Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wizard Ops - 0.99 (Phyken)

Shoot-em-ups have become a fairly popular genre within the iOS gaming crowd. Thankfully, the 3rd person rail-shooter genre hasn’t been left out of this revolution. Games like Dark Break, Denizen, ExZeus, TheMars and the more open ended Battle 3D: Robots Sky have given iOS gamers endless hours of Space Harrier type 3rd person rail-shooting excitement, though sadly, it’s far from the amount of shmups that can be found within the AppStore. Hopefully with the growing hardware, more and more 3rd person rail shooters will be developed. Until then, we can add Wizard Ops to this small list of games, developed by Phyken, you’ll guide a Wizard through 6 levels of hectic action, as well as have an endless survival level to try and play through.

Granted, 6 levels does seem short, but the replay value is fairly high, and there’s apparently more levels coming in the future, and at the current price-point, it’s hard to get upset when the 6 levels can be played over and over again to earn more coins which let you unlock any of the 18 total weapons that you can mix and match, equipping 2 at a time, along with the endless survival level offering up hours upon hours of gameplay.
The controls in Wizard Ops are fairly well implemented, having the player touch on the bottom of the screen in the “touch area” to control aiming and left and right movement. There are some areas where you’ll be able to move up and down as well, which is also controlled by sliding your finger along the bottom of the screen.
Now, I’ve already said that there’s 18 weapons, but getting into them while talking about the controls is probably a good idea, because there’s quite a few of them that auto-target, but in a nice way. You won’t be able to just stand there and let these auto-target weapons go to town on all the enemies, instead, you’ll need to scroll over the enemy with your aim, in order to enable auto-targeting. Other than that, almost all of your weapons will shoot straight in-front of where your character is. There are a couple that toss out bombs, or have a spread shot, but basically, you’ll be shooting right in front of your character, and with the 3D onslaught of bullets coming your way, actually getting enough shots off to kill the enemies can sometimes be a challenge, especially in survival mode, where the difficulty ramps up fairly quickly. There will be some gamers out there who feel that the 6 regular levels are fairly easy, especially those of you who are in to bullet hell gaming, but not to worry, the survival mode has the difficulty to keep you hooked for quite some time.
There are pick-ups in the game, with each enemy dropping a bronze, silver, or gold coin, health drops, and even some guns are dropped in-game. If you already have the gun, however, it will automatically be sold, usually for about 300 coins. A major difference with the survival mode is that there are no health drops. So along with even more hectic bullet play, and an increasing difficulty, you won’t be able to regain health, adding even more of a challenge to the endless play.
For those of you who are worried about IAPs, and are wondering if this game’s shop is pushed towards them, you can take a deep breath, and rest easy. There’s NONE. That’s right, an out-right FULL game for $0.99. Better yet? It’s Universal! And aside from the short regular campaign time, having only 6 levels, it’s hard to even bring that up as an issue since they’re all replayable, there’s an endless survival level, and there’s more levels to come. If you’re a fan of 3rd person rail shooters, or even if you aren’t big on them, but love action filled arcade-based games, Wizard Ops is definitely a title that deserves some attention. I, for one, am really hoping that it sells well so that not only can we get the planned more content, but also see more from developer Phyken. The game looks great, plays great, has tons of action, and essentially endless replayabilty, all without any added IAPs, what’s not to like?


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