A 25-year-old strategy game just got new DLC and a Steam release

(Image credit: Slitherine)

The fantasy 4X strategy game Master of Magic was originally released in 1994, and after a rough start courtesy of some serious bug issues, did quite well for itself and is now regarded as one of the top 4X games of all time. It eventually found its way to GOG, where it's also been well received, and last summer the rights to the game were acquired by publisher Slitherine.

Slitherine didn't say what exactly it had in mind for the game, although developer director Ian McNeil told us at the time that we could expect something to happen in the near future. And now it has: More than a quarter-century after its release, Master of Magic has new DLC, Caster of Magic.

Caster of Magic adds new spells, units, and city buildings, and makes improvements to the wizard customization and diplomacy systems. It also incorporates new, more challenging AI, more difficulty levels, and more map generation options. 

The DLC is actually based on a Master of Magic mod developed by Seravy, who said on their website that while it's not available for free anymore, the upside is that they're getting paid.

"I'm hoping this money will ensure I’ll be able to continue developing Caster of Magic in the future no matter what happens, and ideally, produce proper source code for it as a next step in development. As you already know, Caster of Magic was developed entirely by hacking the executable files as no one has the source code for the game anymore," they wrote.

"While I was able to get very far using the current approach, at this time the really important missing features—enabling more than 4 enemy wizards in the game for example, or adding new content without having to remove the same amount of existing stuff—will require source code. That said, this is a plan for the future, and as long as possible I will keep patching the current Caster of Magic."

Seravy's optional anime portraits for Master of Magic are not included with the DLC, by the way, and remain freely available for download.

Master of Magic: Caster of Magic goes for $3 on GOG, and also Steam, where it and the base game are now available.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.