Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Game 51: Wizard of Wor

Name:Wizard of Wor
Genre:Top-Down Shooter
Time: 1 hour

This arcade classic was more appealing to me, at least at first. Night Stalker is about my favorite arcade-style shooter, and its effectively a descendant of Wizard of Wor. This is another science fiction top-down shooter, this time with a sprinkling of fantasy thrown in. From what I understand, the Wizard of Wor is an evil dude doing evil things and I have to stop him, one way or another. As per usual, I will be playing a home console port, this for the Atari 2600.

Its Pac-Man as a shooter. Right down to a poor Atari 2600 port. Its okay, I guess, but it actually ticked me off enough to briefly consider playing the arcade original. Eh, whenever the year gets to me something with a decent arcade collection, I'll do just that. Mobygames lists what should be a faithful Windows port, but that's 2004. Although to be fair its not all that bad, its still fun. I didn't realize this was supposed to have voice clips until I started checking things for the write-up.
The gameplay is as follows, there are two "worriors", played by one or two players. The objective is to shoot all the monsters in the current screen, however, the monsters shoot back, some even turn invisible or teleport. Everyone can shoot one bullet at a time, but bullets are about fast as are you, so that's not too crippling. It starts off with dumb monsters, then stronger ones that can turn invisible show up...sometimes in your guy...and eventually the Wizard shows up and teleports around like crazy.
That's about it, it was fun, but obviously it wasn't a very good port. There were only two levels I could reach and I didn't even realize that until I was checking my screenshots. I couldn't get past the Wizard unfortunately, but that's how it is with me and arcade games.

I'm starting to like games that force their only weapon into a bit of a utility role. Wizard of Wor's weapon generally felt satisfying to use to boot. 2/10

Decent variety, kept me on my toes as long as I had the patience to play. 2/10

None. 0/10

As far as I played, basically the same. 0/10

Player Agency:
I'm ragging on this for not being that amazing a port, but man, it controls very well. I got beat on numerous times, but it was always my own fault, or the layouts. 4/10

None. 0/10

Eh...eh...eh... 0/10

Not terribly impressive, even by Atari standards. 1/10

Is there even a real plot? 0/10

It just has a simple level intro music and the usual assortment of Atari blips and bloops. 1/10

That's 10 points. Which puts it in the lead for 1981. Not bad for a mediocre Atari port. I won't talk about the reviews yet, that seems like a poor idea, as I mentioned.


  1. This game was great fun in the early 80s when played with a friend (on atari), but not so great solo. We usually ended up shooting each other, though

    1. Heh, it tends to escape me that 2-player modes that actually had both players tended to be the kind of thing where you had to be careful not to hit the other player, or not careful in most cases.