Wizorb Review

Two very different genres align in this retro throwback.

By: Ryan Winslett

Filed Under: Indie Review


In the kingdom of Gorudo, they tell of an elderly wizard, Cyrus, who once used his mastery of magic to defeat the Devil King and save the land from an eternal darkness. Cyrus was a hero in every sense of the word, questing across the countryside to vanquish invading monsters and using the spoils of his battles to help rebuild the homes the Devil King’s minions had destroyed.

No armor-clad knight donning sword and shield, Cyrus confronted his foes with little more than a handful of trusty spells, a powerful wand and a never-ending arsenal of bouncing balls. This is the story of the savior of Gorudo and an untold number of broken bricks. This is my tale. This…is Wizorb.

Some of the best things in life are a combination of already amazing things. The platypus, for instance. Or a frosty mug of pumpkin ale. Wizorb is another such example, combining two seemingly incompatible genres (RPG and brick breaking) in a way that feels intriguing and new, yet familiar at the same time.

There was a single town for me to explore in Wizorb and, upon entering the 8-bit walls of Tarot, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. The place was a mess and its citizens were all-too-eager to share their sob stories about how the Devil King had destroyed their little burg. I smiled as each peasant laid out their troubles, knowing far too well that it would be my job to save their meager existences. Half of Wizorb is built on the skeleton of classic RPGs, remember, which meant I was the only person in the entire world capable of solving all of their problems. When they finally got around to asking for donations to rebuild their lives, I had already resigned myself to the task of being their hero.

In order to raise the funds necessary to return Tarot to its former glory, I was going to need gold. Lots and lots of gold. I ventured out into the world to do battle with various monsters, collect coins and, eventually, overthrow the Devil King himself. The dungeons I entered looked similar to those I had cleared during quests of old (Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy), but my means of interacting with them had changed drastically. The familiar world of the RPG had melted away to reveal a brick breaking game, though without ever wholly abandoning the original genre.

While I fought to clear the dungeons of roaming baddies and countless bricks, I also had powerful spells at my fingertips, as well as treasure chests to crack open, keys to discover and the occasional shop to peruse for additional goodies.

My exploration of these worlds was on the opposite end of the spectrum from marching around and hacking at things with my trusty sword, but the way Wizorb’s various elements combine managed to give me the distinct feeling that I had powering up my NES for a nostalgia-filled romp through The Legend of Zelda.

Other than the inability to jump straight into a favorite map or save in the middle of a level, not to mention a bastard of a final boss fight (appropriate, given the game’s roots in classic RPGs), Wizorb is a breath of fresh air that combines two very different genres in some unexpected ways. Wizorb is a special kind of magic, and one I wouldn’t mind seeing more often.



Wizorb is a notable title within its genre

This review is based on a downloaded copy of the game provided by the publisher


Filed Under: Indie Review

About the Author:
Ryan Winslett is an Arizona-based journalist and freelance writer. He is a contributing writer for Gaming Blend and his work has also appeared on Joystiq, Gamasutra and Joystick Division. His only crime is loving too much.

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