One of the more interesting titles I was able to play at the Glu iPhone Games event is called Magic Life. Imagine the colorful, cartoony world and customization aspects of Animal Crossing; add in heaps of RPG elements, quests, and magical spells; and top it off with a strong social integration and you will start to see what Magic Life is all about. You'll begin the game as an amateur magician, but can slowly learn new spells as you complete quests and level up your character. New spells have a certain “recipe” and you must find or buy the ingredients while exploring each world, and then combine them in cauldrons in the Guild Hall of whichever town you are in. There will be plenty to do in the single player portion of Magic Life as you evolve your character, get new items and spells, complete quests, and explore multiple environments.

A major aspect to Magic Life is the personalization of your character and living space. There are quite a few different options for body and clothing customization, and many more can be added during the lifetime of the game. You also have a living quarters that can be adorned with various furniture, windows, and other décor to make it personalized to your tastes. Sadly, these rooms aren't 3D spaces like the rest of the game, and are more single-plane side views of a room. The feng shui factor of placing objects and furniture in Animal Crossing was one of my favorite parts, but the room and character customization in Magic Life still seems really cool.

The social part of Magic Life lets you import your friends from Facebook into the game. Even if they don't actually play the game, it will import their name and generate an in-game avatar for them, so you can see your buddies roaming around the world as you play. If they do play Magic Life, then it will import the actual character from their game into your own. You can cast a spell on one of them, then they will get a Facebook notification that they have been turned into a toad or whatever the case may be, and will be able to fire up their own game and turn themselves back (and most likely retaliate against you as well). Also, you'll be able to visit your friends living spaces and check out how they are decorated, and vice versa.

As a huge fan of Animal Crossing on the DS, I really liked what I played of Magic Life as it definitely had a similar feel. The one thing that worries me is that the game did not run very smoothly on the iPod touch unit that I played it on, but there is still plenty of time for optimization before release. The game will be free, with optional IAP for people who wish to progress faster, but it is in no way required or limits the game for those that don't wish to pay. Keep your eyes out for Magic Life to be launching in early October.

  • Arcy

    I hope this doesn't turn out to be an Astro Ranch disaster. Astro Farm was hyped as an Animal Crossing / Harvest Moon type game but it was more Harvest Moon and an app filled to the brim with BUGS. Never have I been more disappointed in a purchased game.

    I also feel like these previews of upcoming games are written by a casual gamer, I hope that is not the case. I definitely hope its not the same person that wrote the Astro Ranch preview.

    • Gajet

      Agreed, although it's generous to call Astro Ranch a "Harvest Moon" either. It was just lacking in gameplay all round.
      Hope this will be all Astro Ranch wasn't.

  • NapMan

    Hmmm...this sounds pretty fun, I have to admit.
    I've never played Animal Crossing, though.

  • b

    I'm also afraid that it will turn out like Astro Ranch. I was so excited when I purchased it, and so sad it turned out how it was.

  • YouCantKnow

    I just installed it and it keep crashing :(