hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Wizorb

6:30 PM on 10.19.2011 // Jordan Devore

Though we don't tend to do full reviews for Xbox Live Indie Games, we attempt to highlight the ones worth playing. The perception is that this hub is primarily filled with bad to mediocre games, and while I think that's still very much the case today, there are gems hitting the scene every now and again.

Wizorb is one such title. It's a brick breaker in the same vein as Arkanoid, but with a splash of RPG elements added in. From the moment you dive into the title screen, the menus, and then the actual playable content itself, you can tell much thought went into the game's overall design.

It feels like a fully realized product, one that would have fit in on Xbox Live Arcade.

Wizorb (Xbox Live Indie Games [reviewed], PC)
Developer: Tribute Games
Publisher: Tribute Games
Released: September 28, 2011
MSRP: 240 Microsoft Points

As I said, the remarkable visuals and animations immediately stand out. They're a great introduction to Wizorb, which comes off feeling like a celebration of the 16-bit generation. Between the art, the attention to detail in the user interface and menus, and even the soundtrack, this is professional-grade quality.

You play a Wizard who must earn money to rebuild a devastated town by completing levels. Interestingly, you're able to walk around and interact with citizens of the village in typical RPG fashion. While this part of Wizorb is charming -- and you're rewarded with perks for your generosity, so it's not a total waste of time -- it does ultimately feel unnecessary. Little of your in-game time will be spent messing around here.

Instead, the in-level action takes the form of Breakout. Stages are broken up into 12 individual levels where the win condition is clearing all breakable blocks and dispatching enemies. You aren't simply using a paddle and ball, though -- you've got magic, too.

There are a handful of spells, such as an upward fireball attack, the ability to manually place the ball on the field, and a gust of wind that can shift movement left or right, to name a few. As helpful as these are, you only have a limited amount of energy and can't always fall back on using them. Collectable potions and a few other methods do replenish your reserves, however.

You can also come across bonus rooms, which have extra lives, coins, and other assorted goods floating around in breakable bubbles, in addition to item shops. An extended paddle and having three balls on the playing field at once are two examples of temporary upgrades you can buy.

Each of the five stages ends in a boss encounter, which is always fun to see in this genre. They all basically come down to you chipping the enemy's health away while avoiding brushing up against any projectile attacks with your paddle. Straightforward, sure, but these fights are at least visually interesting.

The one question that's bound to come up is that of paddle movement. All in all, it feels pretty tight. I like that the d-pad offers a slower, more deliberate speed than the analog stick, though I primarily stuck to using the latter because that's what I'm more comfortable with when it comes to the Xbox 360 gamepad.

Wizorb is a joy to play early on, but a little past the halfway mark, levels become increasingly obsessed with either having many unbreakable obstacles or packing the screen full of blocks. In both cases, I often found myself destroying all but a few targets only to run out of lives and have to restart the entire level again. This becomes incredibly frustrating rather quickly, since the levels really aren't compelling enough to retain your interest a second time. Certainly not a third.

This carries into another complaint I have, which is that there are perhaps too many levels per group. In order to unlock the next area in Wizorb, you must complete every single level of the stage. I took my sweet time going through the game, and even still, it felt like too much for any one sitting.

Despite being overly challenging for my tastes near the end, Wizorb remains largely enjoyable and is worth checking out even if you have no intention of seeing everything on offer. If by chance you ran into a game-killing error at launch, that's since been fixed via update. Put this one on your to-play list.



Wizorb - Reviewed by Jordan Devore
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Older. Grayer. Wiser. Dick still works. #Ballin
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Wow I just want a mic for the PS4...why are they so expensive ;_;
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Went to play MGSV, got prompted to download the MGO data; it's not on the PS Store yet. Or maybe it's Kojima-san's way of telling me it's not the real MGO data, but is instead a janitor who once protected me from a puddle of pee and now wears my face.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Going grey >>>>>>>>>>> Going bald
Rudorlf avatarRudorlf
Recently watched the Cannon Films documentary, by the director of Not Quite Hollywood. Super entertaining, hilarious, and it almost made me want to watch some of the Cannon films. Almost.
CaimDark Reloaded avatarCaimDark Reloaded
PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Tomorrow I'm meeting Shade of Light in RL!
able to think avatarable to think
Tip for those who have plasma TVs and are playing MGSV; go into settings and make the weapon icon only appears when you're aiming. I had to buy a new TV because the weapon icon got permanently burned into my plasma.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Any of you cute little butts gonna be at London Comic Con?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You felt your sins crawling on your back... [youtube][/youtube]
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
what was the first game that used crowd motivated you to contribute ?
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Mad Max, Critters and some The life and times of Tim to finish the night. T'was a good day.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I was excited to learn one of my favorite Philip K. Dick novels, The Man in the High Castle, would be receiving its own TV show. After watching the pilot, I'm cautiously optimistic. Looking forward to the rest in November.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I'm going to be honest; this is my new favourite line in anything ever. GOTY 2015 and all that. Also cocks: [img][/img]
I thought Laura Kate's Destiny piece for Polygon was pretty neat.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
Bungie have decided Kojima isn't the only one who can do 4th wall breaking shenanigans. Congratulations Destiny players, you're all now The Taken King.
I have (jokingly) wanted a remake/sequel to Geist. And then I went to YouTube to watch a longplay to see it in action again and thought, "nevermind!"
The humblest person I know avatarThe humblest person I know
I'd been worried that Jim had been losing his sanity with all the Steam sludge he's always attacking. If you've been feeling the same way, good news. His new vid warmed that void and reminded me that I follow him because he had no sanity to start with. ;)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Reading the Star Citizen expose reminded me of the whole Firefall mess last year. [url=""]Found the gamefront article [/url]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I went from listening to the soundtrack of SMT IV, to the soundtrack to Mario Kart 8, Smash 4, Fire Emblem, and now chilling with some Mother 3. All of it was pretty awesome by the way.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
After the 11th, I'm going into cryosleep until SMT IV Final is out. I'm sure Mike, Occams and Strider can manage without me. [img][/img]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -