Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wizorb Review

I must firstly say, Wizorb was not what I was expecting it to be. From the little I had read and seen of it, prior to actually playing it, my expectations were that it was going to be somewhat similar to retro Zelda games. Top down action adventure games with some puzzles and dungeons. What I got instead was a brick breaking game that looks and feel like it want to be something else. As you can probably tell it didn't make a great first impression on me.

As a brick breaking game it hold true to the old formula but also adds in it's own extras. You can wander around a town and upgrade it by giving money to the townfolk. I can see that the game is harkening back to old school games like Zelda and Golden Axe Warrior (for all the MasterSystemers out there) but what you get instead is a game where you bounce a ball against some multicoloured blocks and sometimes enemies. That is if you can really call them that. So far all I have hit is little cat beings of some sort and I don't really know why I had to hit them either. Anyway back to the gameplay, in addition to bouncing the ball and you also have your magic, what with you being a wizard and all that makes sense, were A and B (if you are using an Xbox controller) either shoot a fireball or make a gust of wind to alter where the orb will go. But asside from these basic magical abilities you are left simply bouncing. When compared with Shatter the actual gameplay doesn't hold up very well. However, the bouncing is enjoyable enough and the ability to just shoot that one block you are struggling to get is really useful. Also as you progress through the game you unlock additional power-up but are always limited to having two active at a time.

Wizorb's pixel art is beautiful. I, for one, am a big fan of the retro look they have gone with. It really makes you forget that you are playing a brick-breaker and feels like you are going on a sweeping adventure across the Kingdom of Gorudo and the presentation of the Kingdom really does it justice. Also by allowing Cyrus (wizard man) to donate money to the villagers you really see Tarot (the village) come back to life in full 2D pixel glory.

The soundtrack is another aspect that looks back to days gone by through its catchy 8 bit beats. However, if you get stuck on no magic and you can't quite hit that last block the music can become an irritant instead. Most of the time though it is nice to have the change back to how it used to be.

Overall if you like brick-breakers you could do worse but you could also do better. However, with Wizorb's great world to explore it certainly gives you a different type of brick-breaker that I certainly haven't seen before. It is shame that the gameplay can get stale and that you have to beat 12 levels in a row in order to be able to save the game but it is still enjoyable all the same. Just a shame there are better alternatives to Wizorbs mash-up of the RPG (kinda) and brick-breaking genres.

 Score: 65/100

General Information:

Game Name: Wizorb
Genre: Brick-breaker
Developer: Tribute Games
Release date: 14th March 2012
Bundle: Humble Bundle 6
Additional: Comes with soundtrack if you buy it from Humble Bundle 6
System Requirements:
OS: Windox XP or later
Processor: 2.0GHz
Memory: 1GB
OS: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later
Processor: Intel
Memory: 1 GB
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
Processor: 2.0 GHz
Memory: 1 GB
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM