In Hypnotic Owl's turn-based puzzle The Wizard, titular magic maestro Kevin loses his most precious treasure... his face. That's right, someone has literally made off with his moneymaker, and he has no choice but to pursue the thief through the sewers and into a dangerous castle filled with tricks, traps, treasure, and beasties galore that would love to chew Kevin's non-existent face right off. The game is divided into levels, with the goal being to make it safely past any dangers and to the exit, casting spells to deal with anything that gets in your way. Click and drag on green tiles to make a path, but beware... monsters will come after you if they spot you. You can click a creature to see its range, which will be helpful in planning your method of attack. See, as you play, you'll unlock new spells for Kevin (how great a wizard can he be if he literally has no magic until you find it for him?) that need to be triggered by drawing specific patterns. When you find a spell, it'll go to his notebook in the upper-right corner of the screen for you to refer to. Click on Kevin, and then draw the spell's path around him to cast. As you incinerate monsters, you'll actually level up, which can earn you points to upgrade spells you've discovered. Sadly, no upgrade for the Magic Missile will allow you to attack the darkness. Hey, can I have a Mountain Dew?
A lot of games have tried gesture-based magic spells in the past, but The Wizard takes a potentially fiddly system and makes it easy to use with the inclusion of simple symbols. While you can refer to your spell book at any time, the spell patterns are small enough to be immediately committed to memory, and their types are varied so that all of them feel useful. Stages tend to be perhaps a little overly large for the concept, but they're well planned out in such as way as to force you to think and plot your way through them like a puzzle in order to win. Unfortunately, the lack of checkpoints or even an undo function means that if you back Kevin into a corner, there's nothing to do but restart the entire level, which grates considering how slow getting through a stage can be. A single wrong step or realizing you should have tackled enemies in a different order can be killer, which wouldn't be such an issue if the stages were smaller and just more tightly designed. There's no way to go back and replay stages if you didn't kill all the monsters to get all the experience either. Still, The Wizard still looks great and has a wonderful sense of tongue-in-cheek humour, and puzzle fans with patience won't mind learning the ropes and the moves and limitations of each monster. Kevin has a ways to go before he's on the same level as Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light, but he's got a good start.