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Wizard's WARdrobe» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Gameplay depth and strategy at their finest. rss

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Shane Dick
Canada
British Columbia
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I find that the more I play Wizard's WARdrobe, the more it draws me in to play it more. Although the general concept of collecting Spells, Equipment and Familiars in order to destroy your enemies seems straightforward, the sheer amount of all three that are available to the player give it an amazing level of depth. It is as much a game of long term strategy, deceit and perception as it is about strength. Where a game can last merely a few short rounds to well over an hour. This feeling is further enhanced and deepened by a well thought out Death mechanic. For when a player falls in battle, that is not the end. Other players are free to loot your corpse and deprive you of the precious items you had collected, but in return you get to spend each turn using your Actions to learn new spells, which are normally much more difficult to acquire during normal gameplay. Eventually you might learn a healing spell or perhaps something another player does may give you the means to rise again, a vengeful entity imbued with the epic powers you have accumulated in the afterlife.

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

This quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi sums it up perfectly, only now imagine if Obi-Wan had managed to come back from the dead and utterly obliterate Darth Vader with his newfound powers. It also creates an interesting dynamic when it comes to dispatching other players. Naturally it feels satisfying to knock another player out of the game and shorten the list of enemies you have yet to dispatch. But it also makes you almost have to race against time, to push to destroy the other players before that one or even more of your previously defeated adversaries should rise again and strike back at you with a vengeance.

This is all woven together with an old school pixelated art style and color palette that is bright, playful and easy to decipher. With all card's both color coded and containing icons to tell you how they function and where they can be equipped on your wizard, represented by a well laid out playmat for each player.

Even though I am still somewhat new to the game, I found I was still able to at least somewhat hold my own against much more experienced players. But like many strategy card games like it, I feel that my ability - as well as level of enjoyment and strategies I can employ - will grow much more as my knowledge of the various spells and item cards and their functions increases.
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Aaron Shapiro
United States
Texas
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The game sounds interesting. What kind of mechanics does this game use? Are there any games you find comparable? I took a look at some of the images available but they didn't show much.
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Shane Dick
Canada
British Columbia
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Gameplay mechanics and Comparable games.
Since you've asked about the mechanics I realize now that I should have been clearer about them in my review. In Wizard's WARdrobe you battle against other players and be the last man standing to win. On each players turn you get a set number of Action Points basically, that you use to cast spells or use items that each have their own Action Point cost, as well as to pick up new items from the stacks of cards called WARdrobe piles. Every player has a minimum of 3 Actions they can take and you can increase that number with certain items you pick up and equip. Some items also allow you to attach spell to them from the Spell card pile and that is basically the main way you acquire new spells to my understanding.

All of the cards you pick up - aside from Spell cards - each have their own equipment slots where you place them on the play mat. So for example if you picked up say a Moonwalker Boot, you would equip that in one of your Foot slots, but you could also pick up another boot and equip it to the OTHER Foot slot. There is also two Hand slots, two Chest slots, a Head slot and an Accessory slot. The Accessory slot has no limit on the amount of Accessory items you can equip to it. All of these slots are also numbered, I'll explain why in a moment.

So on a regular turn, you would have say, the default 3 Action points. So maybe first you use 1 Action to pick up a new item card, like a Boot or Cloak, and equip it to its respective slot. Then you decide you want to attack another player on your turn. You have a spell that costs 2 Actions, so you spend your remaining actions to cast that spell. Now for most spells - but not all of them - after you declare an attack against a specific player you roll an 8-sided die to find out which one of their equipment slots your attack hits. This is why the slots are numbered. So if you roll a 1, your attack hits the 1 slot. Roll a 2, you hit the 2 slot and so on. Now if they have an item equipped in that slot, your spell hits that item and destroys it and the player takes no damage. It basically functions like armor at the loss of an item. If you hit a slot that DOESN'T have an item equipped, that player takes direct damage from your spell and loses Hitpoints. That is the general gameplay look that it follows. But there is a lot of added depth to it because there are all kinds of spells and items you can get that say, bypass armor, or make you invisible to being attacked or even reflects damage back at the player attacking you. So there is a lot of strategy and a bit of planning involved in how best to attack your opponents while also defending against their attacks.

As for games I find comparable? I honestly have to admit I've never played anything similar to Wizard's WARdrobe before. The actual card collecting, strategy and battling other players mainly makes me think of games like Magic: The gathering. But at the same time the Action Points, item collecting and how you use items and spells makes it feel a bit like a tabletop Fantasy RPG like Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. So for me it is sort of a hybrid of those two genre's of games.

I hope that answered your questions. Thank you for helping me realize I should have been more thorough when explaining the mechanics
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