Mabinogi review

  • Excellent party formation system
  • Anime-inspired art style
  • Original quest system
  • Frustrating point-and-click controls
  • Unreliable pathfinding
  • Busywork chores

Dust off your lute and break out the sheep shears - the “fantasy life” of Mabinogi awaits you. A free-to-play MMORPG based on Celtic mythology, Mabinogi (downloadable here) has been delighting Korean gamers with its rich fantasy setting since 2004, and now it’s our turn. You aren’t bound to classes like “wizard” in Mabinogi; any character can spend skill points (earned by completing quests or simply by aging - every week is a year in Mabinogi time) to learn any skill they choose. Instead of the usual quest-giver hunt, quests and rewards are dropped from the sky by civic-minded owls, giving you more time to admire the anime-inspired art style.

Don’t be fooled by its ultra-cute exterior; Mabinogi doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to combat. Battles are won through careful timing and countering your opponents’ attacks. Soloing becomes a challenge, but grouping for difficult quests or to defeat dungeon bosses is easy, thanks to the game’s excellent party formation system. Social gatherings often spring up spontaneously around campfires, and merriment abounds as food is passed around and someone starts playing “Through the Fire and Flames” on the ukulele.

Unfortunately, frustrating point-and-click controls and unreliable pathfinding frequently get in the way of the fun, and busywork chores like shearing sheep and harvesting grain become painfully tedious. And, of course, there’s a catch to the free-to-play thing: the free ride ends when you want to play through the game’s main story line or “rebirth” your character once it stops gaining ability points for aging. (Reborn characters return to level 1, but keep their skills.) Mabinogi offers a lot of engaging play for a free game, but you’ll quickly wish that its “free” price tag included WASD controls.

PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.

PCG Final Verdict: 73% (Good)

May 30, 2008

More Info

Release date: Jan 31 2008 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Nexon
Developed by: Nexon


  • Arkatekt - February 13, 2011 1:05 a.m.

    updates: Rebirth is now free at age 20 for all characters, all Main Story(Generation) quests and skills are free and available to all players, Including Transformation skills(White Knight(G2), Dark Knight(G3), Demi God(G11)), Alchemy, and with the introduction of G13, Hamlet, the Destiny system(pseudo-class system, can be changed at every rebirth).
  • real4xor - August 11, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    You'll hate * Frustrating point-and-click controls * Unreliable pathfinding * Busywork chores just like any other online RPG you can find on the net. ^^ if that`s the worst, I might just take a peek and see if the issues are less troublesome than they seem.

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