I admit it, I mocked Magicka sight unseen. The name alone conjured an image of a bad third person action adventure game and I walked into my hands-on session with Paradox Interactive pre-disposed. I didn't expect to be pleasantly surprised by its innovative nature, nor to walk out of that demo still thinking about it and dying to play it again!
G4tv GDC 2010 Preview
At first glance, Magicka looks like your typical co-op action/adventure game. You control a young wizard and fight off hordes of creatures like goblins and spiders a la Gauntlet. There is no level system or other RPG mechanic; this is an action game. But like its name implies, there's a trick up its sleeve. One that yields one of the coolest spell combo systems I've seen in recent years.
Remember when Dragon Age: Origins was heralded as having an inventive spell system. You could Grease the ground, and then cast a fire-based spell on the Grease to make it catch fire. I always thought that spell combinations was a clever idea, but when I actually played through the game, I found myself rarely experimenting with anything of the sort. While NOT an RPG, Magicka is full of experimentation as you dabble with its mystical arts.