5 magic-centric games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy
Witches, wizards, warlocks and wiccans, all welcome!
The magical fantasy genre of gaming has long been dominated by industry titans such as Bethesda’s open-ended Elder Scrolls series and BioWare’s Dragon Age games, but there aren’t many titles that let you kick back and directly experience the day-to-days of a wizened witch or the beginnings of a new whimsical life in a magical school.
Not everything needs to be a massive 100-hour open-ended experience either, some of us just want to see a reflection of ourselves leading our best witchy life, all while slinging spells and producing potions, of course. With plenty of controversy surrounding the release of Hogwarts Legacy, it’s always good to know what your options are, and luckily, there’s a lot to work with.
Best alternatives to Hogwarts Legacy in 2023
In recent years, we’ve seen the release of a multitude of games from talented indie developers focused on bringing wonderful worlds to life that are brimming with adventure, supernatural charm, and most importantly — inclusivity. To that end, we’ve put together five of our favorite magic-centric games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy from our favorite devs to help you live your most magical moments.
Ikenfell has you follow the story of Maritte, a young girl who suddenly gains pyromantic abilities and sets off to rescue her sister — the top student of Ikenfell, a magical school in peril. The game offers a turn-based tactical RPG experience, where you’ll control up to six different students, battle enemies with unique spells, and explore Ikenfell’s many mysteries and locales. Released in late 2020, the game was received very positively for its proudly LGBTQIA+ characters and even contains music from the composers of Steven Universe.
Related: 5 LGBTQ+ developed games to play instead of Hogwarts Legacy
Little Witch in the Woods
While still only in Early Access on Steam, Little Witch in the Woods is shaping up to be an adorable adventure where you’ll play as Ellie, an apprentice witch who’ll need to befriend and help out the local village using her knowledge and skills learned at Witch School. The standard gameplay involves exploration of the village and nearby forest on a day-to-day basis, building social connections with its inhabitants, and gathering materials to create potions, all in a gorgeous pixel art style. Upcoming updates promise the ability to communicate with cats of many different personalities, the addition of fishing, and gift-giving for wooing the locals.
Up and coming potion proprietors, this next one is for you — Potionomics will have you play as Sylvia, a penniless witch who’s just inherited her recently deceased uncle’s shop, which Stardew Valley fans might see as a recognizable opener. The game surrounds Sylvia negotiating with a colorful cast, outselling her competitors, and crafting potions, all in the name of wheeling and dealing. Potionomics includes deckbuilding and dating sim mechanics, allowing Sylvia to romance certain characters, all while meshed cohesively under a narratively-driven shop simulator. Go live your potion-producing capitalist dreams with Potionomics.
Witchy Life Story
2022’s Witchy Life Story is the perfect cozy self-insert opportunity for anyone looking to live amongst the villagers of Flora, where you can create your own witch complete with notable pronoun choices and welcomed body-positive creation options. Players looking for a warm and relaxing narrative gardening sim with visual novel aspects will feel at home in Witchy Life Story on Steam, which sees you take on the role of the youngest member of the von Teasal family. Your von Teasal isn’t the most well-loved, so your grandmother charges you with saving the local harvest festival in just two weeks in order to experience a “cozy story filled with chaos, friendship, and romance.”
Related: The most notable games with LGBTQ+ characters
For those who prefer an immersive crafting experience, 2021’s Wytchwood has you covered, seeing you assume the role of the Old Witch of the Woods, in a land inspired by old gothic fables and fairytales. While not your regular Brothers Grimm affair, Wytchwood offers a unique, allegorical world where you’ll need to research, grow and gather materials to concoct sorceries, all while taming the magical forest around you. It’s quite similar to Don’t Starve in gameplay presentation, where crafting and dealing with beasts takes the forefront, you’ll also find plenty of devious and quirky characters to interact with too.