Welcome Time Wasters!
This week my Time Waster came at the suggestion of John Breeden. He was nice enough to point out a small, indie game called The Wizard to me. No, this has nothing to do with Super Mario Bros. 3 or a Power Glove.
The Wizard puts players in the role of Kevin, a young wizard in training. Kevin wakes up one night to discover that his beautiful face has been stolen. Not ready to live a life without beauty, he jumps up and chases the face thief through sewers, dungeons, towers and everything in between.
The Wizard is best described as a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements. Maps are set up in a grid format that restricts players’ and enemies’ movement to up, down, left and right. Most attacks are also limited in the same manner, but there are some that can be sent diagonally. Defeating enemies earns players experience and after enough is gained a spell can be upgraded.
The Wizard features a slew of spells for players to learn. These spells can be found lying around and hidden in secret areas. Each spell can be leveled up twice and every level increases its effect. I found 10 different spells when I played through the game and I wouldn’t be surprised it I missed some.
Moving and casting spells is all controlled though the mouse in The Wizard. Movement is as easy as clicking ahead or dragging the green movement marker to a destination. Spells are cast by making symbols on a 3×3 square of dots that surrounds Kevin. These patterns are easy to remember and make for quick casting of spells.
The graphics in The Wizard are really good. Yes, they have the retro look to them, but it’s easy to tell that a lot of attention was paid to detail in the sprites for spells and characters. They aren’t the most detailed I’ve seen, but often times really detailed sprites can cause a game to lose its retro feel. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what the developer is going for.
The audio in The Wizard is enjoyable to listen to. The sound effects are great and there’s a lot of humor added into the voices for some of the enemies. The game also features a wide variety of music that changes depending on what area the player is in.
The Wizard is a free game that can be played in a person’s web browser. This is great. I love free stuff. Who doesn’t? However, if the developers were willing to expand the story and magic system a little, I wouldn’t be against paying for this game on Steam or my Wii U. The turn-based combat combined with the easy and fun magic system actually had me diving right back into the game after I had completed it. It also helps that the game features three different difficulties to give players an extra challenge. I could easily see this being a $5 download.
If it isn’t already apparent, I really enjoyed The Wizard. The game doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does bring really solid gameplay combined with good graphics and audio.
The Wizard earns 4 GiN Gems out of 5!