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HotRod FAQ

Wizard of War - November 9, 1999 by BMan2
Game:Wizard of WorCompany:Midway
Type:PlatformPlayers:1/2

Get Ready... Go.
With these two words - millions of arcade players have stepped their little space man out on a maze infested with the nastiest creatures can deal up. All of this - to defeat a Wizard who controls these creatures.
Wizard Of Wor is an old game - being made by the Midway company in 1980. Despite it's age - it has truly attained a legendary status with arcade gamers and computer folks alike - with it being ported to most popular systems (the C64 version is EXCELLENT)
As you'd imagine from a game of it's age - technically Wizard Of Wor isn't going to set the PCB's racing for some valium. The graphics are simple, low in colour and blocky. The quality of the sound is crackly in places and low in quality.
Yet this game is an absolute classic in every sense of the word. And deservedly so - because Midway have taken the confines of the technology - and made a game that plays wonderfully - and can do so with a full range of players - be they child to experienced arcade addict.
The premise of the game is quite simple. You are thrown into a maze full of horrible creatures - and you must kill them all. You do have some help however, in the form of another player - who can either be computer or human controlled - depending on the number of actual players. The computer player comes in handy at times - for either distracting the monsters and acting as bait, killing some monsters for you - or at worst - some points when you blow his hide off the map. At the end of some levels - a monster appears and runs around the maze - and you must stop him escaping out the exits. If successful - the next dungeon is double points. Go further into the game - and the Wizard Of Wor just might pop out for you to shoot. And of course - at the end of each level - you turn around and do it all over again - in ever changing mazes and surroundings.
This may lead to the premise that Wizard Of Wor can get repetitive - and sure - if you're REALLY good at this game - you might have that though occasionally - but I'll guarantee that the average gamer will see it more as a challenge to progress. This game gets hard and the enemies get quick fast - and add to that the fact that some monsters can only be seen when you're in the same hallway - Wizard of Wor provides a mighty challenge for those who wish to test their joystick skills.
As stated before, WoW doesn't set any great records in technical terms - but it uses what it has brilliantly. Graphics are moody and simple - fulfilling the fnuction of the game well. Collision detection is good and the sprites move well around the screen. Sound, although being of questionable technical quality MAKES this game. There is few better experiences than playing this game and hearing the deep organ sound shiver through you at each level. Add to this the looming hum of the monsters as they pop around the corner - and it contributes beautifully to the atmosphere of the game.
It's this atmosphere - and the overall playability of Wizard Of Wor that leaves it in a special place in many gamers hearts. Ignore all the niceties that are missing - this is what a good game should be like. Now if I could get past Dungeon 12 :P
Graphics
8
9
Sound
Play Control
9
9
Challenge
Replay Value
9
9
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
Screen Shot 2
1999 EmuViews