Magic Carpet is a video game released by Bullfrog in 1994. Its graphics and gameplay were considered innovative and technically impressive at the time. A revised edition, Magic Carpet Plus, included the Hidden Worlds expansion pack which added 25 levels and a winter-themed tileset. The title also had a sequel released in 1995, Magic Carpet 2. Magic Carpet was considered by fans and critics alike to be a revolutionary game for its time and several aspects of it are still unique today.
The player plays a wizard (on a magic carpet) flying over water, mountains, and other terrain while destroying monsters and rival wizards (which are controlled by the computer) and collecting "mana" which is gathered by hot air balloons and stored in the player's own castle.
The story is told in a cutscene that depicts the pages of a book being flipped. According to this back story, mana was discovered and though it initially had beneficial uses, the quest for it made the lands barren. Worse, many corrupt wizards began turning to mana for their own nefarious purposes, eventually leading to war between them. The battling wizards began using more destructive spells and summoning deadly monsters, the latter of which often turned against them. One wizard hoped to end everything with an all-powerful spell but instead only left the worlds shattered. Only his apprentice survived and his goal is to restore the worlds to equilibrium.
Greater amounts of mana stored in the castle allow the player to cast more powerful spells. As the player expands the castle, it spawns additional mana-collecting balloons and armed guards that defend the castle against attacks by enemy wizards. Besides storing mana, the player's castle also serves as a home base for the player where he cannot be killed and where he can regain health and mana.
Victory is attained by storing in one's castle the necessary percentage of the total mana in the current level (or "world"), restoring it to "equilibrium". The total mana level is fixed in a given world (unless expanded by cheat codes), though it is not in free form and thus must be acquired by killing enemy wizards and monsters. Often, a necessary proportion of mana can only be released by the defeat of a high level wizard or powerful monster.
The magic carpet can be piloted in 3 dimensions, similar to a helicopter, although the player cannot roll and it is impossible to crash.
At the end of the game, after level 50 "Volcania" has been beaten, a cutscene shows the apprentice flying away on his carpet and the book cover closing.