As far as strategy games go, Master of Magic is one of the old school all-timers, right up there with Civilization and Master of Orion. Originally released in 1994, it gave you a settlement and a scout in the traditional manner, but it also made you a wizard rather than, say, boring old Abraham Lincoln. Researching varied kinds of magic let you summon different troops and call down different spells from its selection of hundreds. If you never tried it, Master of Magic Classic is available for free right now on GOG.
Though originally published by Microprose, Master of Magic ended up at Atari before being rescued from obscurity by Slitherine, who released the Caster of Magic DLC a whole 25 years after the base game launched. Slitherine is also publishing a modern Master of Magic remake by Polish studio MuHa Games, responsible for the Thea series, and has announced that it will be released on December 13.
GOG is celebrating its 14th anniversary right now, and as well as giving away Master of Magic Classic, it's brought Skyrim to its store at last. Yes, that really is a thing people wanted. The thread requesting it on GOG's community wishlist forum has over 15,000 votes in its favor. GOG's also having a sale, with over 900 games discounted. Here are a handful of the highlights.
- Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition, 75% off
- Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, 90% off
- Mordheim: City of the Damned, 90% off
- Thief Gold, 86% off
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, 50% off
- And, yes, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition, 67% off
Master of Magic Classic will be available for free until Sunday October 2 at 3pm PST/11 PM BST. The remake's designers have been explaining what's new in their version in a series of dev diaries, noting why they've made changes to spells like web and flying fortress, increased the movement for units, given magical ranged attacks ammunition, and reduced the hydra's number of heads from the original nine down to three. The remake will be available on GOG, Steam, and the Epic Games Store.
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Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.