Wizorb (Universal) by Tribute Games is a retro-flavored brick breaker game – but it’s also an RPG, all mixed into one game. Released initially on Steam and XBox Live, it was just released for mobile devices and in the Mac App Store.
The game takes place in the Kingdom of Gorudo, which has been threatened by an evil presence. Players take control of Cyrus, a wizard who is a master in the magic art of Wizorb. Cyrus finds the Village of Tarot in ruins, and ventures out into the Kingdom of Gorudo to fight the monsters.
These battles are fought brick breaker style, as Cyrus transforms into a ball, and his wand becomes the paddle. Cyrus also has several magic spells that are used to assist him throughout the battles.
There are 60+ levels spread out over 5 worlds, complete with several different endings to the game – which is fantastic for replay value. In addition to standard blocks, Cyrus also must battle moving creatures and even bosses along the way. Cyrus earns gold throughout the level – falling from blocks, and as a reward for completing each level – which can be spent on upgrades such as extra lives, a larger paddle, etc. Gold may also be “donated” to villagers of Tarot to rebuild their homes, who in return thank Cyrus by providing him with upgrades and extras.
The graphics, game play and music are all fantastically reminiscent of early RPG games. I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic while playing – it’s that good. Unfortunately, the controls are equally ‘old school.’ Since Wizorb is a port from a computer/console game, it’s not entirely unexpected that the controls aren’t perfect, but the paddle is sluggish.
Even worse, the ‘A’ and ‘B’ buttons are on the right and can’t be moved. Since I’m right handed, I want to control the paddle with my right hand, which makes pressing buttons on the right extremely awkward. Hopefully moveable controls – along with a D-pad for the RPG portion of the game – will be added in a future release.
For many games, having poor controls all but ruins them for me, but the look, feel and music of Wizorb - along with the amazing concept of mixing RPG and block breaking into one – make it a keeper.