If you look behind the numbers, Academagia has lots of story snippets waiting to be told.
Academagia is a time management role-playing game where you choose what to do with your days (study, practise, explore the city, spend time with friends…) then see how it turns out. In Academagia, you play through your first magical school year, aiming to pass your mid-terms, then your final exams.
What’s interesting about Academagia?
Let me tell you what isn’t – sitting in the Great Hall studying all semester. I was lying when I said your aim is to pass your exams, that’s just what I thought at first. The real goal is to let yourself get carried off into adventure. It’s a bit like Dungeons and Dragons in that sense – if you’re being sensible, risk-averse and not willing to go beyond your comfort zone, you’re probably not going to have as much of a fun time. If you do buy into it, there are a lot of characters to get to know, interesting story threads and a handful of ways to progress in every situation.
With sixty other students, a dozen teachers, many different classes, spells and locations, I was overwhelmed and intimidated when I started playing (the busy screen didn’t help). All I could do was study, take the path of lowest risk during events, and lament how yet again my calligraphy and geometry weren’t useful in most magical dilemmas.
After I passed my mid-terms and things didn’t suddenly become exciting, I realised I wasn’t really playing the game, and I needed to change that. Corrine traded in some of her good rapport with teachers for extra lessons, so she could spend less time studying and more hanging out with Rixenda the food artist and Philip the perfectionist, who then agreed to join her clique. She became friends with the captain of the guard as they went around town together hunting rogue mages (she had a thing for him, but kept it to herself). Her familiar, Perivale, was lovely but proved to be harder to train than she thought. The game had significantly improved, it was just a shame I hadn’t started playing it until I was halfway through. I’d like to give it another go with a different sort of character and tackle some of the challenges Corinne backed down from.
If you like the idea of following different story threads through a year in a magic academy, give it a try over on Steam!