Masters of Anima Review

Step into the world of fantasy as you take on the role of the newly appointed master of the anima, Otto. Otto is a novice Shaper who’s training to become a Master of Anima so that he can marry his fiancee Anna. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned as Anna is captured by the evil Zahr. Zahr uses the Anima for evil and summons golems to do his dirty work, Otto is forced to become a true master of the Anima whilst pursuing his fiancee in the process.

Throughout each of the sectioned of levels, players are put up against a few different scenarios.  Puzzles, which have you using your different guardians to activate shrines, navigate through treacherous paths, move large objects or activate specific pathways. Different guardians have different skills which have to be used accordingly to progress through each level. Waves of enemies – which, you guessed it – you have to clear, and occasionally boss fights.  

Within each level, there are a few collectables that you are able to find which if you find them all, will increase your maximum health and anima. You will also earn skill points which can be spent on either Otto himself to increase his abilities or they can be spent on your different guardian types. What you choose to level up will dictate how you play the game and certain skills can end up playing a huge part in how you can take down tougher enemies.

Masters of Anima offers a somewhat unique combat style, which if you have ever played the likes of Pikmin or Wonderful 101 you will feel pretty comfortable with. Otto is able to summon guardians to do his bidding, because why would you get your hands dirty if you don’t have to? You are able to mix and match the different guardian types as you see fit (once they have all been unlocked), and you will need to master how to utilize all of them in order to succeed.

I did find there was a rather steep learning curve and it took me a few hours to fully grasp how to control all of my guardians. You need to be able to act quickly and move specific units to ensure they are out of harm’s way and are attacking the enemies you need them to. As each set of guardians has a unique skill set, you have to plan your actions and execute them accordingly whilst ensuring you manage your anima all the while. There is a great sense of reward once you start to understand how to control all of your guardians with ease which is also needed when you are fighting tougher enemies.<

One of the most challenging areas of the game were the boss battles. Usually, it would be one giant enemy which would sometimes summon a group of smaller enemies. Ensuring you are utilizing your guardians effectively is the only way to succeed and I found after I died a number of times that simply changing up my strategy helped me progress.

Whilst the story isn’t anything revolutionary, Masters of Anima provides a really heartfelt story with some great voice acting which leads you to want to pursue Otto’s quest even more. Visually the game looks great even though the art style is pretty simple. I was very surprised at how well it ran on the Nintendo Switch when you have 100 guardians doing your bidding, even in handheld mode.

Masters of Anima Review Conclusion

On the surface of it, most people would assume that Master of Anima would feel just like a Pikmin game but this simply isn’t the case. At times it feels like there is much more depth and strategy with the combat system and it feels extremely rewarding. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Master of Anima to anyone who enjoys strategy games or generally likes a new challenge because this will feel unfamiliar to a lot of people.

4/5

We tested Masters of Anima after purchasing a retail copy. Masters of Anima is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC.

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