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Wiz

Melbourne House
1987
Arcade: Maze
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

25
Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Wot a wonderful Wiz that woz! Cast your mind back to those magical mystery tours of Dandy and Druid and you'll have some clue where Wiz iz coming from. A sort of Rune With A View, Wiz is a dungeons and dragons shoot 'em up made up of walking sprites that relentlessly pursue you, a humble level one wizard, across the Magical isle where the Dark and Light world's conjoin (oo-er!)

You alone know that too much evil has seeped from the Dark world to the Light. Your task is to bust the bridges connecting the worlds, a task only level live wizards can achieve. How can you, a mere sorceror's apprentice, make the grade and save the cosmos?

it's really a case of "I'll name that rune in one to five." In move and cast mode you're able to whizz around the Magical Isle, avoiding the various skeletons, woodlice and bogey men that sap your zap. Then use the runic spell to marmalize the meanies - though how, when and who to do in is something you'll have to work out yourself.

But to get a spell in the first place you have to go into 'prepare mode', where you have to pick a rune from the on-screen medallion which, at the touch of a button, is also your compass guide to the isle. 'Read Spell' lets you check the wizardry you started with and have since picked up. If you're really stuck you can go into the medallion for 'Buy Spell' mode which'll let you wheel and deal with any wandering wizard you meet. But beware - trying to buy a spell without adequate power will lead to your destruction.

As Gauntlet clones go, I'm not exactly spellbound. Wiz is neither as quick or slick as its predecessors. It's not so much heavy on the magic as heavy on the joystick. Meandering through the modes is a bore, taking the edge off zapping the Evil One's ghoulies. But it's not all a load of old warlocks, so give it a wiz!

More Gauntlet-like wizardry, but neither graphics nor gameplay match the high standards of its rivals.

7/10
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