A Splash of Color and a
Whole Lot of Style

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is a colorful place, but some of the dungeons are dark and ominous.

uses what developers love to call “stylized” graphics, which means that
items and bodies look like the real things with a touch of style added
to emphasize certain features. For instance, body parts may not be
exactly proportional (heads tend to be a little large). The world is
vibrant in all the right places but uses dull color palettes when
appropriate to add mood. Gear comes in a variety of styles and colors
to make your wizard look unique. Unfortunately, you can’t control which
style of hat randomly will have that +5% to mana that you wanted.

Spells are a lot of fun to watch for the first few weeks.
Summoning a giant fire cat to do your bidding is a thrill until you
have seen it from yourself, your enemies, and other wizards dozens of
times. With each school of magic employing less than two dozen spells
for all level ranges, you’ll see the same basic spells over and
over…and over. Sadly, there is no way to skip or speed up the animation
despite my requesting such a feature during beta. The summons can take
fifteen seconds apiece, so battles can take a while even though we’re
not talking Final
Fantasy VII
  href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZOb7is19Lg">Knights of the Round long
(try one minute and fifteen seconds to cast a single spell!).

Stick with What You Know

Nothing about the quests in style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101 breaks
new ground, but they are not all lazy fetch and kill quests either (see
a sample quest  href="http://www.tentonhamster.com/node/2779">here).
Early quests introduce you to characters from style="font-style: italic;">The Wizard of Oz,
and you’ll learn that some of the trouble on one street was caused by
an innocent old lady whose library book spawned monsters. The dialogue
is witty at times, and even adult gamers will find themselves surprised
at some of the outcomes.

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takes place in a ring, and players can join you at any time.

If I have a bone to pick with the quest system it has to be
how linear it makes the game feel. For instance, you have to defeat the
golem at the top of the tower before you can move on to the next area.
This setup means your character’s progress grinds to a halt on
occasion. It is also possible to “beat” the game in about two months.
Players take part in the same story line regardless of their school
affiliation, so rolling alts does not solve this problem.

The good news is that Wizard101
has a slew of fun minigames to break the monotony. From a style="font-style: italic;">Dig-Dug clone to a style="font-style: italic;">Tetris-like puzzle
games, these games are fun. Leader boards let you brag about your
prowess in a minigame, and higher scores unlock prizes while filling up
your mana.

Groups don’t really exist as any player can join you in battle
at any time. When another player joins in, another monster comes, too.
This results in more experience gained but can also be used to grief;
just join a player’s battle when he is nearly dead and the monster that
joins might kill him.

Parting Thoughts

It is important to understand that you can only play style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101 free for
about a month unless you only log in to play the minigames.
Subscriptions are cheap, but the game is short in its present form. The
best thing about it is its accessibility to children and the measure
used to safeguard young players. Even casual players will “finish” the
game with a six-month subscription ($49.95), but Kingsisle is sure to
produce more content soon. For sure, style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101 is worth
a try for any gamer, and it is a perfect example of a game produced
with care and commitment from the development team. 

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(4 / 5

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Wizard101 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016