Tribute Games’ debut release is a very nostalgic mix of 16 bit adventure with block breaking at heart, but those who are looking for a more prominent RPG element will be disappointed – Wizorb encompasses the style and atmosphere, but doesn’t venture much further than that.
Packed full of the paddle game classics, there are a variety of traditional power ups for you to unlock as you progress through each of its five, individually themed worlds, using keys to access bonus areas and shops in-game. Your score becomes secondary in Wizorb, however, instead focusing a lot more on collecting coins, which can be spent on paddle upgrades and saving the people of Gorudo from an evil curse.
What really sets Wizorb apart from the Arkanoid clones is the injection of ‘magic’, allowing you to use skills such as teleport, fireball and wind to manipulate each level to your advantage. You have a limited amount of power, but it can be refilled by collecting red potions or in slow regeneration.
My main criticism of this game would lie in its difficulty – or lack thereof. With 12 stages to every world, it felt more time consuming than challenging and I quickly got into a routine where I was finishing levels purely to get back into the World Map. Power ups, such as sticky paddle, made each stage increasingly mundane as it became more a matter of catch and aim. However, this is not so much a fault in Wizorb, but of the genre itself, and can be easily rectified by self-imposing your own limits and restrictions – I found that playing on Hard difficulty and refusing all paddle upgrades created an entirely new experience and definitely made it a lot more intense in terms of gameplay.
I found myself pleasantly surprised to find that this game actually does have a lot of replayability value, with 20 varying achievements littered throughout. Furthermore, I found myself revisiting past levels multiple times in order to build up gold and my score, despite there being absolutely no requirement too – obtaining the amulet was certainly a rewarding experience, especially so in its use ingame.
Overall, this is a very fun and satisfying puzzle game, but don’t expect much more out of it – the RPG elements are essentially to add atmosphere and style, coating it in a classic 16 bit finish. If you’re looking to kill boredom without emptying your wallet, then I highly recommend this game. Either way, Tribute Games have definitely set themselves up as an exciting new developer with a lot of potential for the future.
Buy it from the website here
Get it on Steam here