Wizorb caught me by surprise in a great way. It combined a game I used to play constantly, Arkanoid, with retro looks and some additional RPG-like elements in a way that made me want to keep playing. It’s strange to think it’s possible to combine two incredibly different types of games together, but hey, they did it with Puzzle Quest. Why shouldn’t it be possible to make another hybrid game that feels both casual and very deep simultaneously?
While Arkanoid might be a name some don’t recognize, many will understand it as the “block breaking game” involving a moveable paddle and a ball whizzing around, destroying blocks left and right in an effort to clear the board. Wizorb adds a new layer to the whole “break the blocks!” scenario – random enemies present on the map that much be destroyed as well. There are even bosses sometimes! Players must use the ball and paddle to destroy everything on screen that can be destroyed, and from there gain fame across the land as the savior!
Seriously though, there’s more to it than that. The savior in question, Master Cyrus, is also a powerful wizard capable of casting spells during each little map. There’s a fireball spell, a white magic wind thing, and others. My favorite is charging the ball up by hitting the black magic spell key – X by the way – which gives it some extra oomph in heading blocks or hitting enemies.
Breaking blocks mid-map will cause items to fly down which refill your mana or give you some extra gold to throw around. It’s weird to think that an Arkanoid-styled game would use money, but it can be spent on supplies for your wizard as well as donated to help the ailing people rebuild their homes. Granted, you have to get past those boss characters first and help rid the land of evil before you can go spending it willy nilly.
The one thing that I enjoyed the most about this game were the retro styled graphics. I felt like I was back on the NES, playing some old game that I always enjoyed. I don’t know why, but that’s what I got from it. The 8 bit look for the game is great and the colors pop very well. And maybe this is just me being spoiled from the orchestral soundtracks of more recent AAA titles, but the music in this does get a little repetitive. It’s nice to listen to the first few times, but I can’t keep hearing the same tracks!
Wizorb is a fun game though, and a very enjoyable mini (or mobile game). If you want something that’s addictive and fun without being crazy deep, give it a shot and save Gorudo from evil. And be a kind soul and donate 500gp to help that farmer with his cows.Note: Wizorb was reviewed on PlayStation 3. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.