Today we review Wizard Blocks by Mogri. And as a warning, I spell bad and have no spell checker. Let's get started.
I opened the game and was greeted with a somewhat simple title screen containing some options. I started from the bottom and worked up.
Exit - Closes the program. Well done
Credits - Not only does Adam give himself credit on the lower right corner of the title screen, he does so again with a text box after selecting the credits option. I thought that was funny for some reason. The text box advances to give credit to the voice talent. Then advances again to give credit to the playtesters. I did also find it funny that Paul and James were credited by their name but Willy and Spoon were credited with their Slimesalad profile name. Maybe they requested it that way but it struck me as inconsistant.
Tutorial - First textbox that appears explains that you can use your keyboard or gamepad to play the game. Now my gamepad is broke so I can't test that out. But I remember trying to get a gamepad to work with an OHR game I had made and was unsucessful, so Mogri just scored some extra points for including this option for us. Well done.
There are two scenerios that you're presented with and the instructions provided do a good job explaining how to make blocks dissappear and how to put blocks beneath you. But in neither scenerio does the game restrict you to follow the instructions given. For example, the second scenerio teaches you to put blocks beneath you. But you can clear the blocks without useing that technique and the
response the game gives you is the same either way, as if you had followed the instructions.
It ends there, saying that there is more to the game but go figure it out on your own. I would have liked a few more levels explaining the indistructable blocks and how chests work but it's not completly necessary. We're smart people and we'll figure it out. But it would have been a nice touch.
Puzzle Mode - I love Puzzles! The first puzzle here seemed like it could have been the second or third puzzle. If the puzzles were intended to become harder as you progress through the levels, then puzzle one is too hard. Rather than quickly solving puzzle one and getting a sense of "I did it!", I failed puzzle one four or five times and kinda felt stupid. After figuring it out I did get that feeling of acomplishment which is why I solve puzzles, so that was nice. But I still feel like one or two puzzles could have been added before this one.
Especialy since this is the type of game I would suggest my nephew to play and he is a lot younger than we are.
There are 16 puzzle levels and they are very challanging. 14 and 15 seemed
easier than 12 and 13, But that could just be me. Level 16 took a little thinking outside the box to beat and I liked that.
Now if you look at the first picture I provided you'll see 1 of the 2 problems I have with puzzle mode. After beating level 16 you are returned to the main menu but some things forgot to be deleted so they are now on my main menu screen. The "Level 16" string, 7 of the industructable blocks, and the wizard.
The second problem I have is that there is no indication that you can change the puzzle number when you enter puzzle mode from the main menu.
Say you're on level 5 and decide to take a break. You come back and load up puzzle mode. It presents you with a textbox saying "level 5". Press enter and you're playing level 5. But it doesn't say that you can use the arrow keys to select between levels 1-5. Not a big deal, but I thought it could be mentioned.
Dig Mode - Selecting this mode brings up a textbox where you can chose between 5 different game modes. Let's start with "Casual".
The objective of the game is to reach the bottom, clearing as many blocks as you can along the way. Immediatly after touching the floor you are forced back into the main menu screen without being told your final score. I had to start a new game to check what my high score was. And if my most recent score is not my high score I wouldn't know what it had been.
I also noticed two things in casual mode that are worth mentioning. First if you look at the second screenshot i provided you'll see that I was able to build the
blocks up to a point where they stopped responding to the game. Those floating blocks in the picture can be walked through and can not be grabbed by the wizard. This is not an issue really because no one would ever do that, but it's there. Also in other game modes the screen scrolls down so there is no time to do it anyway.
Second thing i noticed is a little more affecting to gameplay. While the wizard is holding a block and standing halfway on a block to the right, he places that block down next to him to the right. But if he is standing halfway off the blocks left side, he will place that block one space further to the left than he does to the right. I believe this has something to do with where the OHR thinks the wizard is. Because the (X,Y) location is returned at the wizards upperleft corner of his sprite, when you stand halfway off the right side of a block the wizard is registered as being on the block your standing on. But standing halfway off the leftside of a block the wizard is registered as being on the block left of where we see him standing.
I know that explaination is not good. But i think Mogri will understand.
This means though, that I have developed different playing techniques depending on whether or not i'm placing a block to my left or my right. It's not the same, and that affects how I play.
"Slow", "Medium", "Fast" and "Hyper" are the same as "casual" except that the screen scrolls down, placeing a time presure on the player.
As far as I can tell, they are all the same game. The only thing that changes is the speed that the screen scrolls. "Hyper" is appropiatly named.
Another thing is that blocks that line up as a resault of the wizard removeing a block don't disappear. That can be frustrating to see at times but I think Mogri had good reason to only allow blocks disappearing do to the wizard activly placing a block and the resaulting combos.
Combos are a nice touch. The block that will be picked up by the wizard is highlighted, also nice touch.
And that's all about the game I think.
So, my thoughts...
I had fun going through the puzzles offered in the game. I wish there had been more, but the ones provided made me happy.
The "Dig mode" was challenging and fun. I completly enjoyed the time i've spent playing this game and I would encourage you to give it a try. It's a fun game, very well executed and a great example of what unconventional things the OHR engine can do.
If you haven't played this game yet, you should do that now. NOW!!
oh, and the music gets annoying after a while and there is no option to turn it off. I would like to play some of my music while I play this game but as of right now I cant do that without them playing at the same time. But that's minor.
And paul telling me things like "excellent" while I was playing made me smile. That was very cool.
Well done, Mogri!
If scores meant anything I'd give this a solid 8/10.