Wiz Kid Jr. Review

Wiz Kid Jr. Review

Jun 27, 2011

Wiz Kid Jr. is a world of magic, mana and evil spirits. Your goal is to become an Unstoppable Wizard by achieving the highest score on each difficulty level.

In this match-3 style puzzle game, you’ll be stringing together chains of like-colored totems by tracing a path across them vertically and horizontally. The more totems you chain together, the more mana and other bonuses you’ll receive. You need to gather as much mana as possible because mana is your life blood.

As you play, evil spirits pop up on the board, draining your mana. Not all of the spirits are the same, however. There are 6 different types of spirits, and they each have a unique ability. One spirit drains mana at a standard rate while another spirit drains it at twice that. Another spirit is a bomb that explodes and turns the totems around it into more spirits. Likewise, another spirit can transform an entire line into mana-draining spirits. If you don’t stay on top of things, they’ll quickly get out of hand.

As you progress, you’ll need to employ different strategies. Should you focus on eliminating the spirits that do the most damage first, or try to clear as many as possible, regardless of type? It’s not that easy, and it’s one of the things that makes Wiz Kid Jr. different from other match-3 games.

One way to destroy the evil spirits is to chain them in with totem matches. Match 3 or more totems with a spirit and it will be destroyed. However, there are also 4 spells you can learn that make this process even easier. You learn a new spell every time you achieve the high score on a difficulty level, which unlocks the next highest difficulty and more evil spirits. Each spell costs a certain amount of magic bolts which you can only get by forming large chains. An important key to survival is knowing which spells to use and when.

Wiz Kid Jr. moves in waves. If you can’t clear the spirits by the end of a wave, more will pop up and drain even more of your mana. The wave doesn’t end after you’ve cleared the spirits, either. Instead, you want to use this “free time” to build up your mana reserves and bolt charges to prepare for the next wave. As such, you’re constantly trying to keep your mana up while trying to clear the evil spirits. It’s quite a hectic challenge, but it’s really fun.

Featuring stylized visuals and great music, there’s even a Super Free Play mode that allows you to custom tailor the experience by adjusting the aggression and speed of the game while choosing which spirits you want to face-off against. Wiz Kid Jr. is a lot like Dr. Mario meets Puzzle Quest, except the actual pieces on the board are your direct enemy. It offers a unique challenge and a nice twist to the old match-3 style of puzzle games.

Wiz Kid Jr. Review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - The graphics are a bit different on this one. Featuring an almost hand-drawn, comic book style, the characters, spirits and other objects are very attractive. The music is haunting and tends to stick with you.
Controls - The controls work for a touch-based game, although you need to be careful when selecting totems that you don't let go and lose a large chain by missing other totems.
Gameplay - The gameplay is similar territory for a match-3 game, so it's something you'll be used to if you like those games. However, the added challenge of racing the clock while clearing spirits and trying to keep your mana up takes Wiz Kid Jr. a step above the rest.
Replay Value - In order to become an Unstoppable Wizard, you'll need to claim the high score on every level, and that's quite a challenge as the game increases in difficulty. Beyond that, you have Super Free Play mode, giving you plenty more to do.
Overall - This is quite a solid puzzle game. There are plenty of strategies to be discovered as you try to find the best way to eliminate the spirits while keeping your mana up. Lots of fun!

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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