- Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
- PEGI Rating: Ages 7 and Over
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Unlock spell recipes one by one with the family Spellbook, and mix individual ingredients to create dozens of original spells. You can then cast spells to take care of your sims's needs, maintain the house and cook meals, meddle with relationships, bring objects to life or turn your neighbour into a frog. Every spell has a unique Backfire, including toad plagues, donkey heads and lightning strikes. Interact with new Questing NPCs, and earn the most difficult and powerful spells by performing tasks and solving puzzles.
Travel via the Magic Portal to the all-new Magic Town location where sims perform magic and duel to earn MagiCoins, which give them access to spell ingredients. There you can perform at the sideshow, spook show, magic-duelling arena and magic-trick table. Tricks and routines include everything from rabbit-out-of-a-hat and levitation to summoning ghosts. You can also customise wild carnival rides, such as the Fun House and Haunted House. Magic items for the home include: the wand charger and charm maker, faerie toy box, magic crystals and a dragon nest that hatches a Pet Dragon.
There are loads of new characters for your sims to interact with. Get your first taste of magic from the MagiCo travelling salesman, who brings you the magic starter kit. Perform magic with the sideshow assistant and snake charmer and summon ghosts and mummies at the Spook Show. Trade, quest and shop with Gypsy Vendors, the Vampiress, the local Apothecary and the Faerie Queen. New domestic minions help keep your house going. Purchase a Skeleton Closet that houses a maid. Cast spells to turn the Flamingo into a sexy hostess or the Garden Gnome into a gardener.
There are also over 150 new items and a new decorator set, including moving paintings, creaking stairs and twisted trees, plus all new Walls, Floors and Roofs, Brand new food items and dozens of new character skins. Requires The Sims or The Sims Deluxe Edition to play.
Nonetheless, there's a good argument here for stating that Makin' Magic is the best add-on of the lot. It requires a copy of the original game to play, and the idea this time is that your pretend community find themselves imbued with various magical powers to explore, along with ingredients to collect and mix up, magical quests to go on and some mysterious non-player characters to contend with.
As you'd expect, you also get new locations and new items to play around with. The Magic Town, for instance, is well worth a visit, and you can pop there whenever you like. There are magic shows that can be performed here, and effectively there's street theatre to enjoy.
It's a fun and quirky add-on pack, though it might not appeal to those who like things a little more based on reality. However, the developers here have applied a subtle and warm sense of humour, and it rubs off as you explore the Makin' Magic pack.
Ultimately, you can't really describe a seventh add-on to a product as downright essential. It isn't, and everyone from the developers right down to the ardent fans of The Sims know it. It is, however, entertaining and good fun, and offers a fair bit extra for the outlay. You might not need it, but you're sure to enjoy it. --Simon Brew