We all love stories about kids attending magical schools, but the most prominent one that we all love has a creator who is problematic at best. Luckily there are people that carry on the genre who aren’t awful! Ikenfell is a game about kids at a magical school, and I’m here to tell you why YOU should pick it up and play it! Here’s my 7 reasons to play Ikenfell:
Reason #1: You get to be a Witch (and aren’t supporting a TERF)
With the recent announcement of the Harry Potter RPG, people are rightly torn on wanting to experience the magic of the world but not support the creator. Ikenfell has all of the magic of the world of Harry Potter without any of the baggage. You get to explore the dormitories, go into the extensive library full of mystical tomes, or visit the alchemy labs and talk to the professors. There’s lots to do in Ikenfell!
Reason #2: Ikenfell’s Cats
Cats are all over the world of Ikenfell, and they serve a purpose besides just being adorable. If you talk to them, they will heal your party and save your game for you. This is by far one of the most unique and satisfying way to handle savepoints in a game that I’ve ever seen.
Reason #3: The Story & Characters
Ikenfell is an RPG and with that typically comes a more story-focused game. In that regard, Ikenfell does not disappoint. Ikenfell’s story is rich with an incredible cast of characters. There wasn’t a moment I felt was slow, and the mystery of Ikenfell kept me hooked until the very end. Characters were bright and colorful with interesting relationships and scenes between them.
Reason #4: The Gameplay
Have I mentioned Ikenfell is a game you can play? Because it is. Ikenfell is a turn-based RPG, reminiscent of games like Final Fantasy or Pokemon in terms of its battle system. Each character has a unique set of spells reflective of their personality that make each character feel unique to play. There’s also a system in the game where if you time a button press during your or an enemy’s attack, you can either deal or reduce damage based on your timing. It’s a mechanic that’s optional, but adds another layer of skill to battles.
I should say the game is not always easy. I found some of the later fights in the game to be quite difficult when I didn’t time my button presses correctly for the attacks. This was perfect as someone who likes a little challenge in his games.
Reason #5: Accessibility Options
Ikenfell tries hard to accommodate ALL of its players. Within the options menu, you can find normal options for sound and controls, but you can also find some options to help with accessibility. There are options to reduce flashing lights, turn off screen shake, add content warnings, or adjust the timing for your attacks. There’s even an option to add an auto victory to your menu if you are having trouble with some fights or just want to play for the story! I’m always glad to see options like these so that everyone can enjoy a game the way they want to.
Reason #6: The Music
One of the biggest things that drew me to this game at first and I think is still one of the best reasons to play Ikenfell is the soundtrack. The music, composed by Steven Universe composers Aivi & Surasshu, is incredible and left me with several tunes stuck in my head even after the game was done. There are also a few songs with vocals which are also incredible. Every song fits the moment and greatly enhances the experience of the game. You can check out the soundtrack for the game on bandcamp, but just a warning that some of the song titles will have spoilers in them.
Reason #7: It’s VERY Gay
Let’s face it, most video games aren’t very inclusive when it comes to having a diverse cast. Ikenfell, however, is definitely a huge step in the right direction. The cast of the game is incredibly diverse, presenting characters who vary in race and gender, and there’s even one character who uses neopronouns. The variety of relationships is also refreshingly normalized. None of the characters feel tokenized, which is a good step towards normalizing diverse casts so we might see them in more games and stories.
I hope I gave you enough reasons to play Ikenfell for yourself! Check it out now on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One! I just finished it myself and am eager to hop back into another playthrough!
Official Site: https://www.humblegames.com/games/ikenfell/