Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Opinion

11 video games with magic, wizards or magical schools

One of my pet peeves is when someone laments that they have to play a certain wizard game when it releases because, and I quote, “there are no other video games out there that capture the magic of being a witch or wizard.” To that, I say poppycock! Or some other words I’m probably not allowed to put in writing.

Not only are there a ton of incredible games out there that includes magic – hell, even the earliest JRPGs allow you to wield magic, or at least give you a witch/wizard companion – there are a lot of them that probably won’t be putting money directly into the pocket of someone who’s seen as a figurehead against trans people.

With all of the above in mind, it only makes sense for me to help guide you to the games out there that’ll not only let you embrace the magic you so desperately crave, but expand your video game horizons. And yes, there’s wizard schools included in this list, because let’s not pretend Harry Potter created that one, eh?

And if you don’t want to play any of these games and just play Harry Potter instead, who am I to stop you? I’m not your mother, am I? Get a bit of taste though, won’t you?

video games magic
Image Source: Steam
Wintermoor Tactics Club

High school is a lot harder than it looks, especially if that high school in question happens to be called Wintermoor Academy.

A visual novel with tactical-based gameplay and other role-playing elements, players take on the role of Alicia, Colin and Jacob as they fight to win the snowball fight competition put on by their headmaster. The prize? Their tabletop role-playing club won’t get cancelled. The problem with this, however, is that there are several other groups fighting for the same thing.

Tactical combat and gameplay is a huge part of Wintermoor Tactics Club, which means getting into the role of different Dungeons and Dragons-esque classes, which all come with unique and magical abilities depending on which character you play as.

Wintermoor Tactics Club is a sweet combination of the visual novel and role-playing, and there’s a lot more choice than what seems to be on the surface. Oh, and did I mention there’s a queer storyline involved too? You’re welcome.

ikenfell
Image Source: Steam
Ikenfell

Have you ever thought “gosh, I wish I could play a game about a magical school where the majority of the cast is queer and there are three different love stories happening, all while queerplatonic friendships are also given the love they deserve?” If so, I have one thing to say to you:

Get in gays, we’re going to play Ikenfell!

Players take on the role of Maritte, an average human girl who arrives at the magical school of Ikenfell to look for her sister – only to find out she does have magic powers after all. A good thing too, because she might be the only thing stopping from the world from being destroyed. No pressure.

An incredibly moving tactical-RPG, Ikenfell truly is a game that feels like a ‘gays only’ event – and I mean that in the best of ways.

Dragon Age 2
Image Source: Steam
Dragon Age

This entry almost feels like cheating considering Dragon Age is a whole series, but if its magic you’re looking for, there’s no finer example.

Magic is often treated in a negative light in Thedas (The Dragon Age Setting), and while there is some thinly-veiled metaphor for queerness within that, magic also plays a huge part with its gameplay. Players are able to create a mage protagonist (male or female) and have a numerous amount of different spells.

You’ll also be treated a little differently when playing a mage, and with Dragon Age: Inquisition in particular, your class and background can have an affect on role-playing choices, as well as different animations – in and outside of combat.

It’s a lot of fun to be a mage in Dragon Age, and it helps that the world is pretty queer-inclusive, too.

Wylde Flowers
Image Source: Studio Drydock
Wylde Flowers

Looking for a farming life simulator but with a little witchy twist? Then you’re going to want to pay attention to Wylde Flowers from Studio Drydock. It’s got everything you need: magic, romance options, gay marriage, and a lot of very subtle queer jokes that will make you laugh a lot. You may not have asked for the last one but trust me, you needed to know.

In Wylde Flowers you play as Tara Wylde, a young woman who returns to the town of Fairhaven after previously being estranged due to the strained relationship between her father and grandparents. Throughout your first few weeks there, you discover a secret: your grandma’s a witch and so are you! The downside? Some of Fairhaven’s other residents aren’t too pleased at the thought of cloaked witchery happening in their backyard.

What I really enjoyed about Wylde Flowers is that no matter what you like – fishing, farming, or just chatting endlessly to all the residents of Fairhaven – there’s something for you to do. The story isn’t half bad either, and you’ll actually be fighting to help stop oppression, rather than being the oppressor.

REKA
Image Source: Steam
Reka

Reka doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but if you’re going to tell me you aren’t a little excited about a game set in 19th century rural Europe where you play as a witch? Well, there’s nothing I can do for you, I guess?

But if you are interested, you’ll love the atmospheric base building game coming from Emberstorm Entertainment. Not only do you get to play as a herb witch that travels around the countryside, but you get to design your own fantastical home by customizing it with furniture, crafting stations and other magical decorations.

