Wizard 101 is a fun Harry Potter style wizard game brought out by KingsIsle Entertainment. It is a 3-D MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) played in a fantasy realm made up of child wizards who must battle and evil sorcerer.
In the initial entrance into the game, the players are greeted by Merle Ambrose, the headmaster of Wizard Academy. Ambrose takes you as a new wizard by the hand and guides you (with a tutorial) through the initial game playing sequences, which includes a duel, so that players get the gist of how things go.
Players can choose, by answering a series of questions, what type of wizard they want to be, how they will look and what name they want to go by. The game offers a good variety to give the player their own look and feel for the character they wish to be in the game. This combined with a great graphics environment adds a lot to the personalization of the game.
There are seven levels of spells that a player can use in the game, which are:
Fire – the fire spell tends to do damage over time without a lot of initial damage, but your potential builds up the longer a fight lasts. With a fire spell you have the unique ability to stun your enemies.
Ice – Of all the wizards, ice wizards have the highest health and defense ratings. Many of the ice wizards’ spells have to do with increasing defense and absorbing damage. If you choose to be an ice wizard, you are inevitably invaluable in a group fight situation because you can taunt the enemy and force them to target yourself so that others can take the enemy out.
Storm – Storm wizards have the lowest health rating, but have the ability to remove buffs and rebuffs. They have the ability of doing the heavy damage, but this is at the expense of accuracy.
Life – Life wizards can heal other wizards and even perform group healing. They are considered within the supportive branch of magic. Their offensive moves deliver low damage, but are highly accurate.
Myth – These are the ‘summoners’ of the game. They possess minimal offensive abilities and most of their spells are to do with buffing and healing their minions who do the grunt work.
Death – Death spells are from a complicated branch of magic that tends to deal with low damage, but have the ability to absorb health and heal the caster. Death wizards can build up chain spells to create powerful combos.
Balance – Balance wizards tend to do a little of everything, as in a balance of power. They can buff other players or hold their own in battles, but they lack the ability to truly shine in any one area.
The players must complete various quests, learn new spells and explore the different realms of the gaming environment of Wizard 101. The evil sorcerer that has to be defeated in the end is Malistare Drake.
Initially the Wizard 101 game is free to play, and the initial zones will take hours of game play to complete, but eventually beyond the 6th or 7th level, players must pay a subscription fee to go further in the game. The subscription fee is only about $10 per month or you can purchase a new zone piece by piece. The premium currency in the game is called crowns and can be purchased in batches of $5 or more.
Wizard 101 has a card-based combat routine. The combat is relatively slow-paced but the concept of each wizard being able to cast a spell on each other while using the card-based system actually works well together. Players start with drawing from a randomly drawn pack of cards from their deck, which can be customized, and draw a new card each turn. There are damage spell cards, healing spell cards and buff/rebuff spell cards. The process of the card game is explained well in the tutorial.
As a game, Wizard 101 rates high on the list of game playability, even though it may be simpler than some other games. Set in a Harry Potter style environment it is well suited to younger players or those just starting out in online gaming (or those who just love magic and wizard games.) It is well worth the effort of downloading the initial free game portion to see if you wish to go further in this game’s environment.