Wizardous: 8-bit Difficulty for a New Era
In Wizardous: An Apprentice's Betrayal, you play as a great and powerful wizard. He's betrayed by an underhanded apprentice, and cast into the unforgivable depths of his own castle. Thus, he sets forth on a tale of revenge and redemption. Wizardous is available for the iOS, Google Play, Amazon, and Nook. It was developed and published by indie company Broken Crayon Games, and was made available as of October 22nd, 2013.
Wizardous is a side scrolling, action, platformer. The controls are imbedded into the screen. There are left and right arrows to move the wizard, and a jump button. Other buttons, in the form of powers, become available as you progress through the castle. You also use the jump button to climb ladders.
You're trapped within the dungeons of your own castle. You must guide the wizard through this labyrinth, while gathering orbs, revealing keys, and opening doorways. Oh, and avoiding traps. Lots and lots of traps. There are enemies, crumbling blocks, spears, pits, spiked walls, and every other form of chaos, that are trying to keep you from escaping alive.
There aren't any continues. No health bar. No magic meter. You have one life, and if you die, you start all over again. And you will die. Over, and over again. It's simple, but very, very difficult.
8-bit and adorable! The graphics are a throw back to a retro era, in a time when chiptunes and small blips and bloops were considered the height of gaming. Colors are vibrant, effects are luminous and flashy, while the characters and enemies are cute, squashed sprites, with limited animation.
The 8-bit style is great. It reminds me of old school platformers, ala the retro Metroid or Castlevania series, but with a Final Fantasy touch. I mean, the Wizard reminds me of a Black Mage, and how can you go wrong with that? The visual style brings me back to a time when games didn't rely on flashy graphics, or blood to be a game. It was about fun, challenge, and guiding a tiny sprite through mayhem, in hopes of avoiding destruction. 8-bit, those were the days!
I also love the concept of playing a wizard, hurled into the bottom of his own castle. It's a story that has been done before, yes, but I don't think I've ever seen it done in 8-bit? At least in any games I've ever played, and I love wizards. Mixing magic with the uber difficult genre of games that have arisen as of late, like Super Meat Boy, puts an interesting twist on Wizardous that I'm sure many gamers will appreciate. Especially those of us that adore fantasy!
It's hard and soulfully unforgiving. With one hit kills, and fast moving object and enemy A.I., Wizardous is harder than I think it should be. But I guess that was the intention, for it to be rage throwingly hard? Then it succeeds. There is a charming game to be had, but the difficulty kind of took the experience in a less than satisfactory direction, for me. But, then again, I play games on easy to avoid the challenge, so that's probably just me.
What I had the biggest issue with were the controls. The controls are decent, but take a bit of getting use to. I don't game very much on the ipad, and when I do, there's usually full touch screen support. I feel that a game like Wizardous needs a control pad in order to maneuver through it decently. You know, something you can feel in your hands, and react to, in order to step up to the daunting challenges.
As it stands, the controls work against it. At least they did to me. A lot of my deaths were due to my fingers drifting away from the controls, and not imputing the right jump, or timing the obstacles, simply because I couldn't tell if my fingers were still on the buttons.
Despite the difficulty, the game is still in development. It's free from October 22nd to October 31st. After that, there's an early release deal that starts on November 1st to November 13th for $0.99. The early release will also have all 30 levels, plus some additional cut scenes. If you purchase the early release, you'll receive the official release for free!
It launches, officially on November 14th and will cost $2.99. The official release will contain levels 31-40, every cut scene, and finally conclude the Wizardous saga! There will also be some great bonus level challenges, such as time limits and Easter Eggs that you can unlock during special levels.
While you play, you get to rate and send glitch information straight to the developers! Which is great, since it looks like they're taking an active role with their player base, and listening to suggestions on how to make the game better. I love when developers speak directly to their consumers. Learn more about Wizardous and Broken Crayon at www.brokencrayongames.com/wizardous. If you like fantasy, and mind numbingly hard challenges, then Wizardous is something you should definitely look into! I look forward to playing the full, official version, of the game on November 14th, 2013.