Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MagiQuest










http://magiquest.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MagiQuest

- So we spent the weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort. It has this pretty massive indoor water park with slides that go outside and back in plus an outside part with more pools and slides. That alone makes it a pretty unique resort but what I want to write about today more specifically is MagiQuest.
- Think of it as a real life RPG. You buy these IR wands that are triggered with motion that sends a unique ID. Throughout the 8 floors of the hotel are items, big projection rooms, props, chests, video screens, etc scattered around that interact with these wands.
- The basic structure is you are trying to gather these runes of power. You have to complete a quest to acquire each rune. Most are basic fetch quests but some have some interesting twists, dependencies, and some minor puzzle solving. As you complete the quests you gain experience and gold. You'll level up too eventually reaching master magi. There are also random chests scattered about that you can farm for gold. A few of the quests require a gold amount (like 2000g) to pass but gold is rarely an issue if you just wand at all the chests you walk by. These rune quests are detailed in a quest book you get so they are pretty easy. Once you obtain all the runes you go on adventure quests which require the powers and spells granted to you by the runes you previously obtained. These are a bit tougher which you'll have to figure out on your own.
- Over 3 days of questing we only made it through all the rune quests and 2.5 adventure quests. There were several more adventure quests and then a set of compass quests we didn't even have time to get to. There is a ton of content to do (10's of hours). I think it would probably take 5 days to do it all especially since you are required to take the hidden stairway instead of the elevators. Man, I must have climbed over 1000 steps (there is a LOT of backtracking). The kids could really only quest about 3-4 hrs before requiring a break.
- The highlight had to be fighting Charlock the red dragon. There are several prerequisites you have to do, wanding runes in a specific order in an archway (portal) before you can entire, and finally the boss encounter where you fight Charlock requiring timing and multiple spells you gained from the runes. It's a bit like real life dragon's lair. The hardware is pretty impressive too which includes some treasure props, two big segmented lighted towers (that represents your health bar and the dragon's health bar), lights overhead, a big projection screen for the dragon, the IR sensors for the wand, and a touch screen for picking runes/spells.
- There is quite a bit of narrative since every quest start and end has some fmv with a mix of CG and real life actors. Think syfy quality but in this case the cheesiness of it all matches.
- So basically this like a real life MMO. There is quests, npc's (video ones anyways), loot, gold, xp, grinding, boss encounters, queues (sometimes lines develop for the boss battles) and pugging. Yeah that's right. I found that after a while you start talking to other families that are working on the same quests (you tend to cross paths a lot) or boss fights that you are both working on so you tend to share information and help each other out.
- The wands work best by just shaking them back and forth so you hear the little switch click. That activates the IR beam. This works better than just waving the wand wildly but that works ok too. There are also different toppers you can get that screw in on the end of the wand.
- Protip: If you want to be really efficient about it I would probably make a inventory list of all the objects each time you travel to a new floor eventually mapping out what is on each of the 8 floors. It should help a lot in the later quests and speed things up considerably instead of trying to remember where you saw a specific painting, the ruby gem, or that bird cage.

Highly Recommended! My kids loved it and really got into it. If you just let yourself get into it, there is truly a unique experience that I think any MMO/RPG lover would enjoy.

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