Spells & Secrets is a magical roguelite adventure where you must free the Academy of Greifenstein from the magical creatures that have overrun it. You’re a young wizard who’s just gone off to school at the esteemed academy to learn more about your magic. However, on your first night there, something strange happens and now the school is a mess. Magical creatures run amok in the halls, your fellow students are lost in the ever-changing rooms of the school, and there’s something a little more nefarious going on.
Spells & Secrets sets up a very basic story from the beginning. Again, you’re a young wizard who has arrived at the Academy of Greifenstein to learn about magic and improve your abilities. You’re then dropped right into the problem of the school being overrun with magical creatures. After that, the story unfolds as you progress through each dungeon level and encounter fellow students and even some of the bad guys. It’s a pretty standard “good vs. evil” situation. Someone has caused chaos at the Academy, it’s just a matter of sussing out who did it.
The question I have is why am I, a literal magical novice and child, the one who’s responsible for fixing the issue. I’m traversing the dangerous hallways of the school in search of my fellow students, fighting monsters, and encountering the bad guys. Meanwhile, the Spells & Secrets adult teachers are chilling outside in the courtyard prepared to sell me spells and upgrades so I can get further in my dungeon crawling. Surely one of the experienced people should help me! Silly adults.
Overall, I enjoy how the Spells & Secrets story unfolds as you progress. You don’t have all the answers, and you don’t always get them quickly. It takes time to earn enough for new spells and upgrades. Plus, without those upgrades and new spells, it can be difficult getting through dungeon levels. Some of those creatures are unforgiving! I also appreciate the lack of hand-holding. There is a tutorial, but you’re not interrupted frequently by cutscenes or new game mechanics. You just get to blast through some rude creatures.
I won’t pretend I’m incredible at fighting games, and Spell & Secrets has only proved that further. It took me several runs of the first floor before I managed to progress to the second floor. It can be frustrating, but that’s part of the draw of roguelites. It’s certainly easy to see when you’ve made upgrades to your repertoire, too. I went from struggling to blasting through creatures like they were nothing. So, it offers a very satisfying experience, despite the repetition. You feel like you’ve earned it once you progress.
I enjoy the variety of spells in Spells & Secrets, too. Each one has a different effect, while also deploying in a different way. Magic Missile is just a bullet of magic you shoot at the enemies. Freeze comes out in a spray of icy clouds, and so on. It’s easy to visually see which spell is which when scrolling through them or deploying them against enemies. Being able to build on their capabilities is satisfying too. Improving the power of Magic Missile absolutely made my runs easier to complete. And adding different spells that have different effects allows you to combine the powers of your arsenal to more efficiently defeat enemies. It lends a sense of creativity and strategy to the game.
enemies. It lends a sense of creativity and strategy to the game.
Besides the fighting, you can join what appear to be like school clubs. There are four for you to choose from, and it helps give you an objective outside the main storyline and dungeon crawling. You can even earn different clothing items to further customize your character. Spells & Secrets is overall a roguelite dungeon crawler with a sprinkling of socializing and other fun. I personally think it’s a fun combination!
I’d recommend this game to anyone who enjoys the idea of being a magic-slinging wizard. Overall, I’d give it: