Gregory, welcome to the wizarding world. I am Merlin and I will be your guide and instructor in your studies. From broom riding to spell casting, I can teach you all you need to know. Ready yourself to become a wizard. Now go clean the chicken coops and stalls.
Wand Wars is a local multiplayer battle arena game developed by Moonradish and tells the story of Gregory, an apprentice of Merlin, as he tries to prove himself worthy to compete in a tournament against other wizards. This game provides three different modes to choose from: the story, trials, and versus. The story contains six different campaigns starting with Gregory and ending with a mysterious hooded character known as the challenger. The other characters are rather interesting as well, one being Merlin’s cat that transformed into a beast and a robot that was built by Gregory to help him with the chores. Each campaign can be played on either normal or legendary difficulty to give additional experience and provide a larger challenge for the player to overcome. From my experience in the game, the legendary difficulty is rather easy for the first couple sections but turns pretty brutal during the final levels. Trials mode is a wave-based version of the multiplayer that pits the player against increasingly challenging bosses to achieve a high score on the leaderboard.
Versus mode, the meat & potatoes of the game, can be played against either AI opponents or with up to three other human players. Versus mode comes equipped with five different modes to choose from including Arcane Arena, Team Arena, Merlinball, Hexout, and Team Hexout. Arcane Arena and its team based counterpart is a deathmatch-style game mode containing a magical sphere that is hit around by the players. Characters can be eliminated by either being struck by the ball after the enemy hits it or through the use of power-ups scattered around the map. Merlinball is a team based game similar to soccer in which the objective is to score the sphere into the opposing goal. Players can be eliminated to give an advantage, but the respawn is rather quick. Hexout is a deathmatch-style mode similar to the arena, but there is no sphere and the eliminations must be done with power-ups.
Visually this game has a retro feel. The visuals are reminiscent of 8-bit graphics and the game goes hand in hand with it. This title feels like it could have been released on the NES and would have fit right in. The music in the game is soothing and rather relaxing. The other noises in the game fit in with the nostalgic feeling. The only noise that is not too pleasant is the gibberish-sounding noise used during the dialogue between characters.
When I was provided this title, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I had not even heard about this title, but I am a fan of local multiplayer battle arenas. In the beginning, the game was enjoyable, the campaigns gave a decent bit story, and the multiplayer was fun to play. However, the campaigns were extremely short and the content just seemed limited. I noticed early on that I was just doing the same thing over and over again and it became quite tedious. The power-ups previously mentioned were the main thing that kept this title interesting. After leveling up a bit, I was able to unlock a set of power-ups known as the cloud sentinel and the cloud beast. These two abilities turned the character into a cloud of smoke with either a diamond on its head, for the sentinel, or a giant set of teeth, for the beast. These abilities gave a different feel for the game as you were chasing down the opponents instead of waiting for a sphere to come to you in the wizard version of dodgeball. Nevertheless, the game still feels short a bit. The story was cool and the multiplayer is fun, but the game eventually became too repetitive. While I enjoyed the game, it just couldn’t hold my attention for much longer.
In the end, Wand Wars is a neat battle arena title that is great for parties or a nice family game night. The game is family friendly and is suitable for everyone. It is priced at $12 USD, which I feel is fair. The game provides a good amount of content but just falls short due to repetitiveness. So, grab your wands, ready your brooms, and don your favorite cloak, the tournament is about to start!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 6.5/10
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