Photo of Wizard101 logo

So You Want to be a Wizard? A Wizard101 Review


Photo of Wizard 101 Entering Game prompt

I am a big fantasy fan.  Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that there are dragons all over the place, books on vampires, werewolves, etc. So when I was first introduced to Wizard 101 I knew I was in big trouble.  I am not really into MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online)  games because they always seem way too complicated. I mean seriously, what happened after the first Nintendo? It should be right, up, down, left, jump and punch. Now it’s shapes, odd buttons on the controller you need to twist your hand into weird positions, and combos. No thanks. I’m old school. I want simple and instant gratification.

So then one magical evening I was watching a friend play this game. Granted he always plays some sort of game to pass time and it usually doesn’t interest me, but I will sit and watch and maybe even help out a little. But this game! It was riveting!  The bright colors, the cartoonish effect! It was like a movie I couldn’t stop watching. Instantly, I knew that if I started this game I wouldn’t be able to stop.

One day while procrastinating from studying, I decided just to “set up” my wizard. I figured it would be pretty simple.  Pick my hair, pick my clothes, pick my wand, pick my school, and pick it up later when I had time.  Have you ever watched one of those MTV reality series marathons where it’s just back to back shows, with no commercial interruptions in between, and you just keep watching and watching until your eyeballs melt out of your head? Well that’s how it was with the Wizard setup! I set up my wizard (Myth school, by the way, go figure!) and then I was off running around on a quest, upon quest, upon quest in Wizard City.  An hour or so later I was like “what happened?” But it was a lot of fun! Talk about a great time suck!

Wizard101, a game by KingsIsle, is really for all ages! There is no real violence or blood, but there are some funny death scenes.  It is free up until a certain point, then you can either have a subscription membership to access all areas, purchase gift cards at certain retailers, or buy credits via crowns to buy the areas as needed. I like the crowns option, because I will have access to my areas for as long as I want and I can also buy stuff in the game with them…like a dragon or even henchmen to help me out in duels when I need it!

The system requirements:

Internet: Internet Connection Required

Operating System: Windows 98SE or later versions

Processor: 1GHz Intel Processor

RAM Space: 512 Megabytes

Video Card: Best results with GeForce 2 or equivalent (standard in most PCs)

Disk Space: 5 Gigabytes

Wizard101 only runs on WINDOWS, not Mac. But you can get Boot Camp to run Windows on your Mac.   I am using a Toshiba Satellite L505-S59903 laptop computer.  Runs really well, although when the servers get kind of busy you do lose connection sometimes. Just log off and log back in. Eventually I would really like to play Wizard101 on a netbook. Particularly I’ve been looking at the Asus EEE PC1015PW in the purple! 🙂

Just like in Harry Potter there are schools within the school. Myth, Life, Death, Storm, Fire, Ice, and Balance. There is no Sorting Hat per se, but there is a sorting questionnaire, that asks you questions about yourself then picks a school based on your answers. However, you are still free to choose whichever school you’d rather be in.

You start off with a small deck of spells and a small hit point wand. As you progress in the game, you can increase your gear and clothing for more health, mana (used for casting spells), protection and wand hits.

There are 4 communicating options in the game. (Copied from the Wizard101 FAQ page)

1) Menu Chat: Players can use predetermined phrases to talk with other players. This option is available to everyone.

2) Text Chat: Players can type phrases to talk with other players. Words that are NOT in the Wizard101 dictionary will be displayed as “…”. This option is available to all over 13 and under 13 with parent permission.

3) Open Chat: Members who are over the age of 18, and have a valid credit card on file with us, can enable the 18+ Open Chat. This chat will be filtered for Profanity, but will allow numbers and names.

4) True Friends Chat: Players can exchange a code with someone they know in real life, and you can talk more openly with real friends. This chat is still filtered for profanity and inappropriate language and is available for Members only.

It’s nice that you can’t curse, but it can be very frustrating when you need to talk to a Menu Chat person and what you want to say is not really an option. Like “Don’t leave the duel, I need to get health and I will port back to you.” Yeah, had that happen to me once in a dungeon with really high health point bosses and had to start all over again. So not happy about that.

With this MMO game there are going to be a lot of servers hosting everyone’s wizarding needs. So you and a friend could be in the same place, but not “see” each other, because you’re on two different servers. But you can find your friend on your Friends List and Go To Their Location and then you will be able to quest together!

This is great for kids, because it’s just fun to look at and very simple to use. You use the arrows to move around, spacebar to jump around and look silly, and that’s pretty much it.  Simple.  My little cousin loves it!  I like how the mouse turns into a wand so you really feel like you’re casting a spell!

As an adult (or close to one any way) I like it because the quests can be  short or long and if you’re looking to pass time waiting at the airport or anywhere it sucks the time away really quickly! This is as close as I can get to flying and having a dragon. Although right now I have a Humongofrog, named Coco, who helps me in my duels.

Here’s a picture of a sample duel in Wizard City’s Golem Tower. (Click picture to enlarge)

Photo of Wizard101 duel in Golem Tower

What else can I say about Wizard101? It’s just a fun no brainer game.  You can craft spells, buy pets or mounts, purchase treasure cards, get your own house/castle/cottage, help other wizards or wander around the Spiral on your own. It’s good clean fun!

My wizard name is Esmee TaleEyes. Say hi if you see me around! 🙂

Photo of my wizard, Esmee TaleEyes

E Rating (1=meh, 5 = Eenae Endorsed): EEEEE

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