Tuesday, 16 February 2016

App Review No. 99 Tales of Wizards

Strong Points:
Great music
Nice idea
Variation in spells
Backrounds are drawn well
Physics are good with knocking fireballs out of the way
Lots of levels
IAP's are only for cosmetics

Weak Points:
Can be confusing on what to do
Foreground blocks and people seem out of place
The tutorial, while you can turn it off, is obtrusive
Inputs sometimes become unresponsive
Being allowed to move the camera while trying to draw a spell makes it difficult
Becomes a 'who can fire first' game normally
Some spelling errors
To check spells, you have to quit the level

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 11th January, 2016

Press 3 fingers on screen to open magic HUD
Draw spell and press where you want to fire

Everyone wants to be a wizard and with this app you can! Sorta. The idea of Tales of Wizards is that you, the apprentice, wants to be the best (that no one ever was) and to do that the only reasonable course of action is to beat all the masters of magic in a 2D Angry Birds esque game. The game opens with some lovely music that really captures the feel of magic, and you are asked whether or not to proceed with the tutorial. Being new to this game, I pressed yes and went to the first level.

Here, you are treated to some text detailing what you need to do in the game. I read, I proceed and just as I get hit by a fireball, another pop up appears, I read and try again. The same thing happens. You see, the tutorial pops up whenever you do something and is meant to just offer helpful tips but it can quickly become a pain, especially when you are trying to shoot one fireball. As the enemy keeps attacking you while this tutorial takes place, your health quickly falls and I managed to die on the tutorial.  A separate tutorial where the level is paused until you do something correctly would be great as I ended up dying in the first level while figuring out the controls.

Once I figured out what to do, the game did start to become enjoyable, especially when you manage to knock the opponents' fireballs out of the air. This is quite impressive, as is the magic barrier that you can turn on to block their attacks but as it only defends your person, just attacking the bottom of their tower until it falls is easiest. Obstacles block your way to victory and they range from colourful foreground blocks that can be destroyed, to the backround itself and finally your own ineptitude of drawing a spell.

I've got two spells that I can draw so far, out of a possible four, and they both consist of drawing a circle or near circle. Where you start drawing also affects it, giving more variation. While a good idea in concept, the drawing can be quite fiddly and unresponsive and being able to move the camera while drawing adds to the difficulty. I've lost many a battle just because my drawing hasn't been exact. Maybe some easier shapes like an arrow or square might be good, especially as you have to quit the level so as to check the spell.

There's quite a lot of replayability, with hidden coins (that can be used to get cosmetic upgrades) and different levels of completion for reaching highscores (apprentice, wizard, master etc.). There is also a good amount of levels and due to the difficulty, these will take a good amount of time to complete. Upgrades to the spells and the eventual unlocking of new ones also help to pace the game nicely.

Conclusion: shows great promise, with enough variation to stop it being an Angry Birds style clone, and with multiplayer being added in later, will hopefully turn into quite a fun game, however, some issues need to be addressed for it to become a truly great one.

Rating: 68%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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