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Review: Unknown Game 3161
Whenever we are witness to one of Johns Programs' games, more often than not we are amazed by the overall quality, and great fun the games are. Lil' Wizard is no acception to this standard, and has more than a few members begging for a full version ASAP, yours truely included.
What makes it so special? I'll analyse it bit by bit and state my reasons.
From the word go its nothing but a quality Apocalyptic coders production. Nice bright and colourful title pages, and although little instruction, story or options, that can be forgiven in a demo and there is little need for it. You can basically jump straight into the game and get an idea what is what, who is who and so on.
It's quite professional yet old school, hard to argue with that combination!
Oh how it shines!
Quite daunting at first I must confess, not being the greatest gamer to ever press a button, but by no means harm. For the little learning curve it takes to get use to using scrolls and figure out how on Earth you are suppose to get to certain places, you realise how clever this game is.
The platform engine itself is quite good in itself. Yet the additions through the way of magical scrolls are outstanding. Reverse gravity, miniturisation, invisibility, the ability to change colour depending of what wall you need to walk through, etc. These are classy, quite original and programmed to perfection so the games puzzles may take a while to work out but a grin will more than likely creep across your face when you finally figure it out.
Besides that, it's you standard platformer. Shoot baddies, collect tokens, get to the exit. Routine for most gamers these days, although there are a few hidden goodies for the trigger happy in this demo! The rare scrolls is something i'm truely looking forward to in the full game.
I'm pleased with the graphics. They may be small, and in some parts, a bit bland, but they work well. Colourful and almost have a cuteness to it that makes the lil' wizard an adorable character.
Theres also a good contrast of colours so your not straining your eyes to see everything. It's a prime example that keeping it simple works just as well as pre-rendered graphics, 3D models etc, in the right context.
A nice use of animation and special effects when needed to.
Sound and Music
The sound effects work well. Not too many, could possibly do with some more eg, when baddies are being hit by your orbs, I thought they were invincible at first.
That's probably my only quibble about the sound effects. They suit the games old school character like a glove, adding another element to the feel of the game.
Music is something we'll have to wait for, and may just be what is needed to fill what little awkward silence there is.
I took my time playing this demo. Maybe because it took me a while to work out how to do everything, maybe because I was compelled, or maybe I just love reverse gravity!
But it was definately worth it. It kinda bothered me everytime I run out of lives I have to restart the game, but I did so. I felt like giving up at one stage, but I soldiered on, as gamers should when its worthwhile.
I couldn't wait to see how I got to the next place. What new scrolls I could find, what obstacles would I face, how many points I could get, and could I beat the clock!
The demo itself has no skill levels or high score tables for you to show off to the rest of the world you lil' wizard skills, and maybe that's the only thing stopping me from playing it again.
Either way, it was enjoyable, and it requires patients, skill and time to play so its lastability is well worth it, and it will stand the test of time. The full version may reveal much more of this last ability through means of skill levels and high score, i'd be almost disappointed if it doesn't.
One thing is for sure, one level gives you a very good taste, and I certainly can't wait for more.
If you have yet to notice, i'm stoked at the overall quality and fun of this game.
It's not often a game without extreme violence or awe-inspiring graphics captivates me like this did. It's not often I give high scores either!
I strongly recommend this demo for anyone really. Its a good, fun and worthwhile challenge, and is the perfect taste tester to keep gamers salivating for the full version.
Best of luck with making the full version John, this is a winning formula mixed to perfection!
- Mike Morgan
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