Have you played… MAGICAL DEATHPAIR?

We’re picking up the “Have you played..?” series from Pete (sometimes I can still hear his voice… -M), by giving a well-deserved spotlight to MAGICAL DEATHPAIR. With only 43 reviews present under its product page on Steam since its initial release of January 11 of last year, its only real negatives is that it’s in early access. While this means that the current version this unfinished game has to offer cuts off with a cliff-hanger, the 2-3 hours of content it provides already comes across as a solid little indie gem to make you hungry for more.

And who knows, the sooner more support the product in question receives, then the earlier we may get the finished product. There’s no time to waste, then – let’s get to the convincing.


MAGICAL DEATHPAIR follows 16 witches who are paired up together depending on their personalities and fighting style. The witches have been sent on a mission to hunt down a “Monster”, only there’s already a major issue facing the newly formed up group – said “Monster” has already infiltrated the train and is posing as one of them. To successfully suss out and expose the imposter, Vastine and company must work together to carefully deduce fellow witch from posing foe.

But like that’s ever going to happen in a responsible and friendly enough manner.

MAGICAL DEATHPAIR is an adventure game made using RPG Maker that has a death game premise to it. The title is created by solo developer yatsunagi – the very same behind the upcoming “Language decoding x romance x escape game”, Homicipher. MAGICAL DEATHPAIR’s immediate pull is its witch theme being not at all dissimilar to what the likes of anime shows Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Wonder Egg Priority ended up becoming. Monipi-chan, who welcomes you in the opening scene of the game, is telling enough of itself.

Why it’s so good

Going as far as to give a vague enough warning about the content of MAGICAL DEATHPAIR specifically on that regard would be a heads up about its gory and sexual content – with the latter being not at all that heavy, at least within this initial chapter. Some of the many CGs that players may or may not bump into will depict either of these two elements however. When we consider the limited space its characters find themselves in which also forces them into a life or death situation involving friends, foes and the most suspicious of strangers, it’s no wonder how such harrowing details makes the experience of the game all that more constricting and suspense filled.

It’s one such feature that makes the game so much fun. From just a single chapter there are plenty of selections to be made, decisions to venture into and revelations to uncover. While this tends to be quite the linear offering as far as its narrative goes it still demands a replay for hiding up to 5 CGs with alternative choices leading to them.

But the biggest point that’s more than worthy of praise is the presentation of it all. Scenes where characters are actually battling it out are visually arresting, with sprite action being just as fluid as the very best from retro Fire Emblem’s entries on the GBA. Furthermore, the overall sound to it all from its incredibly ominous BGM to the mere additions of sounds to better represent events or locations (think foot steps or weapons getting whipped out when the screen has yet to reveal the character) are all brilliant.

There’s also the alluring fact of the sheer complexity of it all that the game manages to set up in a mere 2 or even 4 hours. The main menu itself retains important information that the game will throw at you during certain key moments. The member pair ups has its own screen to better familiarise yourself with who the duos are – which you will want to pay attention to when accusations start flying about – and even if and when a character dies. The Witches’ Handbook also happens to be a great read in summarising the more lore heavy terms you will hear across the chapter.

But most importantly there is a voting segment in the game which is helpfully explained in the ‘rules’ section of the main menu. This section explains the main core gameplay loop of the title being three events – Free time, Voting and Battling. During free time exploration is key to trigger events and new dialogue. Voting takes place after progressing the story along enough to where both the player and the other 15 participants vote for who they believe the Monster is. The individual who has been voted against most will face the other witches in a battle to the death, regardless of their true identity.

There also happens to be more layers to this system in particular than what we are giving away here but that’s for you to find out for yourself. You probably already know if this game is for you at this point and if you’ll be exploring it any further then go into it as blind as possible.

Support MAGICAL DEATHPAIR. Please and thank you.

Basically, MAGICAL DEATHPAIR already manages to be full of suspense, sets up so many mysteries and is an addictive enough of an initial playthrough that it makes you immediately crave to experience more of – even spending more time with its colourful, eccentric and mystifying cast of characters is a highlight. I cannot think of a single negative when it comes to experiencing this single chapter.

When games like Danganronpa and Your Turn to Die have well and truly taken off, please give your support and turn your attention to even smaller projects that require more coverage like this one here. You can find MAGICAL DEATHPAIR on Steam with its first chapter being readily available in English. The Steam version of the game also comes with a freebie in any purchase with an artbook, which has also been translated.

Lilia Hellal
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