Wizard Hult


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Rating: 3.8/5 (62 votes)
| Comments (23) | Views (93)

TrickyWizard HultLots of wizards can shoot fireballs. Blasts of ice and electricity aren't so uncommon either. However, creating large stones out of nothingness requires an MC^2 amount of E, so only the most skilled are able to accomplish it. Such is the power of Wizard Hult, star of the new puzzle platformer from Bloblob. Alas, a magnificent beard, an Unseen University scholarship and Earthbending skills that would make Toph and Bumi jealous, is not in and of itself a sufficient display of manliness for the witch, Shiloh, who has caught his eye. And so she wait atop her challenge-filled tower waiting for the wizard to show his dedication... and bring her something expensively shiny.

Wizard Hult is controlled with the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to run and jump, with [down] or [S] used to enter dungeon doors. In each level you use the mouse to drag out rectangles to create stones to jump upon, clicking the blocks again to destroy it, or simply waiting for it to disappear. Your magic gauge limits the stones you can create, but it recharges over time. Enemies such as skeletons and ogre block your path, but the can be killed by dropping a stone of sufficient size and momentum on them. Other obstacles, like ghosts and swinging spiked balls require more platforming finesse. There are twenty levels to travel, twenty treasures to obtain, and many, many deaths between you and your witchy maiden. Go off to see her, wizard!

Wizard Hult screen 2Analysis: There are three things I particularly enjoy about Wizard Hult. First, there is the plot. Basic as it is, It is a delightful twist on the classic "hero storms the castle to rescue the princess and start a romance" tropes. Here, the damsel is a witch and is not the captive but the ruler of her tower and all the challenges therein. What's more, the few lines she has gives her a personality with proper streaks of impish cruelty and greediness. This makes it slightly more realistic that she would feign interest in the lovably-doofy wizard when he shows up to meet her with A) Bags of Treasure and B) The masochistic number of lives lost throughout the castle. I don't think it's a relationship that will last, but the dynamic at play is relatively unusual for video game romances.

Secondly, there is the block-creating spell mechanic in and of itself. This is a genius element to base a game on, and makes for a near perfect balance of its puzzle and platforming elements. I would have liked it if you could create blocks while moving, and some of them seem to disappear way too quickly, but it turns out that a dash of sandbox can work wonders. Thirdly, I always enjoy it when a developer seems to have thought out the full implications of their mechanics, and this here is certainly the case. Sure, the central use of the blocks is the be jumped on, but they can also be dropped on baddies, block fireballs, impede the progress of ogres, and so forth. This might not seem like much but considering this is a medium where wizards with fire spells often have to search for a key instead of being able to light a wooden door on fire, it was nice to see.

Not all of it is perfect, though. There seems to be a couple missed opportunities to use the mechanics in additional ways: physics puzzles and the like. Maybe I'm the only one who never gets tired of the "Drop a weight on the other side of the see-saw to launch yourself into the air" puzzle, but it would have had a natural home here. Also, I would have liked it if wizard could jump the tiniest bit higher... some of the corners of blocks couldn't seem to decide whether I had cleared them or not, making the controls more than a little sticky. Finally, I would have appreciated a little earlier warning re: needing treasures for the "good" ending. Getting some of the treasures requires platforming skill that I apparently don't possess, making it a bit of an anti-climax, though that may be a problem on this side of the screen.

However, the fact that I indeed find myself retrying level after level to collect everything is itself telling. Wizard Hult does have flaws, but they are more than made up for by the unique mechanics at play. Put on your robe and Wizard Hult for a while. You won't regret it.

Play Wizard Hult

23 Comments

The jumping and block-creating(at the same time) needs a little tweaking. Otherwise this is one heck of a platformer intermingled with a little Halloween fever(well sorta)!

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Really fun game. Not sure if this was a bug, but when I got to the end, nothing happened; my wizard just walked into the room where the witch was... and then the submit score window popped up. Kind of anti-climactic.

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Does anyone know what the significance of the cat is?

