Game Review by Debbie Winkler
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Average Game Play: 2 – 14 hours
Type of Game: Time Management
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Become a powerful wizard as you begin as a new magic student at the academy. Work hard, learn new spells, develop new skills, make sure you eat and get plenty of sleep and you can become a magical legend! Follow the goals to help you on your path to glory. Make sure you leave time to duel other wizards and accomplish the tasks as quickly as possible so that you can keep your top ranking!
Have you dreamed of becoming a magic student like Harry Potter? Well, this is the game for you! I found this game to be a fun, creative and interesting. Pick your wizard avatar (boy or girl and then hair cut & style) and then select the casual or expert setting. If you pick the casual setting, which I highly recommend for first-time players, you will be given specific goals to beat levels that will help you develop your skills in the way you need to win the game. The first couple of goals are fairly easy to achieve as they mainly consist of buying things at a specific place, starting your first job, etc. These first several goals are there to help you orient yourself to the game layout and what is available in each of the buildings. They quickly get much more complex and more difficult to achieve, however, so don’t get too complacent! It took me quite a while to figure out how to look for the information and what icons to look for on the screen that indicated where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do. Once you have played your way through the casual level, the expert level is a lot of fun to attack and battle your way through so you can get twice the fun for the price of one!
The goals try and keep you on track, but I always found myself distracted! There is so much to buy, so many places to visit and all kinds of things to experiment with. Unfortunately, wandering around and doing goals out of order will put you on the bottom ranking pretty quickly, but go ahead and do this at the beginning of the game to get it out of your system. You cannot get lower than a 5th place ranking and all you get is a snide comment from your mentor about you not feeling well. You still win some money and you still pass the level so it is not too bad. That is what makes this game a fun one for younger children to play, as well as adults. Older players will want to be on the top of the leader board, but younger players will just have a fun time learning new spells, fighting duels, and more.
The longer you play this game, the more complex your goals become. They do not introduce you to the game layout or what the different icons mean so please take advantage of the first several levels to hover over any icon that has a circle around it that is on the screen. There are 5 icons on the lower left-hand corner that are really helpful once you stumble across them. The bottom menu will show you the first goal to achieve, but there the far-left circle icon (looks like a mini scroll) will show you all of the goals you need to accomplish to progress to the next level. There is also information about specials if you have subscribed to the newspaper, ranking, etc. The upper part of the screen will show you your heath (filled with food, sleep/rest and entertainment), stamina (depleted by traveling, working, replenished with rest/sleep and entertainment), and mana (magical power replenishes over time). The lower right hand corner will show your wizard and an apple that will gradually disappear to a core before an alarm clock rings. This is your indicator that you haven’t eaten anything that day. If you do not eat, you do not get all of your energy and stamina bars filled after you rest because you are still hungry! If you deplete all of your stamina, you will not fully replenish as you are exhausted when you go to bed. It is really important to keep an eye on both of these things so that you can get the most out of each “day” that you play the game. You can sleep anywhere, but you get the most benefit after sleeping in your own home.
You will want to rush right into playing duels, but you have to learn spells first so that you can fight other wizards and win. In order to learn spells, you must have training on specific skills including charm, magical ability and others. In order to gain skills, you need to work out at the gym, purchase upgrades in clothing and furniture, and buy magical artifacts. In order to buy items and skills, you need money. This means you need a job. Different jobs require different levels of skills, pay different amounts of money and will help you grow your skills as you work at them. All of these tasks require health and stamina so you will need to keep your bars up. Certain purchases, such as transportation, will help you move faster and require less stamina to travel between places. Other purchases, such as furniture and house upgrades, will help you get better quality sleep and increase your bar refills. Pets and familiars will help your mana replenish more quickly. There are so many shops to choose from and so many locations to accomplish tasks at that you really have to watch yourself or you will end up on the bottom of the podium! Once you have achieved the rest of the goals on your particular level, then you are ready to play your first duel. You will need to select a spell, follow the outline with your mouse, and then wait for your character to cast it. Your opponent’s spell will always be shown next to them on the casual level so you know exactly what they are casting and can select the best spell to negate its impact. If you play the expert level, you will not know what your opponent is going to cast and will just have to make your best guess. Whomever runs out of stamina first, wins. Remember, you need a high mana and stamina levels to win so make sure you rest and recharge before you enter the arena!
This is a fun, fast-paced game that I enjoyed playing. The graphics are bright and colorful, if a bit rigid and sloppy looking. The clothes, furniture and other items that you purchase are not really that attractive and rarely match, but you can change the color scheme a little bit to try and make it better. I gave up after a while though and decided that, if I was powerful, it didn’t matter if I looked atrocious! My main complaint with this game is that not everything is intuitive and it took me a while to figure out what to do. For example, if you are purchasing a spell, you must have a certain skill set and other abilities before you can buy it and master it. These are written in small font underneath the name of the spell after you click on it. You need a green check mark in each box and enough money to buy it before you can start training. Younger players will definitely require some assistance getting started, but you will soon get the hang of it. It is also a bit complicated to try and figure out exactly how the job market works, which I never truly understood, but I can tell you not to jump too far ahead. What I mean by this is, just because you can afford the most expensive item or a higher-paying job doesn’t mean you should take it right away. There are prerequisites to the jobs and the skill sets so make sure you accomplish all of the low-paying jobs and the small skills or you cannot get the high-paying jobs and more powerful skills. My advice for you on this game is to dive in, explore and have fun! Definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a time-management game that is a bit different from all of the rest. I found myself playing for much longer than I was planning on, but I got addicted very quickly!
This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages. There is quite a bit of reading involved in this game. You need to read the goals, the hints, the story and instructions throughout the game. Recommended for ages 8 and up.