Ikenfell Review

Ikenfell is a magical school in its seemingly natural state: peril. Students have gone missing, strange trees are cropping up, and other magical anomalies plague the land. As Mariette, the non-magical yet still worried sister of one of Ikenfell’s students, you embark on a journey through this pixelated 2D RPG adventure to save her, the school, and maybe the whole world. A number of interesting ideas in both story and combat make Ikenfell an appealing prospect, but since some prove stronger than others in execution, ultimately it’s a journey with more than a few bumps in the road.

As the game begins, Mariette almost immediately gains supernatural pyromantic abilities thanks to strange magical occurrences. It actually feels a bit at odds with the message of not needing to be magical to be heroic, which throws the vibe off kilter right from the beginning. The conceit does make sense within the context of the story, though, and sets out one of the first mysteries in the game. New forms of magic are cropping up, and even some who previously had no magical powers suddenly find themselves wielding elemental magic. Mariette can use her new fire power to take on the various magical enemies of Ikenfell in turn-based isometric grid battles, with a bit of a twist.

Ikenfell captured on Nintendo Switch

Combat is a fairly large part of the game and is mostly turn-based. Turns are split between a movement phase, where you position your team on the battlefield, and then an attack phase where you select from combat options that have their unique ranges and damage, and sometimes added effects. Starting out you’ll have basic attacks which do moderate damage to a single enemy in front of you on the grid. As levels are gained, party members added, and moves are unlocked, more strategies and styles open up.

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