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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Wizorb

For: PS Vita   Also on: iPhone, PSP, iPad

Smashing

Product: Wizorb | Developer: Tribute Games | Publisher: Tribute Games | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Arcade, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Wizorb PS Vita, thumbnail 1
I usually find Breakout games supremely therapeutic. The ball bouncing from bat to brick and back has an almost hypnotically calming effect on me. 

Wizorb is one of the few games in this mould that has the opposite effect. The title takes the core mechanics of Breakout and then builds upon them with a magic system, tough enemies, and a gruelling single-player experience.

And it's great.

Magic

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At first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking you were playing a TurboGrafx JRPG: the art is reminiscent of 8-bit 2D, and the animation flows smoothly.

It's your job to restore a devastated village to its former glory by amassing coins on your travels, and - happily enough - you're provided with plenty along the way.

Rebuilding homes and farmsteads grants you power-ups that you can use to assist you during the course of the main activity: batting balls against bricks.

Each world you visit is broken up into 12 stages of different brick layouts, and they can take a significant amount of time to complete.

There are some handy tricks to speed up the process of making it through each level, though, and it's here that Wizorb's genre refinements shine brightest. With a stock of magic at your disposal, you can fire single balls of fire to break a hard-to-reach block or nudge the ball in your direction with a gust of wind.

Get the timing of a button-press right, though, and you can momentarily change the attributes of the ball. Charging it up with heat just as it hits the bat ensures that it demolishes bricks by passing straight through them, or if you've just lost a life you can place the ball wherever you like on the field.

Flick of the risk

This all makes collecting mana potions (which fall from some destroyed bricks) important, as you can only perform these feats with enough magic power. Wizorb's risk and reward mechanic is very prominent, and it changes up the traditional routine of simply following the ball around the screen. Here you take chances, grab items, and dash back to stop yourself losing a life.

Baddies wander about stages, and you have to despatch them to clear a level, with some requiring you hit them as the ball is returning to you to make a dent in their armour. Boss encounters are less impressive - most are simply a case of avoiding slow-moving attacks they sporadically launch in your direction.

Wizorb takes Breakout and turns it into an action game, coating it in a thick layer of bright, chunky pixels along the way. If you've any love for the genre at all, this Minis release is unmissable.
 
Wizorb
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 15 August 2012
Breakout updated. Wizorb is more intense than your average stab at the format. And the inclusion of extra abilities and retro appearance refresh a genre that didn't seem to be going anywhere
 
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