Artificer’s Tower Review – Build your own magic school

Reviewed April 16, 2024 on PC




April 18, 2024





Want to play a cozy game that doesn’t involve building farms? Are you also a fan of any media that involves a magic school? Then perhaps Artificer’s Tower might be the game for you. This cozy tower defence title is from RodentGames, and the goal is to build and grow your own magic school, while also defending it from hordes of monsters. Do you have what it takes to protect and raise your students? And does this game have the resources and essence to fulfil that fantasy?

Artificer’s Tower has five levels to choose from – Tutorial, Peaceful, Lively, Survival, and Custom. What’s great about this game is that it doesn’t force you to do a tutorial. You can jump in as you please if you feel confident enough to do so. The levels also add a bit of challenge, depending on what you’re after. For example, if you just want to play at your own pace and build your own magic school without much risk, then Lively mode is the one for you. But if you want to have a challenge and see how long your mages can live (because they can die in the game or quit their jobs), then go pursue the harder levels.

If you do choose the tutorial level, the game warns you if you’re breaking instructions. This is great as it tells you that it will no longer hold your hand if you decide to leave and that you’re now confident to do things on your own. The game’s mascot, Marvin the Wizard, appears both in and out of the tutorial levels. While he’s not in the tower with you, he plays as the typical “important notifications guy,” letting you know that you’ve unlocked something new and giving you tips on how to progress.

This game starts you off with three mages that you can choose from. Each of them has its own stats block and personalities that will affect how you’ll get through the game. Some mages are good at certain tasks, some may require better food or clothing, and some might not be skilled at certain things. If you don’t like what’s on offer, you can choose someone else using the shuffle button. Unfortunately, you can’t edit their appearance, nor can you modify their stats and traits. The same can be said for the students who will want to join you in your tower.

When it comes to the game’s art, Artificer’s Tower‘s appearance isn’t that amazing, but it does the job in the simplest way possible. While it’s unfortunate that we don’t see some variety in the people in this realm, the game makes up for it with its room designs and the monsters in the game. As for the humans, it feels as if they’ve been churned through an appearance randomizer.

What’s great about Artificer’s Tower is that there is no plot, which is nice if you’re after a fun game to zone out to. It’s just an endless survival game to see how far you can defend your tower and grow your mages to become a powerful army. In terms of gameplay, it’s pretty much your typical point-and-click micromanage game. The game’s version of mana is called “essence” and you need to use it wisely in order to create items and spells that can help craft other items, like rooms, food, weapons, and more. You can sell some of them to earn some coins that can help pay your mages and build better facilities. It does take a bit of math due to having limited resources, and a bit of time for you to remember the numerous items and room recipes in the game.

While Artificer’s Tower does feel addictive, there are times when the gameplay feels a bit boring and repetitive. For example, the game has a decent soundtrack, but it doesn’t change that much. It’s like I’m hearing the same tracks on a loop. The battle music is the same, even if you summon a big boss. At some point, you’re better off putting the game on mute and just playing something off Spotify or having a YouTube video essay in the background. Heck, just have Wizards of Waverly Place on while playing the game. Perhaps the TV show might provide a better soundtrack than the same two repetitive tracks.

Another thing worth pointing out is that there are certain tasks you have to achieve before you’re able to get the freedom to do whatever you want. Since this is a tower defence game, growing that defence skill feels more of a priority before anything else. This means there isn’t a lot of freedom when you first start, especially when playing difficult levels. Fortunately, once you get the ball rolling, you finally have the time to do whatever you want, whether that is to grow that defence skill, craft, or teach.

What’s also disappointing is that your students don’t fight for you. Even if they manage to graduate and receive their mage status, they don’t defend the entryways or go to their assigned shield room stations whenever enemies attack. They mostly do other tasks or panic when they confront the enemy. This is upsetting because you wish they were brave enough to fight back, but in the end, they’re still cowards. Speaking of mages, while you can easily access a full list of those living in your tower, you have to either pay attention to the notifications tab or click each profile to see if they want to be promoted or if they have needs that require your attention. It’s fine when there aren’t many living with you, but it does get annoying and a bit more challenging to manage when you have 20+ magic users complaining about pay, food, clothing, or amenities.

Lastly, there is no way for you to freely move your rooms around once your tower gets bigger. Once it’s placed down, it’s permanent and you will have to build and upgrade all over again if you want to place them elsewhere. This is not great, especially as you progress through the game and you want to renovate your tower for better efficiency.

Artificer’s Tower also suffers some issues that might hinder your game progression. One of them involves the game’s “Auto-Order” feature. In theory, it should automatically craft and restock your selected resources. But in practice, there is a chance that it can mess with your manual crafting orders. The game would only focus on the ones you have on auto-order and possibly ignore your manual requests. By this point, just do it all manually so that you can easily grab the things you really need.

Another issue is when it comes to the amount of activity that’s happening in the game. Artificer’s Tower doesn’t normally need the new and fancy PC parts for it to run. But the moment your tower is bustling with activity, it feels like it suddenly needs a lot of juice. Sometimes the battle music also wouldn’t vanish. And the worst of it – the auto-save feature malfunctions, leaving you with a faulty save file and you’re forced to start over from the last checkpoint.

Artificer’s Tower does have some flaws, but it also gives you that feeling of wanting to try again. You can build a new tower, build from scratch, and plan everything so you can defend yourself better and grow a better magic school. It’s just a shame that the students don’t really fight or take their positions when the tower is under attack, because it would be a huge help when taking on the more difficult raids.




  • A uniquely structured cozy experience
  • Addictive gameplay loop
  • Charming premise


  • Repetitive soundtrack
  • New mages don't fight back
  • Some design glitches

Artificer’s Tower is a cozy game for those who don’t want to play yet another farming sim. It has its charm and gives the player a challenge to grow and build their magic school. While you may have to build your tower in a certain order if you want to survive, the game does reward you with the freedom of choice once you’re settled in. Artificer’s Tower does suffer from some issues and glitches (even if you’re playing on a high-end PC), but the game is still quite addictive and will have you trying time and time again to perfect your build.