Magical Diary is a visual novel that positions you as a young girl in a school of magic. To get the Harry Potter stuff over with, the school is called Iris Academy, and is divided into six halls (Horse, Butterfly, and Snake for girls, and Wolf, Falcon, and Toad for boys). While I’m not a huge fan of the visual novel genre, I appreciated this particular game because it felt less like a picture book and more like a choose-your-own-adventure on crack. The blatant ripping-off of Harry Potter might have had something to do with it as well. Maybe.
Anyway, you start the game by moving into the academy and meeting your roommates. You learn that you have several stats to manage, and several different classes you can choose to take, in addition to weekend and after-school activities. Oh, the micro-management possibilities! Did I mention that you also get to dungeon-crawl and puzzle solve? This game truly has something for everyone! If you’re not one of those girl-game hating jerks, at least.
As you click your way through the exciting choices of what to study and eat, an interesting main plot unfolds. This plot may or may not center on dating (don’t feel repulsed yet). I give that plot device a pass because of the myriad dating choices. Instead of hotguy1, hotguy2, and hotguy3, you can choose to date geekydweeb, possiblyamonster, and chubbyroommate, among others.
Can I just pick all of the options?
If you love to micro-manage, furiously click, and pretend that you’re in an anime Harry Potter universe, then this game is for you. I want to also mention that it turned me into the person I once hated, but now love: the achievement chaser.