The basic concept is simple, yet it allows a world of variation. You?re given a number of talismans, each having one of three alignments: Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. You also are given (or find) a number of components to put in the talisman. Each component has three spells that it can cast, depending on the talisman that it?s placed into. Of course, you?ll inevitably want two spells that have to use the same bit of stuff, so you have to strategize and figure out just what you should take into battle. Once there, you can fling spells with the best of them, summon beasts, and the like. As you complete levels (and little side-quests inside of them), you gain experience, letting you raise your mana, health, and even the number of beasties you can control.
The Art of Magic looks like a solid offering in the RTS/RPG blend genre; with a solid graphics engine and inviting gameplay, there?s a lot to like. I just wish the main character walked a bit faster. But considering the rough state of the game, I doubt much balancing had been done on our build. We?ll let you know more about this upcoming title as soon as we get the final version.