10 Games Like Hogwarts Legacy to Play Instead of Continuing to Fund J.K. Rowling
Although Hogwarts Legacy will be released in February, many gamers are boycotting the open-world action RPG and asking others to do the same. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling—whose transphobic views have alienated a large portion of her once-massive fan base—was not directly involved in the game’s development, but she owns the IP and is thus likely to make a fair amount of money in royalties.
The good news is, there are plenty of video games that will provide a similarly magical experience, including some that are based at magic schools of various stripes. Rather than buying Hogwarts Legacy, check out these games and avoid putting more money in Rowling’s pockets.
The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls is a series of high-fantasy, first-person roleplaying games from Bethesda Softworks. The series debuted with Arena in 1994, and there are currently five main games and several spin-offs. Each installment features an academy where the player can enroll, and some offer quests to help you master the arcane arts.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses isn’t strictly about a magic school, but it captures a similar feeling. The content of Fódlan is about going to war, and you have the opportunity to teach one of the three houses of the prestigious Officer’s Academy hosted by the Church of Seiros. As you teach your students, you must also navigate turn-based, tactical battles.
Genshin Impact is an open-world fantasy RPG wherein you control the Traveler, who’s been separated from their sibling and must go on a massive quest to find them with the help of their companion Paimon. This rich fantasy game is free to play (with randomized loot boxes available for purchase), and as you make your way through the land you’ll encounter new characters and abilities, then build powerful, elemental parties for combat and missions.
Ikenfell is a turn-based tactical RPG where you play a rebellious magic student. You can explore the school, fight monsters, discover treasure, and reveal dark secrets with your friends. The mechanics are largely timing-based, and you’ll use them to power up spells and block attacks in combat, becoming more powerful as you progress.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Ember Lab’s Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a third-person, narrative action-adventure game prioritizing exploration and combat. You control Kena, a young Spirit Guide searching for the Mountain Shrine with the help of her spirit companions known as the Rot. As you search for this sacred site, you’ll help Kena and the Rot free spirits trapped in a forgotten village using upgradeable weapons and abilities, while growing your companion group and tasking them with certain quests and tasks.
Mages of Mystralia
Mages of Mystralia is an action-adventure game in which you control Zia, a mage who discovers she has magic at the start of the game. Like any beginning spellcaster, she can’t control her powers immediately, which leads to her being exiled from her village after she accidentally wreaks havoc. This puts her on a journey involving a mage sanctuary, a war, and a deeply sinister plot, all in a beautiful world with a unique magical system.
Magicka is a Norse mythology-based action-adventure game in which you play a wizard from a sacred order who has to save the world from an evil sorcerer. You combine elements to craft spells and team up with friends to dominate in combat against the minions of darkness.
The story continues in Magicka 2, in which you utilize an updated spellcasting system as you traverse a version of Midgård that’s been nearly wiped of wizards after the deadly Wizard Wars.
Noita is a pixel-based magical action rogue-lite wherein you will progress through procedurally generated levels using spells you create as you go. The game features a variety of environments, forcing you to adapt and overcome as you encounter coal mines, frozen wastelands, and more.
In Spellcaster University, you’re the director of the school, rather than one of its students. This game is a combination deck-builder and management sim, tasking you with building and customizing your school, populating it with mythical creatures, and completing tasks as you try to keep things afloat. There’s no right way to play this game, and each one is utterly unique.
Chucklefish’s Witchbrook is a highly-anticipated magical school and town life simulator in the style of Stardew Valley. You play as a witch in training and, in addition to attending classes, completing assignments, and building your magic skills, you will also form relationships, grow crops, forage for mushrooms, go fishing, and other staples of the genre.
Chucklefish has not announced a release window for Witchbrook, largely due to the developer’s stance on crunch culture. Rather than pushing its 18-person team to produce the game at hyperspeed to the detriment of their own health, it’s prioritizing people over profit. For updates, you can wishlist the game on Steam.
(featured image: Sneaky Yak Studio / WhisperGames; Nintendo; Bethesda Softworks; Humble Games; Chucklefish; Paradox Interactive; Nolla Games; Borealys Games; Ember Lab; miHoYo / The Mary Sue)
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