In games, it's never about how obvious an idea is. It's all in the execution. In Lostmagic, you cast magical spells by drawing icons with the DS' stylus. A sharply drawn inverted V sends a blast of fire at your enemies. A smooth S showers them in chilling ice. Yes, it's simple, but it's the execution - tough but addictive - that will keep you playing.
Castlevania tried this whole "draw the symbol" thing, but anyone who's played it knows that it was pretty irritating. In Lostmagic, the main character is an up-and-coming magician, son of one of the most powerful in the world. Using his father's elemental staff, he is able to cast six different types of magic - or even mix and match to create hybrid spells.
You'd think that would be enough for one game. After all, Lostmagic is the first to get it right. But really, it's not. Lostmagic is secretly a real-time strategy game in an RPG's clothing. Each battle takes place on a large map with plenty of natural features, like choke points where two rock outcroppings meet or pools of water that will slow down your progress. You control not only Isaac, the wizard kid, but also enemies that you capture with your dark magic. These units can be commanded to attack your foes while you back them up with spells - and you can separate units and send them out to different parts of the battle map in a multi-pronged attack or to hunt for treasure. That's important, too, because you're playing against the clock.