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A Review Written by MMORPG Newbie
(Please note: This is my first time review of a game. I have never reviewed online games or games in general before. Please enjoy.)
Let me begin by sharing my credentials. I admit it, I'm a newbie when it comes to online games or specifically MMORPG. Over the last 10 years or so, I've briefly dabbled in games like Runescape and Ultima Online. I rarely know all of the terminology or get in real deep with the community. I stay connected through a family member who has played LoTR, WoW, and many others that I can't keep up with. It was that family member who introduced me to Wizard 101 nearly a month ago claiming to love this simple game even though she is a hardcore MMOer. Since then, my stepchildren and I have been hooked.
Signing into Wizard101
What is Wizard101?
Wizard101 is a MMORPG originally designed for the young
audience. It has evolved enough to make it family-friendly, thus all
enjoy this in a fun and family atmosphere. Much of the game is
academia based, meaning that it is focused on the 'school' of Wizard
City. Wikia gives this description: "Wizard101 is an online, Wizard
school adventure with collectible card
magic, wizard duels, and far off worlds! The game allows players to
create a student Wizard in an attempt to save Wizard City and explore
many different worlds." Evil is creeping into Wizard City due to
Malistaire Drake who was the teacher of the Death School. Your wizard
student must fight it.
The game is free to sign up and download. Some areas in the game must have access through subscription or purchasing crowns. When you sign up on the website, you're taken through a quiz to determine what kind of wizard you are and then you have to fill in the necessary information. After you have signed in, there is the green button that says 'Play', this will take you to the download website. With a high speed internet, it takes five to ten minutes to download and install it to your computer. Then you log into the game itself from your desktop or wherever you have saved the game to and from there you get to create your own student wizard. Your own account creates up to 6 characters. You can also have a family account where each gets to create as much characters of their own.
Creating a Character
I had so much fun just now creating a new character for the purpose of
this review. My first character is Olivia Trollgarden, a Pyromancer,
my fire Wizard. She is level 12. My newest one, for this review, is
Rowan Lotuspants, a novice conjurer of the Myth School. My oldest
stepson, age 9, keeps making new characters because it is really so
much fun. He also quickly speeds through levels. I really enjoy how
they also make it difficult the higher up you go. He is enjoying the
challenge once he gets past the easy part.
Okay, creating a character. The Headmaster brings you to his tower and from there, he asks you questions like he is really looking at you and you have to tell him what you look like and what gender you are. His excuse is that his eyesight is failing him, so he needs the basic data. This simple humor is not lost on my stepchildren.
After that is a brief tutorial. Your character is immediately sucked into a battle where the Headmaster then teaches you how it is done. The explanations are clear. The best part about this was discovering that I could read and hear at the same time what was being said. Not only is this a good auditory training for myself being hearing impaired, this is a good reading aid material for my stepchildren. I've been in games where there was only text for dialogues, which was fine. Then, I have been in games where there was only voice for dialogues, which bothered me to no end because I could not get all of what was being said. Having both is a blessing in itself.
The Wizardly Adventure [Dun Dun Dunn]
There is a reason this is playable for *all ages*. It is immediately noticeable after the tutorial and you're ready to hit the road (er.. paths? trails?).
Number one, the quests themselves. In one of the screenshots shown here, you will see a yellow arrow with numbers inside it. After you have received and accepted a quest, it is automatically put into your quest page inside your spellbook. You can also change which quest you want to get to by hitting that spellbook, finding the quest icon, and clicking on a specific quest. This means the yellow arrow will guide you to that quest. The numbers are how far it takes to get you there. That icon in the book also shows you what rewards this quest will bring you, as well as the dialogue review from the person you received the quest from.
This is useful for various reasons. First, finding the quest is easy for the children and for adults. It also teaches mapping, following directions, reading, and counting. My personal favorite is the treasure hunt type quests. For crafting, you have to find and harvest stuff like mist wood and cat tails. Prospector Zeke is my favorite, he gives you quests like finding these little dwarf men hidden all over Wizard City.
Second, the chat. There are various types of chats found here. First you will notice the auto chat which is where you simply click on various responses or initiators. This is the quickest way to chat, even if the answers are pre-made. As you level up and add friends (some accounts don't allow children to add friends without parental consent), you will notice that the free chat is filtered. Even if you disable the filter, you can't type certain things that are not in the dictionary or that are dangerous to the minors. Because of this alone, children under 13 won't be allowed to tell their age or location. I absolutely adore this safety feature for my stepchildren.
However, it can be frustrating for us adults. Be as that may, I think of it this way: There are so many online games that children can't play safely because of vulgar language or mature content. This one is so well thought-out and in depth - AND it's for all of us! The great thing about the creators of this game is that they actually added 18+ chat feature that minors can't view. The sneaky thing about that is - you must subscribe. At least it's cheap!
That brings me to subscription and crowns. Oh yes. Money, of course. First, let me say this. The whole graphics on this game is incredible. The motions, the directions, the features, the creatures - everything is done right down to the detail. For such a low budget online game for family, it's amazing. You can detect influences from other books and movies in this game, as well. Harry Potter is an obvious one. There are also the Three Little Pigs (as ninjas), some Avatar, Wizard of Oz (the Dorothy quest), and plenty of other influences. The fun part is in detecting them. They incorporate so much humor and intelligence with the storylines.
For all of that, they do need some monetary support in keeping the online game going. Most of the Spiral (Wizard universe in which Wizard City is part of) is *free*. However, there are also quite a few places, features, and items that you can choose to access - by purchasing crowns or subscription. I personally have only purchased crowns, which go from $5 to $35, depending on how many crowns you want. Crowns are the fake money in the game that purchases access and items ($10 gets you about 2500 crowns and I needed 750 crowns to access a city). Once you have purchased an access into the city, you have that permanently on your account.
Okay, Back to the Battles. For a young MMOer learning the ropes, the battles are easy to play. It gets complex the higher up the levels you get, but the neat part about that is the kids are figuring it out pretty fast! The games are turn-based and depends on the deck of cards you have. This means you are taking turns throwing out the hits. You will start wanting the really hardcore cards and building upon it with more skilled cards, which means more quests that rewards you with the coins and XP level to get you those cards.
The cards are so much fun by themselves. Once you draw the cards in the battle and you pick one for your enemy, you get to watch the character or creature in your card come to life and batter the heck out of your enemy! You also begin to learn some patience by picking a card that makes your next spell even more powerful or a card that gives you more protection for the next turn.
After All Is Said and Done..
I recommend this game for anyone who enjoys good storylines, turn-based games, and beautiful graphics. Parents, this one is a good game to download for the children. The download and installation itself is simple, plus it really does not take a lot of space on your computer. The chat filters and safety features in place are strict and yet can be revised and monitored by the parents themselves.
The great part about having this is that the whole family can play it together. You can create a group during the game play to be able to automatically appear wherever the other is and join they battle they are in. The group feature also allows you to talk to others while they are all in different cities or doing different quests.
That said, I fully recommend this. I am not being paid by wizard101 or KingIsle Entertainment to write a review. I am a (step)parent of the children who play this game, as well as being a player of this game myself. We love this game!
- Wizard101 Forum and Wizard 101 Fansite :: Wizard101 Central
wizard101 forum, wizard101 screenshots, wizard101 cheats - The ultimate Wizard101 fansite.
- Wizard 101 Wiki - Wizard 101 Quests, Items, NPCS, Creatures, and More
Wizard 101 Wiki is a database that anyone can edit.
- Wizard101 Homepage
Play the game where you are the student fighting evil.