Wizards and Warriors is one of those games that is either a classic or a forgettable rental from the early 90s. I remember renting the first game when I was little and collecting the second game in high school. I had no idea that there was a Game Boy game.
I was looking forward to trying this one out. This game, Wizards and Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear, is not a fun game. It plays much like the other games in the series but has some quirks that I don’t like.
This is the tenth chapter in the series. I have no idea if there are nine other games. I know about the three NES games; however, the missing six games are a mystery to me. I’m not the first person to make this bad joke. It seems like everyone has mentioned it.
Let’s talk about the game and see if we can unravel the mystery of the Wizards and Warriors series. I hope the Worlds of Power book isn’t one of the missing parts of the series.
TLDR: It isn’t a good game. Rare would eventually learn how to make good games.
There are not ten games in this series. There are only four games, and the Game Boy game is the third game in the series. This confuses me, but I guess they had to give it a cool title, and when this came out, we were still years away from replacing an S with a Z.
The game was developed by Rare and was published by Acclaim. It was released in North America and Europe in 1990. Japan was mercifully spared from this game.
Wizards and Warriors X is a side-scrolling action game. It would be like Mario if Mario sucked. My most significant issues are the large hitbox and the moving platforms. The other issues are going to be covered in Visuals.
This is a linear game that is different from the other Wizards and Warriors games. There was more exploration and backtracking in the NES games. Here, you move from one end of the level to the next.
I did not enjoy playing this game. There was something off about all of the aspects of the game. It was a pain in the ass to avoid projectiles; ducking didn’t seem to do much and jumping felt like you were floating. Almost like it was pressure sensitive.
There are five chapters, and each chapter ends with a boss fight. You have to be very committed to beating this game because there are no continues. I will never understand why this was a thing.
It’s like not having a pause button or making a game that is 99 levels long. It didn’t make me want to keep playing; it made me want to find a different game or go outside and create my own fun.
Much like the other games in the series, you collect some spells and items. These can be found in chests. Here is a list:
- Potion of Healing
- Shield of Protection
- Boots of Jumping
- Spell of invincibility
I have to say; I like how these games give you items that tell you exactly what they do. It is oddly refreshing.
This is where the most significant issues in the game come up. The screen gets blurry when the screen scrolls. Since this is a side-scrolling action game, you can see why this would be such an issue.
This blurring makes it hard to time your jumps, avoid projectiles, and see the moving platforms. There were times when I couldn’t see the platforms that I was supposed to land on. This slowed the game down.
The visuals made this game feel slow. I wanted to try and go faster, but I couldn’t. There were many times that I had to take a leap of faith or wait to see where the platform was.
This could have been fixed by having the platforms remain on the screen. When they move down, they disappear from the screen, and there is no indication that they are there.
You also have to contend with arrows and cannonballs flying at you. These can be a pain in the ass to avoid for two reasons. One is the blurring of the screen, and the other is how they look like you could duck under them.
Sometimes I would duck, only to be hit by the arrow. It would hit the top of my character’s helmet. I guess, but why would it hurt me by hitting the top of an armored helmet?
While these issues make the game challenging, they don’t make it unplayable. You can play this game and even have fun with it. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this one.
This plays a bit like a shooter. You want to get a little further every time you play it. Having to start over might play into this a bit.
However, once you have beaten the game, there isn’t much reason to return to it.
If I think back to when I was little, I think this might have been a game that I would have liked. Playing it now, I don’t see much of a reason to play it more than once, if at all.
5/10. It is playable, but I have no idea why you would want to play it. Unless you want to be able to tell someone that you’ve played all of the Wizards and Warriors games, I’m sure someone will be impressed by this.
- It can be fun
- It controls well
- Not a long game
- Blurry scrolling
- Many leaps of faith
- No continues
This is one of those games that has everything you might like in a game but didn’t execute it. I go into these games and think about how I would have felt about them in the 90s. While I wouldn’t say I like the game now, I think I would have liked it back in the early 90s.
It felt like I was playing a rough draft for what Rare would eventually be. You can see how they would eventually release games like Donkey Kong Country. While Wizards and Warriors X has problems, you can see it as something to build off.