Sawbuck Gamer


Sorcerer’s Stone

Retro block-smasher Wizorb is an artful genre-bender, even if the iPhone isn’t the best fit.

By Derrick Sanskrit • August 16, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

Just because a game is simple in its design doesn’t mean it should be ported to every platform available. Fruit Ninja would probably be no fun on the PSP without touch controls, and Cow Clicker would certainly be awful on a Wii, holding your arm out to point the remote at a cow on-screen. Wizorb for iPhone and iPad isn’t half as bad as those examples would be, but it is obvious that this isn’t the ideal form of the game.

This 16-bit throwback puts you in the role of the wise old wizard who must defend a kingdom from ancient evil the best way he knows how: by transforming the battlefield into a game of Breakout. It’s actually quite charming, with vivid enemies animated by Paul Robertson (who also worked on Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game). There’s a quaint Dragon Quest-styled village to rebuild and plenty of tongue-in-cheek nods toward the game’s 1990s roots.

As the game was originally designed for wider displays, both the iPad and iPhone feature long black bars of empty space, which at least can still be used for dragging the paddle side-to-side. The virtual buttons, as always, are less forgiving. It takes some getting used to, but Wizorb is still fun and playable, even if it feels a little better in its original Mac and PC releases. Come for the nostalgia, and stay for the brick-smashing.

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13 Responses to “Sorcerer’s Stone”

  1. Cloks says:

    This is actually a pretty decent 2.99 distraction on Steam, especially if you like your wizards doddering.

    • Aaron Riccio says:

      This may be Steam’s biggest issue. There are so MANY decent 2.99 distraction Steam, especially during sales. I think I got Ys Origins (which I’m now playing) for 3.99, and damn, but it’s addictive.

  2. Picked it up on PSN this morning; while it’s certainly not without charm, the music does begin to grate incredibly quickly. Even after just an hour of gameplay, that same looped track has been emblazoned firmly into my mind.

    The RPG-esque elements were a very pleasant surprise upon playing though, as the only footage I’d seen revolved around the Breakout-styled gameplay. It’s definitely a game I can put some time into.