ENDER MAGNOLIA: Bloom In The Mist Early Access Impressions

ENDER MAGNOLIA: Bloom In The Mist is the sequel to the well-received Metroidvania ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights from Binary Haze Interactive and Adglobe, Live Wire Inc.

Released on March 25, 2024, we were fortunate to check out the first three chapters of this challenging yet beautiful game. While it is set in the universe of Ender Lilies, it differs by way of sub-genre, visuals, and characters. Though the overall aesthetic and gameplay have been retained from Ender Lilies, Ender Magnolia stands strong on its own.

Meet Lilac

You take the role of Lilac, an Attuner, who wakes up to a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by Mutants and rogue Homunculi. Once bound to protect and serve humanity, these homunculi have grown mad and are a danger to everyone. As she traverses the dangerous world and tunes the rogue homunculi she defeats, they aid her in finding the answers behind her cryptic memories and seeking out the truth that destroys the world.

Just like Ender Lilies, the story of Ender Magnolia is largely told in quick video snippets and flavor text. As you defeat area bosses, you unlock Lilac’s memories as well as your vanquished foes. While the story suspends after vanquishing both area bosses in the available biomes, you can continue to play and level up by repeating the previously explored areas.

ender magnolia combat


Ender Magnolia has undergone significant enhancements in both its visuals and gameplay, setting it apart from its predecessor, Ender Lilies. The upgraded 2D sprite animations now offer a visually pleasing experience, and the once static frames from Ender Lilies have transformed into gritty, stylized slideshows that immerse players in the game’s world, creating a cinematic feel as each chapter unfolds.

The user interface has also received a major overhaul. The menus and in-game map now exude a true Metroidvania vibe, making navigation effortless. Players can customize their protagonist, Lilac, by equipping various outfits. Additionally, the intel section provides codex information (currently inaccessible in early access), while the collection screen accurately tracks amulet fragments, eliminating the guesswork from the previous installment.

Beyond aesthetics, Ender Magnolia introduces a novel equipment system alongside the relics featured in Ender Lilies. Instead of collecting blights, players gather materials to construct equipment at the town’s store. Gone are the days of random power-ups; now, equipment directly enhances your stats as needed.

ender magnolia menu

The game world gains depth through towns and friendly characters. Unlike many Metroidvanias that can feel isolating, Ender Magnolia offers townsfolk to engage with and displaced individuals to assist, fostering a sense of a lived-in universe.

Gameplay mechanics also see substantial improvements. While Ender Lilies limited players to three spirits with two loadouts, Ender Magnolia allows binding four homunculi to usable skills. These skills have unlimited uses, each with unique cooldown times and attack parameters, enabling seamless switching between your arsenal.

This feature creates more strategies towards fighting mutants and bosses compared to Ender Lilies. You’re not just reliant on your melee weapon, but you can implement different ways of attacking with your current selection.

A Short but Sweet Ongoing Experience

In our four-hour journey through Ender Magnolia’s early levels, this game holds immense potential, surpassing its predecessor in terms of experience and excitement. There are no dire consequences for defeat, alleviating the fear of dying, but the bosses continue to pose significant challenges, demanding strategic thinking and persistence.

Among the many challenging bosses in the game, a couple truly tested our mettle, pushing us to our limits. One encounter, in particular, proved embarrassingly time-consuming. However, these trials only fueled our determination to conquer the game.

Similar to Ender Lilies, defeating bosses in Ender Magnolia grants access to unique abilities. Additionally, some bosses yield rare components that unlock further powers. Imagine transforming your basic sword into a scythe or an axe, or enhancing your rocket punch with elemental damage. Directional projectiles can even take on saw or drill functions, widening your choice of weapons.

ender magnolia story

After completing your run, you can always test out your new powers on the unsuspecting mutants or start a new game to revisit past bosses to test out new strategies and builds.

Future Updates

The first three chapters are available as of writing, and the story moves along once you have defeated the area boss that controls the biome. There is still no news of future console release dates, so for now we can endlessly repeat what we have available in Early Access.

Ender Magnolia is a promising title that greatly improves on Ender Lilies and then some. We will certainly check back for future updates, hoping to experience more of the game and its world throughout its early access phase!

ENDER MAGNOLIA: Bloom in the Mist is now available on Early Access on Steam.

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