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 (opens in new tab).
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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 75% off
- Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (opens in new tab), 90% off
- Mordheim: City of the Damned (opens in new tab), 90% off
- Thief Gold, 86% off
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (opens in new tab), 50% off
- And, yes, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition (opens in new tab), 67% off
Master of Magic Classic (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), Steam (opens in new tab), and the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab).