Breaking Out: Wizorb Bounces Onto Steam

By Adam Smith on March 19th, 2012 at 1:15 pm.

Breakout games with a plot and monsters should appear more frequently, as should pinball games of the same sort. Wizorb is a neat take on That Sort Of Thing, with world that needs to be rebuilt by the player’s bearded wizard. He collects the money to do this by juggling balls with his wand, bashing bricks and beasties alike. There are spells that help with destruction and ball control, as well as a gentle dose of the funnies. It isn’t new but it is new to Steam and I revisited it just now and was reminded how much fun it is.

Genre mash-ups of this sort often make me smile and Wizorb is no exception. It’s a well-worked combination of elements, with a tightness of control, a recognisable style of interaction, and a lighter sprinkling of the sort of skill, character and narrative advancement that can make Puzzle Quest so hard to turn away from. I prefer Arkanoid to Bejewelled so despite having less packed in, Wizorb is my preferred squeeze.

I heretically played it on XBLA back in the day and can confirm that I much prefer playing it with a mouse due to precision of control and the comfort of not being yelled at for playing a game with NESlike graphics on the TV which should obviously only be used to watch people cooking in HD.

Wizorb scores seven Masterchefs out of five. It’s been out a while but is just now available on Steam for the tiny price of £1.79 until March 21st. After that it will cost a gargantuan, bank-bothering £1.99.

Brick-busting pleasantries are also available direct from Tribute Games, on Desura and on Gamersgate. Some of those links will also help if you’re Mac or Linux inclined, but why not look on the App Store or Gameolith as well?

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11 Comments »

  1. Metonymy says:

    On the subject of 2-D throwbacks to better times, the SPAZ update is only about 4 hours away!

    Yes, I wasted my entire weekend waiting for this.

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  2. Trashcanman says:

    Looks nice. However, WHERE IS MY BANNER SAGA KICKSTARTER HAS STARTED frontpage post? It deserves the attention.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stoic/the-banner-saga

    There is also a neat dev interview on the rpgcodex.

    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/rpg-codex-interview-the-banner-saga-2d-turn-based-strategy-rpg.70392/page-3

  3. yandexx says:

    I wanted to like it, but it just didn’t work with me.

    The controls in the city are a mess, no pixel-perfect mode, lack of interesting progression. And the game suffers from the same problems as most arkanoid-likes do — the pain of hitting the very last block. Although magic missiles help, but those are limited by mana.

    • Prince says:

      Agreed. It’s a neat idea, and the presentation is very good, but ultimately it isn’t quite as playable as I would have wanted. It is, however, absolutely worth the tiny amount of money they demand, just don’t expect too much. I, for one, prefer Krakout, Traz and the original Arkanoid to this.

  4. Kronic says:

    Saw the title, was very briefly incredibly hopeful for a Wizball remake/derivative. >.<

    • Harlander says:

      You’re not alone.

      I never got more than a few screens into Wizball, but the hopes of a remake got my attention.

  5. MondSemmel says:

    My mini-review:

    “This is quite a neat Breakout clone with enough original ideas to make it its own game. Specifically, the gameplay is packaged in a (stereotypical) JRPG story. The player plays a wizard trying to save the world yadda yadda. But playing a wizard means having (a few) spells, and these really improve gameplay. The best feature is probably the gust of wind – you can move the ball in the direction of your pad (here: wizard staff) for 10% of your mana. That makes some levels a _lot_ less frustrating than they would otherwise be. The game’s graphical presentation etc. is simply gorgeous (classic 8-bit/16-bit JRPG style). I approve. In the end, however, the gameplay is still Breakout, and I get more and more convinced that Breakout itself is simply not that great of a game for me. I don’t regret finishing this game, but I think it has satiated my thirst for Breakout games for perhaps forever (if I ever had it in the first place).”

  6. Jake Albano says:

    I prefer Desura for my Linux digital distribution, but I like the fact that you included a link over to Gameolith. They could do with some more visibility.

  7. Sivart13 says:

    The first two intro levels (with virtually unlimited mana) spoiled me on how the rest of the game was going to be. You really only have enough mana to cast one or two spells a level, which makes the game 95% standard breakout.

    I would have preferred the Wiz:Orb ratio to be much further slanted toward Wiz than Orb.