-esque escapades. Happy Ray Games’ Ikenfell is a further addition to the console’s library that slots squarely into this style and it really is a testament to the quality of the writing and combat on offer here that, despite our slight reluctance, ten minutes into this one we were pretty much hooked. It may look like just another cutesy RPG adventure but in reality what’s here is a complex little tale that takes some surprisingly emotional turns and is bolstered by turn-based combat that eases you in before presenting you with a proper challenge to dig into.
Ikenfell tells the story of Magritte, an “ordinary” who sets out in search of her sister Safina, a talented and popular witch who has gone AWOL from the Hogwarts-esque Ikenfell School of Magic which she attends. Ikenfell has been placed into emergency lockdown — something we can certainly all identify with right now — as strange happenings and magical calamities take over the campus and, as Magritte approaches, she is challenged by the school’s guardians, in the process revealing that she too possesses the ability to wield powerful magic. What ensues is a heartfelt tale in which Magritte gets to know more about herself, her sister and the true nature of the strange world in which they exist through the friends, enemies and acquaintances Safina has left behind.
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