Hello, I’m Skeith, and welcome to The Story Arc. This site will not be posting any reviews of Hogwarts Legacy, nor will we ever mention its existence after this article. I am also the most frequent contributor to this site and the most likely to review games on release date in a desperate attempt to gain views. However, I am a trans woman and proud of that fact. There are actually three trans members of our team, and as such, no member of this site will be buying Hogwarts Legacy and contributing to JK Rowling’s attempts to erase our existence.
However, it seems that many of you still have an intense desire to play a video game where you control a wizard. Well fine then, allow me to list off some alternatives to Hogwarts Legacy that not only will scratch your wizard itch without supporting a TERF, but are also guaranteed to play better than that mess of a game. I’ve prepared seven examples of games from various different genres that do similar things to Hogwarts Legacy but before we get into things I would like to hand things over to my good friend Ozaline, who is not only trans like me but also belongs to another group who will suffer because of this game: jewish people.
Hi, this is Princess Ozaline, a trans woman and Jewish conversion student. I, of course, am worried as a trans woman about Rowling’s rhetoric, but my other community has good reason to fear this game as well. Many in the Jewish community have pointed out how the Goblin bankers in Harry Potter echo racist conspiracies of Jewish bankers and money lenders, a position that became associated with Jews in the middle ages due to church prohibitions against money lending, as well as racist caricatures of Jews found in propaganda artwork.
I watched the cutscenes relevant to the Goblin characters on youtube last night: the game’s plot features a Goblin revolutionary named Ranrok who is tired of the way Wizards oppress Goblins and force them to do the work they don’t want to do, similar to how Jews have been historically treated. He’s also obsessed with capturing the game’s player character who he refers to as “the child,” this echoes blood libel tropes where Jews were believed to kidnap and murder Christian children to use their blood to make matzah (blood, and cannibalism are certainly not kosher).
The game also has two characters with names taken from Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible, what Christians refer to as the Old Testament) Miriam Fig, and Solomon Swallow. Miriam dies before the game starts and Solomon Swallow dies during the game, both are seen as heroic and tragic figures, but to me that brings up the phrase “people love dead jews,” of course Ranrok kills every “good” goblin in the game too so that we don’t realize that we should maybe be sympathetic to his plight. Back to you, Skeith.
Skeith here again! Let’s now get into the meat and bones of this article and talk about some good games! Oh, and if you’re one of those people who bought Hogwarts Legacy just to contribute to the culture war against my existence, then can you kindly never click on this site again? My hard work and writing isn’t for you.
Number 1: Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times
So you’re the type of person who is picking up Hogwarts Legacy because it allows you to experience going to a magical school and customize your character? Well you’re likely not going to get a satisfying experience there as the school activities in that game are both very limited and static while your character customization is always tied to a gear system with forced stat mechanics like Destiny 2.
Do you know what game doesn’t have those problems, though? Magician’s Quest for the Nintendo DS of all things. This adorable little game has you moving to a new town to learn all about magic and spend your days interacting with your fellow students as you develop friendships with them.
This game is essentially Animal Crossing with a magical skin, and I absolutely love it. You can transform your wand into various items like a bug net or fishing rod as you explore town to get items and custimize your character via various outfits.
While Animal Crossing’s villagers are all well, animals, your classmates in this game consist of various magical creations with various unique designs. One day, you may be sitting next to the boy with a TV-like head, while the following day, you’ll be seated next to a plant girl with an evil grin. The character designs in this game are top-notch and adorable.
Magician’s Quest is a super relaxing time that any child or adult can get into if they give it a chance. Please pick this game up if you really need to scratch that wizard school itch.
2. Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time
Ah, so you say you’re buying Hogwarts Legacy because you want to play a licensed video game that’s appropriate for children about going to a magical school? Well there’s an alternative for that too because we’ve got another video game based on a children’s IP about witches that’s on all the same consoles as Hogwarts Legacy for you; Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time!
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time’s magical gameplay takes the form of a side-scrolling Dungeon Crawler where you and your two companions spam spells at enemies as you enter various rooms to make progress.
Now while most website classify this game as an action RPG and a Dungeon Crawler you really shouldn’t go into it expecting anything super deep from those aspects as the Dungeon gameplay is very straight forward and pretty easy.
Instead you’ll be spending most of your time in the school talking to people and completing quests for them as you progress through an everlasting time loop that you need to take advantage of to be in certain locations at a certain time to solve everyone’s problems.
A friend of mine described the vibes of this gameplay structure as similar to Sega’s Sakura Wars series. If you go into this game for the story and character interactions, you’ll have a good time.
(Oh hey, that friend is me, Ozaline. I’m here again because Skeith is letting me plug my plan to stream this game on Twitch on Friday. Checked my pinned post for details because I’m still working the schedule out. Thanks, Skeith!)
3. Final Fantasy XIV
Perhaps you wanted to play Hogwarts Legacy so you could experience a game where you cast a wide variety of spells that you read about as a kid? Well, unfortunately, Hogwarts Legacy is going to disappoint you on that front as there is next to no spell variety there. You know what game does have a lot of cool looking spells you can cast, though? Final Fantasy XIV.
Final Fantasy XIV has no less than eight magic themed jobs you can class your character into. Each of these jobs has their own extensive sets of spells with their own unique mechanics that offer a world of variety.
