Commodore User


Wiz
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Commodore User #46

Wiz

Wiz

Games seem to be getting more and more complicated. I can remember the days when it was just a question of keeping your finger on the fire button and blasting everything in sight. Now it seems the only way to succeed is if you are endowed with the tactical foresight of Bobby Fisher, combined with the murderous instincts of Ghengis Khan.

Not that I'm complaining, you understand, I'm all for it, more value for money and all that. It isn't half hard-going for us poor reviewers, though. But enough of this whining, you will by now have gathered that Wiz is quite a toughie.

The plot, briefly. Good buys and bad guys, right. The good guys live on the bright side, the bad guys live on the dark side. The bad guys are trying to muscle in on the good guys' territory. The good guys (The Council of Wizards) are a bit thick and can't see a way out so you (a low-level wiz) take it upon yourself to do the business.

Wiz

To save the world from doom, destruction and other pretty evil and undesirable consequences you must become a powerful fifth-level wizard and discover the spell which will separate the two worlds by breaking the links between them. Spells figure pretty big in this game, what with it being about wizards and such like. The important thing to know is that spells are prepared with runes - kind of ingredients in spell soup. Different combinations of runes give you different spells - no good knocking up a minestrone when a Heinz cream of mushrooms is what you're after, get my meaning?

To come to the point, two of the runes you need to make the powerful spell which will break the links between the lands are on the dark side - not a pleasant place, but go there you must. Getting there is a question of moving your little wiz fella around the very nicely drawn 3D screen which scrolls in whatever direction when you reach the edge. This is known as 'move and cast' mode (sounds like a novel fishing technique), the reason begin that you move around and cast, or fire spells at the various little horrors that attack you.

Initially you're a bit short on spells, you can find three of them in your spellbook (read spellbook mode). These can be added to buy going into 'buy spell' mode when a wizard is on the screen. Buying spells drains your magical power, as does bumping into little horrors, so watch you don't kill yourself by going into the magical power overdraft mode.

Wiz

Having stocked up with a few spells you really ought to try your hand at using them. Nothing for it but to enter 'prepare spell' mode. Well, there is something actually, first you'll have to try out 'read spellbook'. In this mode you can flip through the pages of the old recipe book which shows you which combination of runes make the juicy little number you're after. Now you can go for prepare spell mode. Just select the runes in the correct order and hey presto (you'll be impressed), a brand new spell to try out on an unsuspecting sprite.

Like I said, it's a toughie and there's a good deal to it. If I explained the lot in detail, by the time you reached the end you'd be more than halfway through the Hotshots page - yes yes they screams [Ho bloody ho! - Dep Ed]. The general gist is that you wiz around making spells with runes and casting them at things, admiring the pretty scenery en route, eventually making your way to the dark side to find the two missing runes.

There's lots of fancy tricks and confusing complications that are fun to discover and overcome. The trick, if there is one, is to be lightning fast at buying spells and doing the other things that require you to stand still and open yourself to attack. That's something I haven't quite got the hang of yet. By Christmas, I just might get it sussed. Until then...

Ken McMahon

Wiz

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