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Sebastion Mauldin

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The Thaumaturge Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

One thing that I’ve learned about myself is that most of the time I’m playing a game to kick back and relax. Most of my gaming time goes to games like Civilization 6, NBA 2k, or Roguelike and Roguelites because I can get in, relax, and play something without too much thought. Often though I find myself in the mood for a game with heavy implementations or a meaty game that that takes me on a dedicated narrative journey. Many times when I’m in that mood I turn to the tried and true genre of RPGs. This feeling led me to do this The Thaumaturge review.

The Thaumaturge is a darker turn-based RPG that feels like a mixture of Ghostbusters, John Constantine, and Pokémon. Mix all that together and then add in branching narratives and dialogue options and you have an interesting game.

Let’s dive into it.

The Narrative:

In The Thaumaturge, you play as Wiktor Szulski, who is a thaumaturge, meaning that he has the ability to read the emotional imprints on the objects that he comes across. He can also dive into people’s psyches and learn their mental flaws. His last ability is arguably his most useful and it’s that he can see and bound Salutors. Salutors are vicious creatures who attach themselves to a person, amplifying their worst traits and often driving them to emotional and violent actions.

In this alt-history twentieth-century Poland, Wiktor and his Salutor who amplifies Wiktor’s Pride and arrogance, Upyr, are searching for his late father’s grimoire. During his search, he gets involved in a mystery involving around the higher echelon and the various factions of the city.

As I was playing this game I was reminded of Game of Thrones and Succession. This is a world where the characters are intriguing and the story keeps you hooked yet despite who you root for there are going to be very few winners and a lot of losers. Its bleak setting is filled with characters whose desires, ideals, and faults are on full display, which makes each character feel more human and relatable. The narrative is the star of the show in this game and is engaging all the way through if you can hang with the darker tone.

The Thaumaturge Review - Image 2
The Thaumaturge Review – Image 2

The Gameplay:

The Thaumaturge’s features turn-based combat where you have to be strategic and cerebral or else you can be easily dispatched. In combat, you control both Wiktor and the collection of Salutors that you capture throughout the game. The turm-base combat is almost like an adult twisted version of pokémon because you use the Salutors one at a time to fight your enemies.

To manage the combat you need to dispatch your enemies as quickly and efficiently as possible. This combat is a bit more thought-provoking than pokémon. But once you get the hang of it, you can mow down most of your enemies. There are a few boss fights that will give you an additional challenge but none of them felt too difficult.

Like many other RPGs, this game is filled with dialog choices. Unlike a lot of the other RPGs on the market, Wiktor’s dialogue options offer a bit more complexity and nuance than the traditional good guy choice or jerk guy choice. The game has an impressive volume of dialogue options and operates more in the shades of gray than your typical light or dark choices. Just like Telltale Games the characters will remember your choices and act accordingly in the future. As a result, I found myself deeply invested in the dialogue trees.

The Thaumaturge Review - Image 3
The Thaumaturge Review – Image 3

Additional Pros:

I found myself really admiring the graphical detail of Warsaw. Each district feels well constructed and there are small details that really make them feel different from one another. On top of that, the night/day cycle adds some really cool shadows and details to the environment as well.

The game’s music is well done as well. While there’s not a large variety in the soundtrack, The music fits the tone and setting of the game perfectly. When a battle starts, The music kicks up a bit with a track that really adds much-needed energy and flare to make each battle feel intense.

The game doesn’t offer a lot of side content like me other RPGs however the view side quest that you are able to take has real meaning to it. The side quests often allow you to dive a bit deeper into the various factions and get more experience. These quests feel well-written and lead to you getting additional Salutors that you can use in combat.

The Thaumaturge Review - Image 4
The Thaumaturge Review – Image 4


One aspect that I noticed through my playthrough was that the animations feel a bit stiff and stilted. You can really see this when there are close-ups on the characters.

I do love the fact that this game is fully voiced however with every character having the same flat and dry tone it is hard to connect and become invested in some of the characters. Many of them feel lost in the shuffle and don’t feel memorable at all.

Just like Final Fantasy 16, this game is very light when it comes to RPG elements. There isn’t a way to upgrade your weapons and there isn’t any inventory to manage. In a way, this helps the combat stay lean and crisp, however, if you are looking for an RPG with deep systems then this game isn’t going to likely scratch that it.

The Thaumaturge Review - Image 5
The Thaumaturge Review – Image 5

Overall/Should you Play The Thaumaturge:

One of the best things I can say about this game is that it knows what it wants to be and fully commits to it. As opposed to adding bloat the developer, Fool’s Theory, delivered a narrative-heavy lean RPG.  Well, it’s not perfect It is a fascinating game that feels very different than the rest of the RPGs that have come out lately. 

The choices that you make lead to various consequences throughout the game. So this game has branching storylines which can add to the replayability factor. 

This isn’t a game that you are going to play if you want something light and playful. To get the most out of this experience it requires you to be invested in its darker tone and themes. If you are looking for a game with a darker tone and thought-provoking narrative then it is a light 18 to 24-hour investment that is easy to recommend.

Sebastion Mauldin

The Thaumaturge Review


Role-playing video game, Adventure game, Adventure, Single Player Game


The Narrative, The Branching Storylines, The Dialogue Choices,


The Light RPG Elements, Stiff Animations


Fool's Theory


PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S


March 4, 2024

Overall Rating: