Review of the Wizard 101 MMORPG

Wizard 101 Logo

Wizard 101 by KingsIsle Entertainment Inc is an unique game. It’s free to try (In a unique way. More on that later.) and I thought at the very least I could kill a few hours through the week to try it out. I got much more than I bargained for however.

Before the game was even installed I saw heavy influence from the Harry Potter series. Did that offend me? Not really. I’m not a fan of the books myself( I prefer the “Wheel of Time” series and “A Song of Ice and Fire” personally.) I don’t have any particular hatred for it either. Now the game is free to play for about 2/3 of the game. The rest you can gain access through either a subscription fee OR you can simply buy the content for a small fee and have unlimited access. I have to give kudos for this idea. An unlimited free trial and giving people a choice between RMT or subscription just feels like a sound choice to me.

After installation, I loaded up the game, put all the graphics as high as they would possibly go, and found myself in a setting that other games like Mabinogi and Dream of Mirror Online have put me in. An ol chap and his owl(who has a hat…) took me from my world and brought me over there to help save their world. Why this isn’t labeled as kidnapping is beyond me.

Moving on.

You’re then given a little test games like Morrowind has used before to help decide which class may suit your personality. I generally dislike these and always hand pick it. Out of curiosity I decided to give it a try and turned out to be..

So I’m smart, passionate, competitive, and attractive. Hmmm. Ok this thing is broken except for my pyromania. Still in an effort to fool everyone else I was all those pretty words I decided to stick with the class given to me. Afterwards I went through the very basic tutorial on how to move, how to talk to NPCs, all that sort of thing.

 

Then of course the guy at the top of the post showed up to mess things up. In case you can’t tell by the large amount of black and the very neat looking staff, he’s the “Evil Wizard” that DIDN’T shove me from my peaceful existence to fight some old guy’s war. While the two archmages duke it out I’m forced to tend to his draconian minions.

But combat…isn’t like your typical MMORPG.

It’s more like…

It’s a card game. To anyone familiar with Magic: The Gathering or any other game that fits the niche you’ll have a pretty good understanding on how to play. You have a spell deck(Funny note, I typed out Smell Deck at first…I have no idea why.) where you draw cards and play them. These can range from healing spells, to offensive spells, to summoning creatures, to curses, to buffs, etc. You need more “Pips” (Those glowie rune things surrounding you) to cast higher level spells, and you need mana to fuel them. If your health runs out you fly away and go to fairy land!(No, not really.) Considering the few years I used to play Magic in tournaments(We’ve been through this…I’m a dork.) I felt strangely at home with the combat.

 

Until THIS showed up.

Yes. That’s three pigs dressed as ninjas. This is just one of the many summons you can perform to attack your opponents health, which again seems awfully like MTG or YuGiOh!. However I have to say the spells themselves brought a few chuckles as I progressed a few levels into it.

 

Conclusion

While I’m sure I’ll be mocked by a large populace of humanity for saying it, this game was quite entertaining. The graphics are very simple and won’t wipe you off your feet in any form, but there is a lot of unique monsters and interesting quirks that made the game enjoyable. Perhaps my love for Magic helped me not vomit all over my keyboard, or perhaps simply because it’s just fun. While I wouldn’t recommend this to any connoisseur of MMORPGs,   I would highly recommend it as an  MMORPG to give to kids.

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