Commodore User

Wizard Wars

Author: Mark Patterson
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #62

Wizard Wars

The game that takes fantasy role-playing one step further... Well, that's what it says here. What it fails to state is in which direction. And for that fact it's not so much FRP; in fact, all we have here is a basic fantasy arcade adventure. Stand it shoulder to shoulder with The Bard's Tale and Wizard Warz loses by an instant KO.

Your aim is to become the greatest wizard in all the land, and to achieve this you have to go around being as violent as possible, blasting off magic left, right and centre, decapitating spiders, ghouls and other wizards.

Stretched over a mind-numbing three levels, your little wiz has to collect spells, trinkets and magic items to help turn him from the warlock equivalent of a .22 pea shooter into a cruise missile.

Wizard Warz

The wizard has three ratings, phy, spi and men each corresponding to a set of spells. Casting the appropriate spell reduces x amount of points from that particular stat until it's depleted or death occurs.

The spells come in two categories - offense and defence [Hud, hud - Ed]. An offensive spell can be something like a fireball or mind blast, costing different amounts of points and causing a set amount of damage. The defensive spells can be forms of shield, flying, speed or teleporting spells.

Level one is quite simple: kill the monsters and return their treasure to the appropriate town. Level two instigates the 'choose your own monster' option, whereby you cycle through a list of monsters, select the one you wish to fight and then attempt to duff it up.

Wizard Warz

Finally you're transported to the castle of the seven mages, whereby you're set upon by the first of the rival wizards, a Wolf Lord. Your wizard's attributes are altered to match those of your opponent, thus making the combat nice and even.

As role playing tends to go this is extremely bad, with no problem solving and no sense or feeling of true role-play. To describe it as a soggy arcade adventure would be more apt. For a start, the graphics are very poor in the essential places and very nice where it doesn't really count. The play area is a small circle in the top centre of the screen which starts off tiny and steadily grows smaller as you lose energy. The character pictures at the side of the screen are well-defined cameos of your adversaries, which is more than I can say for the monsters themselves, which are the same sprite as the main character, bar the colour of their cloak.

Take my advice (after all, that's what I'm here for!) and keep away from this one.

Mark Patterson

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