If you’re old enough, the Wizardry name might bring back a nostalgic tear or smile. One of the original first-person dungeon crawls on the Apple II and other early PCs (back in the early ’80s, no less), the series has sat in memory for decades. So, really old-school players will be happy to see the series return, especially on the go.
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is a sort of East-meets-West recreation of the name and ideology of the series. The gameplay and presentation are definitely old-school, though many of the character models have a distinct anime style. It’s an interesting game, though not necessarily an especially playable one.
The biggest problem with Wizardry is the difficulty level. While certain modern games are famous because of their difficulty, it seldom makes for a fun experience for the average player. In this case, tromping through dark, monster-filled dungeons will likely be an exercise in frustration. Maps are confusing and easy to get lost in, directions and guidance are nearly non-existent, and the rules are frequently obscure.
Creating a character is still fun though, and finding others to round out a party of six allows players the opportunity to truly tune their adventuring band. There’s an in-depth role-playing system at work here that’s capable of rivaling table-top RPGs, which could be a very good thing for the right player. For such intrepid explorers, the problems we encountered with user-friendliness, controls, and graphics won’t matter nearly as much.
Would it be inappropriate to ask her on a date?
To anyone else, however, the swipe-based controls are maddeningly unresponsive and make it absurdly easy to get lost. The graphics, despite the game being a PS3 port, are very bare bones, and characters (including monsters) are simple 2D sprites. The visuals carry forward the old-school sensibilities of the overall game, but that doesn’t help make the graphics less dreary.
The bright point here is that it’s free to try. Wizardry lets players check out the first dungeon and get to level five before asking for the full price (a rather steep $10). So, there’s no danger in finding out if you’ve got what it takes to go old school.