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Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Review – A Retro RPG Experience Like No Other

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Review – A Retro RPG Experience Like No Other

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura





  • A vast, unique world combining magic and technology.
  • In-depth character customization for varied playstyles.
  • Choices with real consequences affecting story outcomes.
  • Rich lore providing an immersive gameplay experience.
  • Dynamic moral system offering nuanced character development.


  • Combat can sometimes feel slow and cumbersome.

Dive into the spellbinding realm of “Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura,” an iconic role-playing game released in 2001 that marries Victorian steampunk aesthetics with rich magical lore. In a world teetering between the advancements of technology and the mysteries of magic, players take on the mantle of a unique character, carving their path through intriguing quests, deep lore, and challenging adversaries.


Arcanum offers a complex, intertwining narrative where your decisions matter, leading to multiple endings based on the paths taken and alliances forged. The depth of the world-building is commendable, with a diverse range of factions, each harboring their own motives and histories, paving the way for an explorative gaming experience.

The character customization stands out, with a plethora of skills, traits, and attributes to mix and match. This results in dynamic gameplay, where strategy and adaptability are key, especially when considering the magic-technology dichotomy. The moral choices you make play an integral role in character development, pushing for genuine immersion in the world of Arcanum.

However, Arcanum shows its age in the combat department. Though turn-based combat has its strategic merits, Arcanum’s execution sometimes falls short of modern expectations, feeling sluggish. Likewise, the visuals and user interface, while charmingly retro, might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those accustomed to contemporary gaming aesthetics.

The brilliance of Arcanum is its unparalleled world-building. A land where the enigma of magic clashes with the rigid mechanics of steamworks provides a canvas for storytelling rarely seen in other RPGs. This often results in moral and philosophical dilemmas, as players are forced to choose between aligning with the technological advancements or delving deep into arcane mysteries.

Class System Explained Arcanum offers a myriad of class options to cater to a range of playstyles:

  • Tech-Based Classes:
    • Engineer: Masters of invention, adept at crafting and repairing.
    • Rogue: The unseen shadow, skilled at stealth, lock-picking, and deception.
    • Gunslinger: Dead-eye sharpshooters who dominate long-range combat.
  • Magic-Based Classes:
    • Magician: Wielders of the arcane, casting spells that decimate foes.
    • Necromancer: Conjurers of the forbidden arts, raising and controlling the dead.
    • Psionicist: Manipulators of the psyche, bending minds to their will.

Moreover, for those who don’t want to be confined to pre-defined classes, there’s an option to craft a custom character. This flexibility ensures every playthrough feels fresh and personalized.


Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura” is a treasured gem in the RPG realm. It offers a distinctive world rife with depth, compelling character development options, and a narrative that responds dynamically to player choices. While certain elements may feel outdated, the richness of its storytelling and intricate world-building make it a timeless classic.

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura System Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 7 Compatible 3D Card
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz
  • File Size: 1200 MB
  • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8