One of the Nintendo series I’ve always been sorry I missed out on as a PC gamer has been Pikmin, the games about directing adorable plant people around to solve puzzles. It’s a little bit of RTS mixed in with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Passtech Games new Masters of Anima takes Pikmin’s horde control concept and blends it with Diablo-style dungeon crawling, and the result is a promising little package.
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You play as Otto, a fledgling magic user learning control over anima, which you use to raise little armies of guardians up who you can direct in fights or to help overcome obstacles. You’re involved in the standard videogame quest where you have to rescue your fiancee from the clutches of an evil wizard, who is sending massive golems in your direction to make that more inconvenient.
While you can use mouse and keyboard, Masters of Anima was designed around a controller, and directing your little minions around feels surprisingly intuitive once you get the hang of it. And while it’s a simple game, there’s more depth than meets the eye - in early fights I was setting up combos where my guardians would all keep a golem tied down while I snuck up with Otto to give it a good thumping with my staff.
With its whimsical art style and Pikmin-inspired gameplay, Masters of Anima is definitely a charmer. You can find out more over on the Steam page.