This thing rules

'Spellbreak' is a genius mashup of 'Legend of Zelda' and 'Fortnite'

No offense to 'Fortnite' fans, but this is the free-to-play game you might find a bit more welcoming.

Spellbreak is the sum of many, many trends. Take the battle royale format from PUBG, the free-to-play mechanics of Fortnite, the flying ability from Iron Man in Marvel's Avengers, the art style from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the lore of Avatar: The Last Airbender, then mix them up and pour some Red Bull on it. That's basically the game. Yet the sum of those parts is something much more magical.

In light of its world domination, it's easy to forget that Fortnite itself was originally an entirely different game that found success only after copying the battle royale multiplayer that was taking off with PUBG, which was also originally a spin-off of a modification for ARMA 2. There is nothing new under the sun. Just roll with it.

But the phenomenal success of Fortnite has bred its own legion of free-to-play copycat games, none of which have seen the same kind of mainstream adoption. That is, until Spellbreak — which may be poised to follow Fall Guys in becoming gaming's Next Big Thing.

Spellbreak swaps military weapons and fort building for magic spells and imaginative elemental combinations. Players select an elemental power (wind, fire, stone, poison, lightning, and ice) and are dropped into a fantasy landscape, complete with castles and forests and all the necessary fairy-tale accoutrements, where they rapidly collect as much magical power and mystical artifacts as they can to prepare for their eventual dual to the death. You die or you win, you collect your XP, you buy new skins and flair, and you start all over again. It's addicting as hell.

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What makes Spellbreak different isn't just it's theming and location, its also a much more messy and aggressive game than its peers. Instead of leaning around corners, trying to sniper your competition, you take to the air and reign down death from above. There's also no "building" during combat, instead you're encouraged to combine the two elemental powers you've chosen into creative ways to evade other players' abilities. What results is a frenzied gameplay style where you always feel just a few more spells away from victory.

Fortnite looms large over all such games — and it likely will for the foreseeable future, Donald Trump be damned — but its massive, fairly bro-y community can be overwhelming for first time players to ease themselves into. Spellbreak is the battle royale game for the rest of us. Get in on the ground floor, battlemages.

Spellbreak is available for free on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and the Epic Games Store.