Wizard 101

Game Description and Comments

Wizard 101 is a free fantasy MMORPG with a turn-based combat system that is targeted towards a young audience. After just a short time in the game, it is apparent where Wizard 101 drew its inspiration from. Of course, you won't see Harry Potter in the game, but you do feel a Harry Potter type vibe as a young wizard in training in a magical world. Instead of choosing a school of magic yourself, you are assigned one based on your answers to a series of questions. For example, my answers lead me into the School of Fire. The game itself is very simple and easy to just jump into and start playing. Quest goals can be achieved quickly by following a large arrow that points the way to your quest's destination. Combat is performed by using offensive and defensive spell cards in a turn-based battlefield. Fleeing or "dieing" will your return your character to a non-combat area. All in all, Wizard 101 is an enchanting MMO that will appeal primarily to younger casual players. 

Key Features

  • Free to play.
  • Extremely colorful graphics.
  • Targeted towards kids 10 and up.
  • No gore.
  • Wizard City houses the different schools of magic.
  • Safety features for younger players including restricted chat.
  • Character creation chooses your magic school based on your answers to questions.
  • Turn-based battle system.
  • Cards are used as spells during combat.
  • Player vs. Player arena with practice and ranked dueling.
  • Seven schools of magic: Ice, Fire, Storm, Death, Life, Myth, and Balance.
  • Tournament seasons that last between three and four months.
  • Different levels of housing.
  • Walking on sidewalks can avoid monster aggro.
  • Has a premium account and can buy currency.

Select Reviews (Edited for Presentation)

Author: Ubiquitous
Rating: 3
Comment: Repetition is an understatement here. Every fight is carried out "trading card" game style. Unfortunately in their attempt to reach a young audience they have seriously ruined some of the potential of the game.

I enjoy turn based games and I enjoy trading card games. So this game does satisfy those pleasures in a small degree, but it will never contain the complexity necessary to keep your interest for more than the first "zone". At least not if you enjoy progressive challenges. I know, I know, you don't want complexity in a child' game, but then again members on their forums are crying out for fixes. You will also discover that the members are more than capable of theory crafting and strategizing (especially in PvP.) It seems they are selling their users a bit short when evaluating their players' mental capacities.

Every quest is a series of "collect this" or duel X monsters. Period. (Well perhaps there is a "walk here and walk back", but you get the point.)

The PvP system is broken big time. In the rated games (the ones that matter), you have no control at all as to whom you are up against. Imagine my surprise to pay real money for in-game currency (which I used to play around with PvP a bit) only to discover that I was automatically paired up against someone with several more levels than myself and double my health. Actually, this was not a fight at all. It was a murder. A murder that I paid real money to experience. I could actually go on for quite some time picking out the serious problems with the PvP system, but I don't really think it so much a PvP system as a "test out your spells until your opponent has enough pips to one shot you" system.

Support is a bit slow on the draw and is relentless when it comes to parting with a dime. After several communications with them, they quite literally informed me that the design of their account processing system made it impossible to manually add credits to an account. I found this frightening since every system is capable of errors. After some back and forth banter with their support staff, I am somewhat scared that they are currently in possession of my credit card info especially since they apparently can NOT fix an error should it occur.

Oh and free-to-play covers less than half of the starting world. Furthermore, you will not even be able to complete every quest given to you in the free areas as several of them send you into paid zones. One in particular sends you into nearly every paid zone and early in the game at that. Quite the gimmick to get your payment info.

If you enjoy an exceptionally simple game with a ton of repetition and you trust payment systems that can't be corrected, then go for it. Wizard 101's childlike atmosphere might provide you and your kids a great time. For me, however, I simply wish I could get my money back for unused credits.

With the influx of new online gaming options I can only imagine that this one will fizzle away unremembered as its initial fan base grows up and moves to bigger and better things.

Oh, you might also find it interesting that their first major "upgrade" was the addition of low quality voice-overs to all of the starting world characters. As if this was needed with the three simple, largely recycled quest requests that they asked you to read in the first place. I am almost convinced that they grabbed a few of the office staff to record these voices and it shows. A better option for their resources would have been to improve broken game mechanics...and oh, I don"t know...maybe to enable staff to make manual modifications to player accounts? You know, stuff that actually improves the game.

Well, at least you can entertain yourself with mini-games while you regenerate your mana and health (and a necessity for filling your potion bottles unless you wish to spend hard earned gold.) You"ll remain riveted for hours playing recycled versions of games like Dig Dug (you remember this exciting 8-bit game right?) Truly original content that will keep you engaged for days just looking for an excuse to refill your potion bottles. Yea...that was sarcasm.

Review Wizard 101

Pricing Model

Wizard 101 is free to play, but does have an item shop and a premium account. One account is $9.95 per month while a family (2 or more accounts) can get an account for $6.95 per month.

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