You can be a black mage who is casting fireballs across the arena to defeat enemies or calling upon lightning to strike down your foes. You white mage who is casting small cure spells to keep your allies healthy or creating magical fields that regenerate health. You can even be a summoner who calls upon magical creatures to attack your foes. The amount of magic that FFXIV characters can perform is no small feat, as expected of a game with this scope.
Plus, Final Fantasy XIV offers some of the best character customization experiences in MMO history, so if you want to create a wizard or witch character and roleplay, you have absolutely no shortage of glamorous outfits to wear!
4. Little Witch Nobeta
Hogwarts Legacy is a game that is very desperate to copy tropes from other, more successful, modern games. Not only does it try to have a gear system that few games have succeeded at, but it also has Dark Souls styled dodge and attack system. The game is unable to commit to any of these mechanics it copies from others, though, and as a result, it feels extremely hollow. So let’s instead talk about a game where you can play as a witch that actually commits to being a Soulslike.
This game actually isn’t technically out yet. It’s still in early access, with the official release date being March 3rd, 2023. However, I think most sensible people can agree that’s a close enough date to talk about in this list, right?
This Soulslike has you exploring a dark castle as a young witch girl who is being assailed by monsters who will kill you in a mere few hits. In order to fight back against them, you just aim your wand and cast magic spells to destroy them.
This game has all the tropes you would expect from a soulslike. Big bosses that will crush you, small swarms of enemies that can appear from the edge of your screen if you’re not paying attention as you walk around, and of course it wouldn’t be complete without a huge dodge roll!
I really like how this game looks, and I’m a sucker for main character designs like Nobeta’s here, so I fully plan to buy this game in two weeks.
5. Little Witch in the Woods
Okay maybe that last game is a bit too intense of a witch game for you all. So let’s talk about another, more relaxing, game where you can play as a Witch. I am of course referring to one of Steam’s indie darlings: Little Witch in the Woods. This is the third game we’re talking about with the words Little Witch in the title, I swear none of them are related.
Little Witch in the Woods has a concept very similar to my favorite JRPG franchise ever, Atelier. You go out into the woods to gather materials in order to create potions and snacks that will help you explore even further.
As you explore the woods around your cabin, you will run into a memorable cast of characters you can interact with and perform quests for, like delivering them a certain item.
I have not played this game myself, but if I didn’t mention it, then I would be doing it and the devs a disservice. The sprite work in this game is absolutely stunning for an indie studio, and I hope it does win that “Sit back and Relax game” reward that it’s getting nominated for.
The game is currently available for purchase as an early access title on Steam, and I encourage you all to support it or the eventual full release.
We’re straying a bit away from the idea of what is a Hogwarts Legacy alternative so let’s back things up a little bit and talk about a game that once again is about a group of characters who go to a magical school: Ikenfell.
Ikenfell’s gameplay takes the form of a turn based RPG that is most comparable by me to Trails in the Sky, where as you fight you must also move your characters along a grind both so that they’re in range to perform certain actions or so you can perform AoE actions correctly.
Because of the setting of the game, all of your actions in combat take the form of spells that all have their own effects and ranges on the combat grind. For example, we’ve got a fireball spell that can be launched forward to hit all enemies in a 2×2 area as well as a bubble spell that can only hit spaces two rows away from you. This is a very unique way of incorporating the idea of different magics working differently into an RPG, and I greatly enjoy the concept.
Ikenfell has been available on all modern platforms for about two years now, so consider picking it up if you want to play an indie RPG with a relatively unique battle and magic system!
7. Cotton Reboot
Okay, so this game has very little to do with being a Hogwarts Legacy alternative, but I would be remissed if I didn’t talk about it. So, back in the 90s and 2000s, there was a side scrolling shooter series known as Cotton. It isn’t talked about nowadays outside of very niche circles, but it did well enough to get six entire games before going dormant for nearly two entire decades.
Then, just a year and a half ago, the world got blessed with a game simply titled Cotton Reboot. This is a beautifully done remaster of the original Cotton for modern consoles, and it both looks and sounds absolutely fantastic.
The game’s fast-paced and constant flowing stream of projectiles flows extremely smoothly on the powerful hardware that all modern consoles and PCs have. It’s a shame that side scrolling shooters are a dying art as the technology nowadays would be able to handle absolutely anything you can imagine doing with them.
With its short length and fast paced gameplay Cotton is the perfect match for the Nintendo Switch, so pick it up if you want a fun little game where you play as a witch on a broom absolutely blasting away all foes with magic.
And there you have it, folks, 7 games you could be playing to roleplay as a witch or wizard instead of playing Hogwarts Legacy and directly contributing to the erasure of my existence. Perhaps that language is too harsh for an article like this, but it’s the simple truth. JK Rowling wants people like me to stop existing or drop dead. Any money you give this game will make its way to anti-trans organizations.
I know a lot of you want to play the game because you grew up with Harry Potter, I understand. As a child I loved Harry Potter too, but as I grew up and JK Rowling began to dedicate her entire existence to wanting people like me dead I disowned the series and will continue to encourage others to do the same.
Please listen to the trans people around you. This may seem like a small issue, but how you behave now reflects on the larger issues. If we cannot count on cis allies to do something as simple as not spend money on a game that you likely won’t even like, how can we expect your support when it comes to the larger issues that would require a lot more from you? It also sends a message to hate groups that, no matter what they do, you will support them over us.
Sorry for the downer ending to this article, but there is no positive spin to put on this. Just please listen to me and your trans friends and don’t give JK Rowling money.