Who said that being an apprentice was dull? Boxes, balloons, impish servants and fruit. What do they have in common? They all appear in the latest great game from Rainbow Arts. Apprentice casts you in the role of a learning magician. Ambitious beyond your years, you want to cut short the time of your apprenticeship and become a master wizard.
There is only one thing standing in your way - the dangerous land of Fumo the dragon. Crossing it is one thing, crossing it alive and defeating all of Fumo's servants is quite another.
For one thing, you'll have to overcome your conscience, as the monsters are incredibly cute looking. They look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, and it probably wouldn't - they are more keen on the odd magician or two.
The other snag to defeating the monsters is your lack of aggressive magical talents. You have to face the problem using only the gifts that mother Nature gave you (your feet) and kick the monsters to death. This can be helped by the use of boxes. These useful little cuboids are scattered around the landscape and may be picked up and thrown or merely kicked at the monsters.
Booting them around reveals any secret contents that they might be concealing. These might be fruits, spell components and extra time for the level you are on. Each level's time limit is represented by a candle that slowly burns away. Should it run out then the game ends.
There are magic spells to aid your task. These can be bought from shops along the way and include balloons (to make you jump farther), imp servants to grab items for you from dangerous locations, and extra lives and energy.
The game holds lots of hidden surprises as all of the best platform games tend to do. They include switches that open up new areas of the game and short cuts to your goal. This is useful because there are huge scarecrow like guardians at the end of each level that are just dying to drain your energy (represented by a wizard's face that slowly disappears).
Apprentice is colourful, fun and addictive. There are nice soundtracks that run along behind the gameplay and sound effects if the tinkly tunes get too much. Teleports, the oracle (who offers advice for a price) and the princess (who loves to barter) are people who you can meet along the way.
It's a great little game that cries out for a map and platform freaks will love it.
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