There aren’t many collectible card games that tend to break through to the mainstream consciousness and even fewer video game-based cc games at that. But Wizard101 from KingsIsle Entertainment and published in partnership with Gameforge combines the best aspects one would find in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and collectible card game in its distinctive fusion of both released back in 2008 for Windows PCs and Macintosh. Wizard101 takes place in the universe called Spiral and players assume the role of a student of magic in a plot mechanic that feels distinctly like a nod to the Harry Potter series of books.
Wizard101, the MMORPG game for the young audience, a clear inspiration from Harry Potter books and films can be downloaded for free. To start your download simply click on the Download button located below this review.
The game sports an aesthetic typical of a role-playing game and indeed the game feels very much like a classic RPG.
As such, combat in the game uses a turn-based system that you would expect to find in a Japanese RPG but with the mechanic that spells and attacks are activated and deployed via the collectible card system that is at the core of the gameplay. Upon beginning Wizard101 one of the first choices players will be presented within the game is which school of magic to choose. The following schools of magic are available for the player to select: Fire, Ice, Storm, Myth, Life, Death, or Balance.
As is typical in role-playing games each school of magic comes with its own benefits, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as spells set. In a mechanic similar to that found in Pokemon games, much of the combat in Wizard101 consists of “dueling” with opponents. The players are divided into two teams of one to four players on each team.
Naturally, the first team to reduce the other side’s entire team to 0 wins the match. Combat is turn-based and strategic, with spells, buffs, and items each having a unique element to bring to the fray. There is a player versus player option in the game where human players can battle one another as well.
Currently, the level cap is at 120 in the game. Featuring multiple realms within its universe, Wizard101 allows players to access these areas temporarily with memberships or permanently through passes purchased with premium in-game currency. Other activities in the game include gardening, fishing, and raising pets as well as the customary crafting system that is a prerequisite of the MMORPG experience.
Due to its more general audience, interaction with other players in Wizard101 can seem somewhat strange at first to players from other MMORPGs. Chat options include predetermined phrases, public text, and private messages, each initiated through their own in-game option. The business model to support Wizard101 is a free-to-play model that is supported with in-game purchases using a premium currency called crowns. There is the option to have a subscription and bypass the in-game currency altogether.
A subscription to Wizard101 unlocks all of the gaming worlds available to the player as well as certain in-game premium features but players that choose the a la carte option will still be able to experience everything the game has to offer.