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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wizard 101

Game: Wizard 101

Publisher: Kings Isle

Download or web based: Download

What you get if you pay: Crowns are used to purchase enhanced items and pets and unlock additional areas and cities.

Review: In Wizard 101 a student wizard is embarking their first trip to school while undertaking the quest of stopping an evil wizard from taking over the worlds. Many worlds make up the Spiral universe than houses Wizard 101. They are accessed via the Wisdom Tree, .

Each basic element has it's own class and with it spells that can be learned. Equipment worn is also dependent on which element a character is.

After taking a short quiz or manually selecting an elemental class to join a player is introduced to and sent on a few introductory quests to meet the other professors and find out how the school runs. As quests are completed experienced is gained and levels are increased, allowing for more powerful “spells” to be learned from the chosen school. Spells utilizing other elements can be learned from the other schools by spending Training Points awarded for completing specific quests.

Combat can be loosely described as “card-based.” A player's collection of spells can be equipped into a deck whose size is limited by the exact deck equipped. Deck customization can be done at any time not in battle. Early on decks are limited to a small number of spells and only 3 copies of each spell are allowed. Later decks allow for larger numbers of spells and more copies to be placed in them.

During a battle a player is given 7 of their equipped spells to choose from. After selecting a spell and target each participant in the battle takes their own turn casting. Damage done to foes is dependent on the strength of the spell, its element, and the element of the targeted enemy. More powerful spells require Points that are gained once per round. These spells have longer animations and do more damage.

Damage from battles is healed by walking into red “sprites” that float around the various combat areas or automatically regenerated in the central areas of cities. Used Mana Points are recharged by walking into the blue “sprites” that also float in the combat areas. Mana Points do not automatically recharge but can be refilled by playing one of 8 mini-games themed in the Wizard 101 world. Potion bottles can be obtained from certain quests. These bottles instantly recharge Hit and Mana Points and can also be refilled from playing mini-games.

Each character is assigned a dorm room that can be used to store unused equipment and decorated with items won in battles or rewarded in quests. After reaching a certain level a house can be purchased and used to store more decorations. Houses come with a yard area that can be improved with trees, statues, and mock-ups of other buildings.

Rating: 3/10 Game play is great and combat varies from battle to battle enough to keep from getting monotonous. Animations from spell casting vary from exciting to funny. Areas and cities are beautiful (or spooky) enough to swallow a player into the environment. Low rating is based strictly on free aspect. Teasing players with the experience then requiring one to purchase Crowns to unlock additional areas to complete quests and advance the storyline is very frustrating. Without taking in to consideration the quick need to unlock areas this game is a definite 9/10.