Masters of Anima is a nice little RPG adventure game that has the player controlling an army of minions in a quest to rescue the main character’s fiancée. It has some nice gameplay, fun exploration, and a cool art style, but suffers from frustrating controls and some rather useless minion types.
Great gameplay. The gameplay in Masters of Anima never really grew repetitive. This is in part due to how short the game is, but largely due to the rate at which it introduces new mechanics. New guardians (the minions the player controls) are constantly being introduced, so there are always new combat options to consider. Additionally, with each new guardian type, the puzzles become more intricate, although never really becoming too hard to solve. With the addition of these new guardians, the player is able to explore different combat styles, with skill points providing even further customization to the experience. All of this combined provides for some rather fun gameplay.
Nice art style. The stylized graphics really work for a game like this. Due to the color choices, enemies are easy to spot against the terrain and losing sight of the main character is never really a problem, even when surrounded by masses of guardians. It is done in such a way as to make large battles easy to digest, which is especially helpful considering that over a hundred allies and enemies can be on-screen at once.
Fun exploration. Masters of Anima also has quite a few secrets and such to find, appealing to completionists like myself. There is a lot to find in each level, such as relics, health upgrades, and anima upgrades. The upgrades can prove quite useful later on, when enemies do more damage and require more anima to defeat, so it is definitely worthwhile to seek them out. Doing so does not feel like a chore either, as they are usually hidden behind some simple puzzle. Sometimes they lie behind a challenging enemy, but not enough so as to be frustrating. A nice balance was struck in that regard.
Confusing controls. Given the type of game that this is, I went in expecting the controls to be a bit on the harder side. I was not at all surprised when these expectations were met. Even towards the end of the game I was constantly flubbing the controls, doing stuff I did not intend to do. I even died a few times as a result. The controls were just not intuitive, even outright frustrating at times.
Useless guardian types. This may be one of the few cases where I think the game is too diverse with the types of guardians offered. The later guardians, while having cool and unique uses, were just not comparable to the first three in terms of combat effectiveness. For example, the commander’s ability can be helpful in combat, but I found myself only using them when required for puzzles and such, rarely busting them out for actual combat use. This is mostly due to the fact that the battles become a whole lot harder to manage when more types of guardians are deployed. Three was hard enough to manage, but four? or even five? It is simply too much at times. The last two guardian types simply felt useless compared to the strength of the rest.
With its great gameplay, fun exploration, and nice art style, Masters of Anima pretty much checks all the boxes for a game like this. It is, however, brought down by some confusing controls and a couple useless guardian types. Overall though, the game was an experience well-had and definitely earns my recommendation.
You can buy Masters of Anima on Steam here.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.