Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime – an adventure that your entire family can take part in!
I’ll have to admit that before being introduced to Wizard101, I didn’t know much about online multiplayer games except that they looked intimidating (to me), and that people love them. My husband has played them before, and I’ve watched over his shoulder and wondered what the draw was. I even tried his game once (DAOC), and although I enjoyed it, I was annoyed by the people who would come over and try to friend me or talk to me when I was trying to adventure. Hello! I was busy! I figured maybe I wasn’t the type of person who should be playing the online games after that and gave up. ;-)
I recently joined the wonderful Game Review Network, and was excited when I was given the opportunity to review Wizard101, a game I had never heard of but appealed to me for the following reasons:
- It is totally FREE to play on your PC!
- It won MMORPG.com’s Best Family Game of 2009 Award!
- It involves wizards and magical worlds (sweet!).
- Your characters get to go to wizard school (Harry Potter immediately jumped into my mind, of course).
- It is family-friendly, easy enough for a kid to play, and has settings that allow you (the parent) to control all of the social aspects of the game.
So here is my full experience and opinion of the Wizard101 online multiplayer game…
In this online multiplayer adventure game, you create a student wizard character and immediately are thrown into Wizard City, where you begin schooling at The Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. “The magic of Fire, Ice, Storm, Life, Myth, Balance, and Death are taught here by the school’s esteemed faculty of full-fledged Wizards.” When you create your character, you choose a primary school of magic (Fire, Ice, Storm, etc) – and each one has its own strengths. This gives the game a major boost in replayability since you can change things up with your next characters.
You can customize your character completely, something I enjoy doing. I probably spent too long customizing mine. ;-) Here she is:
Game Quests & Wizard Duels
“In your quest to save Wizard City, you’ll make friends, duel with creatures, solve puzzles, play minigames, and collect pets while exploring the many worlds of Wizard101.”
There is definitely a lot to do. In the game, people who need help with quests have a yellow question mark over their heads. You can stop and talk to them, and accept or deny the quest. Right in the beginning, I found three people who needed help with something, mainly fighting off the “bad guys” who were roaming the streets. Fighting gives you experience and you earn gold and other special items, so its very rewarding.
Dueling, or fighting off the bad guys, involves using magic spells that you’ve learned at the wizard school. These come in the form of a card game, and you and the enemy take turns casting spells. The special effects while dueling are fantastic! I was totally thrilled by the scenes and love watching the duels.
Friends can duel with you to take out a monster, and you can duel against other wizards as well. And, as with many similar games, you can run out of mana (the energy you use to perform spells) and life. It’s nice to have a friend nearby when this happens because they can help heal you if your mana or life are depleted.
Controls & Ease of Navigation
I was relieved to find that the controls are easy to learn. You can click the mouse or press “x” to talk to people, and the navigational controls are the arrow keys on your keyboard. Getting around the map, talking to people, and walking through doors, etc. is a cinch!
How Many People Can Play At Once?
The whole family can play together if you have enough computers! There is a lot of opportunity for interaction between players, making it a blast to play with your friends and family.
This is definitely a game that is something you your kids won’t want to stop playing. It is probably going to be great as a reward system!
Why Kids Will Like It
- Customizable characters and living quarters
- Mini games, player versus player dueling, player versus monster dueling, and questing galore
- You can earn clothing, equipment, pets, and badges
- You can friend other players online, start or join groups, and chat live as you play
- The graphics are impressive and the music is superb!
How Safe Is It For My Kids to Play?
You can control and oversee all aspects of your child’s social interaction with other players online.
- All usernames are pre-generated (your child can choose from a variety of different names from a drop-down menu)
- There are two chat options – menu chat (pre-generated options like “That was fun.”) and actual text chat.
- Password-protected parental controls
- Moderated message boards
- Full control over what your child sees while playing (see image below)
Although it says Crude Humor and 10+ in the rating box, I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve been playing this game for over a month now and I haven’t come across anything crude at all. In fact, I was pleased to find that there aren’t any revealing costumes and that there isn’t any “adult” humor to shake my head at or hope my child didn’t see/hear. It is a very decent and clean game. I have heard that children as young as 5 and 6 are playing the game as well, and I’m not surprised.
I know, I know, I said it was free. And it is – at least your access to most of Wizard City is. You also get to participate in player versus player dueling practice and are able to decorate your dorm room or a Wizard City house as a free member. For full access to this extensive game, you have a few great options:
1. Pay as you play using Crowns. This means you will pay $1 to $3 per area and will be able to eventually buy all access to all areas with individual one-time purchases. You’ll also have your own castles and lands to decorate and will have access to numerous other features. You can also earn crowns by inviting friends! I recommend emailing the invite to yourself and copying the url so you can send it to anyone or embed it in a blog post.
2. Become a monthly subscriber for $9.95 a month and have access to everything. This will be for hard-core gamers – families who play a lot and love it.
There are also family plans, $6.95 per account (for individual family members who want to play together and have access to everything) for two or more accounts in a family, and awesome discounts when you purchase subscriptions of six months or more at one time (I would recommend that).
And in my opinion, it is worth the money, and it’s a good deal (according to my husband, who would definitely know). Wizard101 is a lot of fun, and a great alternative to many of the game system games that are SO spendy – the ones your child will be bored of after a week.
To find out more about the plans available, visit Wizard101’s Help Me Choose page.
Wizard101 is an addictive, fun-filled online multiplayer wizard game that I think you and your children will enjoy. Its a genius alternative to the popular but expensive online (and game system) games available nowadays, and I love that parents can control all of the online interaction and keep their kids safe. This is doubly a great game to introduce to your family because adults and children alike love it!
I like that it is free to play online even if you don’t have access to everything – it is still a lot of fun, and its nice that you can try before you buy for as long as you want! I recommend giving it a try!
If you’re ready, sign up here! <——- If you use that link (using my friend code), you’ll get a special gift when you sign up, a rare pet dragon!
Giveaway over – winners posted here!
I received a subscription to this game thanks to the Game Review Network and Wizard101. This review is 100% my own opinion, my own experiences with the product, and in my own words.