Wizard 101

A friend called me an MMO junkie, and I think it would be hard to argue with that.

Anyway, I’ve heard of this game and decided to give it a try since my EVE Online fix is on hold, either temporarily or permanently. It’s a F2P child-friendly title with a surprising amount of depth. You’re a wizard student at a wizard academy, and you have to help stop an evil wizard. Yes, the basic theme sounds very similar to a certain popular book series, but the similarities are really quite shallow. The graphical look is very similar to World of Warcraft. It’s even voiced, at least as far as I’ve played, though I’m one who prefers to read subtitles.

Gameplay is similar to most theme park MMOs. Find the yellow exclamation mark, pick up quest. Quests follow the usual defeat [X] creatures, collect [X] number of objects, or go talk to another NPC. Turn quest in to yellow question mark NPC. Repeat. What really makes the game stand out, however, is its combat. Instead of the standard combat we’re all used to, it comes in the form of a type of collectible card game. Your spells are cards you arrange into a deck. During combat, everyone selects the spell they want to cast from their drawn pool, and then combat goes in turns to resolve the round. New spells can be purchased from trainers and collected as quest rewards. The spell graphics are simply amazing. Colorful, unique, funny.

And if that wasn’t enough, it has crafting, pets that not only grow but help you in combat, housing, mounts, gardening, and an assortment of minigames. Level cap is 60. Oh, and they release the monthly patch notes, something Free Realms doesn’t do that frustrates me. They’re obviously making a real effort to keep the game updated, because their patch notes are just as extensive as those in any other game I’ve played. In other words, they don’t treat F2P and child-friendly as an excuse to half-ass it.

There’s a first month special of half price ($5.00), so I went ahead and subscribed for a month.

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