It can't possibly effect the ending as one might expect, because...there is no ending. So...eh?

Does freeing it just increase your score or something?

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I think there are multiple endings.

Part way through I found an item that I haven't found an immediate use for. I figure that finding a use for it is how to trigger the second ending.

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STEVE:

I assume you're talking about the "strange key". You use that to rescue the cat I asked about in my first comment. The cat says some stuff at you which you could reasonably assume would change the ending, but when I got to the end I just got what Keith described: the wizard walking into the witch's room, followed immediately by your score and the credits.

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The ending definitely needs to be fixed, but you do get what I assume is the changed part if you collect all of the treasures.

It has no context though, so yeah.

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Any help on level 19? I can get to the door (and to the treasure chest) very easily, but how do I get across that gap to the skeleton and the key?

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SkylerF:

Personally, I climb up those stone steps to get to where the door is, and then make "pillars" with those stone steps as a base, and jump across the pillars to get to the skeleton and key.

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I got the key, freed the cat, got all stars and treasures. When I got to the top,

the witch asked for her late husband's treasure and the wizard presented it. They kissed, and then she said "my husband's magic was keeping me beautiful." She turned old & ugly and he ran out screaming. She, the monsters, and the cat chased him while credits ran.

I'm gathering that if you don't do one or the other of those things, nothing happens at all at the top?

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@Zen, I do that, too. But it seems pretty far... It works, though?

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Um...what cat? And how many treasure chests do you have to find for the *good* ending?

I got punched by an ice knight.

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A million stars for Avatar reference. The *real* Avatar.

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Hi everybody, I'm the developer of Wizard Hult. As keith said, the 2nd ending does have a bug, some dialogue disappeared, and now it has been fixed. If you want to see this ending again, please replay the last level.

Anyway, thank you for the comments. Special thanks to Tricky for wrote such a great review! :)

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@anon :
I got the key, freed the cat, got all stars and treasures. When I got to the top.. NOTHING HAPPENED. I just was kicked out of the room, and the credits appeared.
I'd like this to be fixed, dear bloblob. It really is frustrating not to get what you worked hard for.

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I have a problem:my character doens't move!Not with the arrows,nor with W,A,S,D keys....I'm on a Mac,does anyone know what can be done?

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Laurie,

What browser are you using? I don't know why, but on Safari games sometimes don't register the keyboard. I've found this can be fixed for a short time by refreshing the page, but a better fix is to play the game on FireFox. I ran into the same problem but was able to play on FireFox.

Hope this helps!
Alabaster

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WHAT CAT!?

You guys keep mentioning a cat, or a *special* key, and I DON'T SEE IT!

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If you search every level thoroughly, you should find some secrets! ^_____^

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Thanks,Alabaster,i will give it a try on Firefox...Yes,i'm on Safari now...Thanks!

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SkylerF Author Profile Page April 4, 2011 3:12 PM

Okay, I FINALLY found some information on the mysterious and elusive kitty.

You can find a key in a hidden area to the bottom right of level 11. You don't need to beat the level after obtaining the key; it counts if you die then.

But I don't know what to use it for.

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What key do you use to free the cat on level 17, I tried re-entering the game the next day, (cookies) and I can use the key to open the gate but I can't get the cage to open for the cat, do you need to clear the board? stars, treasure, and key. ??? or is there a different key? as second key perhaps ????

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So read the blogs, went back to level 11 got the black key, thanks... but made sure I solved the level, didn't bother with stars or treasure chest but open gate with gold key.

Skipped to level 17 released the cat, died a few times, but cat was no longer there. Went back down used gold key and solved that level opening up door.

Finally went back to level 20 and solved, walked thru the door blah, blah, and got beat up!

So what was the gift I was suppose to bring ?

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Jceun Luc Y. Cordoviz November 30, 2011 2:11 AM

I think it is much better if the ending was a good ending but still the game was interesting i tried many things in order shiloh would get in love but i think i am very upset because of the ending i really love wizards but the ending is what i hate.

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