Magic Wand is a whimsical experience by Stephen Murphy, aka thecatamites. An ostensibly simple tale of a search for missing friends, a mixture of silly writing and shifting visuals turns things absolutely absurd. It’s this week’s indie pick.

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Players take on the role of Radiget, an adventurer with a sharp sword and sharper wit, as they wander a low-rez wasteland looking for companions. Off key music and bouncy sound effects compliment a throwback visual style that recalls classics like like The Legend of Zelda and Q*bert.

While the world is full of silly characters, the main draw is the space itself. Magic Wand’s perspective often hides treasures or dungeon entrances behind large blocks. With a simple click and draw, the player can rotate the world to help them find their way or aid in the game’s platforming.

In many ways, Magic Wand calls to mind the similarly bizarre Hylics by Mason Lindroth. Both are defined by a push and pull between the familiar and the incomprehensible. The gameplay itself falls into the standard modes for RPGs but the world is so full of odd dialog, bizarre architecture, and odd sense of smallness. It’s a particular kind of offbeat journey open wear the influences of their creators.

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Magic Wand is an experiment in mood and the sweeping playfulness to be found in RPGS. Smashing rooms of pots, having silly conversations, finding some kind of order in spite of all the video-gaminess. To those ends, it succeeds with flying colors and should be an experience that anyone with a silly streak should seek out.

You can play Magic Wand on PC, Mac or Linux.


Each week, I show off a new, affordable indie game using the tag “Heather’s Indie Pick.”

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If you’ve found a cool game or made something you’re proud of, reach out to me at heather.alexandra@kotaku.com or on Twitter @transgamerthink.