The Thaumaturge – PC Review

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Developed by Fool’s Theory and published by 11-bit Studios, The Thaumaturge is an experience that blends elements of strategy, and detective work into a compelling gameplay experience, allowing players to step into the shoes of a powerful mage known as the Thaumaturge.

It is available now on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

I’ve got the urge. The Thaumaturge

Harness the ancient arts of magic and sorcery to manifest your desires and achieve your goals. Take control of your destiny and experience the incredible power of The Thaumaturge. Embrace the supernatural, but be careful who you manipulate.


The story introduces us to Wiktor Szulski, a Thaumaturge from Poland. Set in 1905, Warsaw, Poland, the game begins with a letter from our sister, which immediately demonstrates that the game is choice-based throughout each conversation, with options given to respond to the letter.

Upon entering the game, you control your character with WASD. While players navigate the world, they encounter various challenges and obstacles that test their skills and decision-making abilities. From battling fierce beings known as Salutors, to constantly uncovering the lore, there is never a dull moment in this fantastical world.

Collecting different pieces of lore around the train station will earn you experience points, which you can then use to level up and acquire new abilities for yourself and your Salutor.

Your first task is to meet Grigori Rasputin, whom you must convince of your Thaumaturge skills. He plays a vital role in the game and links you to your initial Salutor Upyr. This is where you will immerse yourself in the investigative aspect of being a Thaumaturge. Delving deeper into mysteries relying heavily on Wiktor’s mystical talents.

Fight scene in The Thaumaturge Wiktor against 2 men outside wooden houses ready to fight
Maybe a fight will warm us up.

Through the conclusions you draw, one can exert influence over others, trick them, or even sway them to follow one’s wishes. Searching different environmental areas will require leveling up Wiktors Dimension force levels. If your level is not high enough, then you will fail at being able to inspect certain things. The other element indeed relies on the decisions you make during conversations.

These choices can alter the course of events, with some dialogue options only becoming accessible after thorough investigations or based on your character’s abilities. Dialogue choices can vary drastically and affect the outcome depending on what has been said or discovered.

Wiktor a distinguised Polish Gentleman in fancy atire stood Beside his Salutor Upyr a skeleton wearing clothes that appear to be of an elderly lady
I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Turn-based Combat

Combat is carried out in a turn-based fashion. You can choose various skills for Wiktor, ranging from close combat to more passive strategies. You, your salutor and the enemies will each have a speed timeline. This makes for the skill of knowing which ability to use and when. Some enemies have Traits that link them to specific Dimensions, granting them immunity to certain attacks.

To counteract this, one of your Salutors with the matching Dimension can turn off these Traits. The game conveniently indicates which Salutor is best suited to tackle each enemy, saving you the trouble of monitoring your companions’ Dimensions. The combination of Dimensions, skill speed, the absence of consumables, and being able to control your Salutors’ movements adds strategy to the combat encounters.

Wiktor in a haircut and beard scene, with several different haircut and beard options to choose from
Wiktor, you look like you’ve seen a ghost

The Salutors you receive throughout the game play no role outside of combat and can only be acquired through specific paths you choose; there is no assurance that you will gather them all. While Bukavak is on the title image of the game, Upyr is the most prominent. While Upyr does not have voice-acted roles, they are the one your character will speak with.

The game is not all just about fighting and investigating, with many side quests leading to different collectibles throughout the world. Such as photographs, magazines, music, and sketches. Moreover, you also have the chance to visit a barber to alter your beard and hairstyle. While also seeing the tailor to change Wiktors outfit, these minor customisations are welcome to make Wiktor feel more personal to the player.

Graphics & Audio

One of the standout features of The Thaumaturge is the immersive atmosphere. The game’s environments are beautifully rendered, with intricate details that draw players in and make them feel like they are a part of this dark, magical world. In addition to its captivating gameplay and stunning visuals, it also boasts a rich and complex storyline that will keep players engaged from start to finish. With multiple endings and branching paths, each playthrough offers a new and exciting experience with many different side quests to go through as well.

Throughout the game, you will visit several locations, inviting you to explore the city from various perspectives. Fool’s Theory has intricately designed each locale, capturing the essence of its historical era with impressive attention to detail and atmospheric resonance. They have also beautifully crafted the loading screens, showcasing the high quality of scene models.

Imperial Hotel from The Thaumaturge an oppulent building. With pillars, lion statue, fountain out the front and many windows
Being a Thaumaturge must pay well.

The games cinematic cutscenes, enhance the immersive experience. However, the main drawback is that people often have relatively blank facial expressions, and when they try to portray a smile, it looks awkward. There were occasional instances in scenes where something in the background would flicker rapidly. Especially in the train scene, but this was not frequent. However, it did break the immersion when it happened.

Realistic audio captures the bustling streets of Warsaw, including the sounds of trams, horses and carriages, and people’s chatter. The voice acting in each scene is impressive, though sometimes it can be jarring. Due to accents that don’t always match the Polish setting. Despite this, the actors deliver their lines with emotion and skill, bringing the world of the game to life.


The Thaumaturge boasts an impressive gameplay experience lasting up to 10-12 hours. Thanks to its numerous dialogue options and branching paths, players can enjoy multiple playthroughs with different outcomes based on their choices. However, the game falls short in certain areas, particularly how diverging paths fail to come together satisfyingly.

The Thaumaturge level up area to spend abilitiy points which a large book with a number to the left and several branches coming off from that
Books with numbers, I hope you like maths.

Some narrative elements feel rushed and underdeveloped. Furthermore, some story transitions feel forced and unnatural. Other players may have different experiences based on their choices. Thus, some stories may end earlier or longer than others. It would be good to clarify what path you are going down. Nevertheless, that is the risk you take with choice-based games.

Final Thoughts

The Thaumaturge excels in many aspects, from its immersive yet dark setting to its well-executed characters and skillful turn-based combat.. While it may encounter some issues with pacing and inconsistent delivery, these experiences may differ depending on your choices.

Furthermore, with the addition of plentiful lore pickups and a satisfying gameplay system, it plays well and explains the world in full detail. This game will resonate with RPG enthusiasts seeking a unique experience in a genre saturated with similar options. Even those who typically do not prefer turn-based combat should consider giving it a chance.

I award The Thaumaturge the Thumb Culture Gold Award.

Thumb Culture Gold Award

Disclaimer: A code was received to write this review.

Thumb Culture

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