Wizard's Run


BradWizard's RunFor those of you thinking your prayers for a fantasy-themed game based on the classic novel and movie "Logan's Run" (a group whose massive numbers I can only assume swells somewhere between 0 and 1) have been answered, you'll have to keep waiting. Wizard's Run is, however, based on the concept of wizards combined with the concept of movement towards things and with an overall killing things theme.

It's a top-down retro shooter where you'll maneuver your wizard using the [arrow] keys. Some kind of evil is summoning a ton of evil bats, warlocks and goblins (or maybe they're orcs or possibly just green vikings), and you'll have to take them down if you're going to get anywhere. You can have three spells equipped at a time and they're bound to the [Z], [X] and [C] keys. As you mow down the baddies, you'll get experience points. When you level up you'll get skill points to invest in one of the three spell trees: fire, ice and divine. To switch which spells you have equipped or to spend your skill points hit [spacebar] and you'll bring up the spell menu.

Wizard's Run starts off very slow. The enemies are sparse and your wizard moves like molasses. After a couple levels and a couple new spells everything starts to pick up and it gets really fun. Keep in mind that Wizard's Run is a very simple game and is old-school in how pared down it is. There are no sidequests, nothing to explore and the story is limited to "something evil is afoot... KILL!" This isn't a bad thing, it keeps the game quick and focused, just don't expect an expansive gameplay experience. You also shouldn't expect pretty graphics, the visuals in Wizard's Run are mostly utilitarian. They won't wow you, but they're not sloppy and the enemies have a simple charm, even if there's not a lot of variety.

When you keep a game this simple you're almost guaranteed solid gameplay and that's just what Wizard's Run delivers. There is one problem; the lack of a skill reset button combined with a level cap. If you screw up distributing your skill points you can run into some problems. Aside from that, there's not much else wrong. The difficulty ramps up in a way that you might have to play some levels over again to beat them, but you won't have to go back to previous levels and grind to make progress. Also, despite your wizard's kind of bulky design I found myself being able to dodge enemy projectiles most of the time.

Simple, quick and fun are the best words to describe Wizard's Run. if you can get past the slow start and can appreciate a game with old-school values you'll have a blast with Wizard's Run. The solid gameplay more than makes up for lackluster visuals and while the lack of a skill reset can be frustrating if you spend your skill points wisely you'll find the difficulty to be just right.

Play Wizard's Run

6 Comments

Now that you mention it, I could definitely go for an RPG based on the movie Logan's Run.

Good catch on the level-cap/no-reset; I found, the hard way, that trying to be a generalist, instead of a specialist, was a recipe for disaster. (You've been forewarned.)

Fun, but very easy. I played it through with the "ice" skills, got at least a silver medal if not a gold through each level (and came back for the 2 golds I missed in case there was a special reward -- there wasn't).

I might try "fire" or "divine" to see if they give any kind of a different feel, but it was a fun quick little old-school romp.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit when I found it a week or so ago. I played through three times, "majoring" in one skill and "minoring" in another. My preferred method was to get both projectiles in each skill leveled up as much as possible and use my third spell slot for ice/fire storms or judgment. (I wasn't nuts about the circular spells in fire/ice.) You should be able to just hold down the two projectiles with little to no decrease in mana, while the third spell comes in when things get hairy. (Also, every now and again I switch in healing, but I only needed this for survival once I got good enough to beat every level unscathed.) I particularly liked "majoring" in fire to get the triple fireball and "minoring" in ice, getting the bonuses to damage done to frozen/slowed enemies and ice storm.

I played as a generalist without knowing about the level cap. At one point I just kept dying on level 6 (and before that 5, and before that 4), but then I found the secret...

Smite, Icebolt, and Fireball. Just hold down ZXC whenever you're standing in front of an enemy, and (basically) instant death for them. 6, 7, 8, and even 9 were easy. As long as I didn't hold it down too long and deplete my mana (which took forever and a half to recharge), I was set.

I disliked having the level cap; it meant I had no reason to use anything but that which was easy. Plus, levels got repetitive after the introduction of the last new enemy around level 6 or so.

I enjoy upgrade games, but level caps turn me off to them entirely, especially if it means you can't upgrade completely. I don't think I'll be finishing this one because of it.

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