Oh, and did we also mention that the cottage you’re building has its own chicken legs attached to it? And that it can move with its chicken legs? CAMP!

Skyrim
Image Source: Bethesda
Skyrim

This might be a shock to some of you, but Skyrim is an incredibly popular game and allows players a variety of different ways to play and experience the world of Tamriel. One such way is as a wizard, which means, you guessed it, there’s magic around and plenty of it!

Better yet, there’s even a magic school questline. In the high, snowy mountains of Winterhold resides a magical college, where instructors of each discipline (restoration, illusion, conjuration, etc) are able to educate the player on their magic. You can even attend lectures, and there’s a number of students you can talk to. Missed out on college? Now you can go to wizard college, baby.

Of course, if you don’t fancy testing your magic mettle at the College of Winterhold, there are more than enough magical and/or supernatural quests and side-quests for you to dig into.

Spells and Secrets
Image Source: Steam
Spells & Secrets

What was that, you wanted another game with a magical school involved? Alright, we’ve got your back with this one: Spells & Secrets.

Players take on the role of a first-year student from the Academy of Greifenstein. You’ve just arrived and are about to step forth into a new and exciting world of magic, with your fellow students and professors guiding you along the way. And if you’re thinking ‘but is it all based in a magical castle?’ Then yeah it is, actually.

After your first day goes wrong and the school is plunged into turmoil that leaves several schoolmates missing, you have no choice but to use your spells and magic to uncover the castle’s secrets and reveal the mystery surrounding it.

Spells & Secrets will feature co-op, and a character creator that allows you to choose your preferred body type, your clothes (regardless of gender), and even your height.

Witchy Life Story
Image Source: Sundew Studio
Witchy Life Story

Video games are magic, and Sundew Studio is more than willing to prove it to you with their visual novel crafting game, Witchy Life Story.

Players take on the role as the youngest member of the von Teasel family – a family that prides itself on its illustrious and magical powers. However, you aren’t seen in the most favourable light due to you being, well, frankly, terrible at being a witch. With no other choice but being disowned, you’re forced to prove to your grandmother that you aren’t actually a lost cause. Otherwise? Say goodbye to witch training once and for all.

Witchy Life Story offers crafting, magic, as well as different romance options – all of which are same-sex inclusive. Players can also choose their pronouns and body type, as well as customize their clothes.

video games magic
Image Source: Nintendo
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Have you ever played a game that makes you go ‘oh, so that’s why I’m gay?’ That’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses baby, and guess what, there’s a lot of magic involved in this game too. Most of it is used for war crimes by hot people, but let’s not talk about that right now.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a JRPG role-playing game where you play as Byleth, a hardened mercenary who, after rescuing three important people to the world of Fodlan, is hired as a professor for the prestigious Officer’s Academy – a school that trains students in the ways of weapons, magic, and war. There are four different routes for players to take, and each has something unique about it meaning yes, 4 whole playthroughs for a game that is easily 60 hours long.

You’ll spend the majority of the game spending time with your students through various activities, such as cooking and having a meal with them, as well as educating them on all things about combat and magic. However, once you hit the halfway point of the game, prepare the tissues. It’s about to get gnarly.

video games magic
Image Source: Steam
Witchbrook

So many magical schools, so little time!

It’s time to head to Mossport, the seaside town where Witchbrook College, a magical institution full of witches, resides. In Mossport players are expected to embrace their magical roots by immersing themselves into a world of wonder, charm and magic.

In Chuckefish’s Witchbrook there will be the chance to make friends, discover long lost secrets, craft items, cast spells, and perhaps even fall in love. But don’t slack off too hard with the social aspect of this RPG, you’ve still got to put the effort in to graduate!

Image Source: Eastshade Studios
Songs of Glimmerwick

Yet another game where there’s a magical school, though this time you’ll be attending the university of Glimmerwick in Eastshade Studios story-driven RPG, Songs of Glimmerwick.

Set in a woodland fantasy world, the way magic works is through the use of playing music. With a delicate tune you can cast the most powerful of spells, and there are a number of different things to discover with the help of your trusty flute and songbook. There’s also gardening, festivals and holidays. And that’s just some of the things you can do outside of the university.

At the university, players will be able to attend classes, join after school clubs, and make friends with their classmates. Same-sex relationships and an inclusive character creator will also be included, a bit like Hogwart’s Legacy, but without the misfortune of having a creator be the figurehead of transphobia in the United Kingdom and arguably the globe.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.