March 5, 2024

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Ikenfell is an endearing tactical RPG that gave me earworms

Magic is strange. And, considering the fact that an Regular (non-magical individual) abruptly receiving magic is also considered unusual in Ikenfell, it stands to reason that it’s virtually guaranteed to happen. We can only assume the odds develop into even greater as the Normal ventures closer to the big magical fantasy college, which protagonist Maritte quickly discovers. Upon approaching the gate in research of her missing sister, Safina, Maritte all of a sudden begins to sling fiery spells.

Those new spells unquestionably occur in useful, as Maritte finds herself fired up (hehe, geddit?) and all set to fight by means of this Paper Mario-fashion tactical RPG. Along with some of Saf’s old pals, you examine the titular university and surrounding regions, hunting for clues that may enable unravel the thriller. Ikenfell has hard overcome and a lot of small insider secrets concealed in its 8-bit world, but it’s the loveable bunch of buddies (both allies and rivals) that definitely made me smile. Oh, and some of them have killer concept tunes that I just can’t prevent singing.

Of Maritte’s buddies, Petronella is an effortless fave. They are an nervous teen who you very first satisfy slumped versus the wall of their bed room right after a huge previous cry. I imagine their concept, “My Joyful Spot“, sums them up best. It really is a chill, however melancholy tune with a gradual, calming melody. I reckon it truly is the musical edition of snuggling up less than a blanket with a massive bowl of ice product when you might be sensation sad, and that is basically how you 1st experience Petronella. Sat by a fireplace alone, concerned about their friend. Heat, however unfortunate. An straightforward location in the playlist for this a person.

The rest of their 1st conversation focuses on that vibe offered so beautifully by Petronella’s theme. Maritte heads in and, following a nervous howdy, slumps down beside them. It is a tiny point seriously, hunkering down on the ground instead than just standing at the doorway, but Ikenfell is total of small touches that make it endlessly endearing. They sit and chat by the fire, and the concept persists.


A screenshot of a group 2D pixelart scene in Ikenfell, as a group of students regard a barred gate that will lead to the magical school Ikenfell

There are occasional upbeat notes that fill you with hope, no question matching Petronella’s emotions when conference Saf’s sister for the initial time, but it really is normally tinged with unhappiness. Like Petronella, it is a nervous conquer, just one that is doubtful about embracing that hopefulness. As Maritte goes to go away, Petronella remains slumped until finally the previous second, when they soar up and sprint after you. Yet again, a tiny contact, but that final-next final decision to confront their anxieties and sign up for the adventure reiterates why Petronella was an instantaneous favourite.

Ikenfell is entire of likewise cosy tunes, warm bops that test so tough to market that Ikenfell is good and wonderful, that it is quickly obvious that it can be in fact fuckin sinister and must be avoided. And they’re all stuck in my head. Ikenfell has a great soundtrack, and I can’t end humming together.

Nicely, just humming would be 1 detail. But there is also this. Probably the ideal music ever:

https://www.youtube.com/view?v=D409ZK3lxWU

This is the concept music for Gilda, a fellow college student who has a crush on Maritte and sometimes demonstrates up to swoon around her although they have a duel. Gilda is total of electricity, and how can you not come to feel similarly pumped after listening to “It’s Showtime”? It’s been stuck in my head for weeks, popping up at the most inopportune times. Just as I’m dozing off to snooze, I listen to the conquer kick in. When I’m attempting to create phrases and make coherent factors, the lyrics are just looping all over in my noggin. An complete banger. An all-time common. A bestest greatest tune. A person be sure to support get it out of my head.

You will find tons to love about Ikenfell. I didn’t even point out how the help you save factors are cats that you scritch to restore your health, for illustration. How excellent is that? Extremely witchy. But, it’s the figures and their themes that held me participating in. Some are gorgeous melodies, even though other people are electric battle tunes. They usually match the strength of their character, though, and it created me desperate for just 1 much more chat at each move of the journey. You can be confident that whenever a new character pops up, they’ll be accompanied by a new bop that’ll burrow into your mind and refuse to leave.