Enchanted Folk And The School Of Wizardry is a rather unique take on the virtual life genre that sees players enrolled as students in a magical boarding school. If that sounds vaguely familiar, that's probably because Enchanted Folk is essentially Animal Crossing meets Harry Potter.
That means a dash of animal classmates, a smattering of magical spells and a whole heap of doing whatever the hell you like! Or so it seems at first. As you delve deeper into its complexities though, you'll discover that this is a much more involving and intriguing game than you first imagined.
Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic
The fact that we adored Animal Crossing to the point that it stole over two years of our spare time speaks volumes about Enchanted Folk's ability to, er, enchant us with its gameplay. Granted, it's almost impossible to miss the many, many elements that are influenced by Nintendo's offering. As you explore you'll meet chattering characters, go shopping at a wide variety of stores, send mail to friends and visit friends via wireless play.
You can also turn your wand into a selection of tools including a spade, bug net, fishing rod and watering can. There's also the ability to hand any insects or fish you catch over to the Library for cataloguing. It's appears to be a homage to Animal Crossing but, that said, Enchanted Folk one-ups Animal Crossing by doing the one thing Nintendo's game never did: it's got a point.
Yes, so you can wander round doing whatever you please but as you're a student at a magic school, there are obviously classes to attend where you can learn different spells. These spells can then be used to perform tasks or just have a laugh (naturally, our discovery of a flatulence spell didn't go down so well with our fellow students) but the purpose is to become an excellent student, earn good grades and ultimately become a master wizard. There's also a mysterious door that can be opened once a week to activate 'Mystery Time', during which special visitors will appear who need your help or events like magic tests and contests will occur.
And there are also far more things to do than Animal Crossing ever had. You can learn music and then play it on instruments with other students, go on dates, visit a secret island, explore a haunted house and even send students to your friends wirelessly to 'study abroad'. It's a surprisingly large world and one that'll have you discovering new things constantly.
Like Animal Crossing, it will take up a good chunk of your time but it looks like it will be time well spent. With Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City just offering more of what we already know, it's brilliant to discover something familiar and yet oh-so-fresh.
So while we came in sceptical, we left incredibly impressed. Believe it or not, Konami's efforts might actually be as good as Wild World.