Wizorb ($2.99) by Tribute Games is a brand new way to look at the classic Breakout game. If you have not experienced this great gem on other platforms (PC, Mac, and Linux via various distribution channels), then this is a chance you shouldn't pass up.
In this game, you take on the role of a wise wizard named Cyrus, who utilizes a secret magic called Wizorb. What is this magic? Cyrus can transform into an orb, and his wand becomes your paddle. It’s up to him to save the Kingdom of Gorudo from an evil presence that threatens to destroy everything (just like all RPGs).
The game features gorgeous 8-bit graphics and a pleasant chiptune soundtrack to go along with it. If you grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System, then this game will give you a sense of nostalgia right away.
Wizorb features five different areas in Gorudo, and each locale will consist of several levels (there are over 60 total). In each level, you'll have a variety of blocks at the top half of the screen, and you must use your wand paddle to bounce Cyrus to and fro, breaking the blocks. If you've ever played a Breakout or Arkanoid, you should know what comes with the territory.
While regular blocks will be cleared out with just one hit, larger blocks and stone blocks will take at least two hits to break. There will also be the occasional treasure chest and even wooden crate blocks to smash open so you can collect the goodies inside. All kinds of items can be found within blocks, such as health potions, coins, extra lives, gems, and keys.
Gems will refill your magical spells, which can be used whenever the icons in the right hand panel are lit up. Coins can be used to buy items (like Charms) from the shops, or you can even use them to help citizens rebuild their town, and revisit them as you would in any typical JRPG.
Of course, what fun would this be if it was just another brick-breaking game? There are moving enemies at the top, who you can defeat and add more points to your score. There are even boss battles that are thrown into the mix, keeping things fresh. Sometimes a door opens up on a level, and you can go through it to access a bonus level with plenty of loot, or even find a shop with power-ups to buy.
To move the paddle, you will simply drag your finger across the screen. While this isn’t a problem, I can’t say the same for the A and B buttons. The A button is mostly used to confirm choices, launching the orb, and using your offensive spell during gameplay. The B button is for going back and using your defensive spell.
Since I’m right-handed, I found myself accidentally hitting the A or B buttons when I was just trying to move the paddle. There is no option to change the controls in the Options menu, which is a shame. I would love to be able to move the buttons to the left side of the screen so that they won’t interfere. Also, I found it a bit weird that you are not able to launch the ball by tapping on the screen — you have to press the A button. I hope to see more optimized one-hand controls in the future.
I have not finished the game yet, but the App Store description says that there are multiple endings. Because of this, there is plenty of reason to keep playing the game after the first completion. The game also sports Game Center integration for leaderboards and there are 20 achievements to obtain, some which can be fairly difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no iCloud game syncing support yet, so you will have to settle on which device you will primarily play the game on. That is, unless you’re okay with having two different game saves.
Despite less-than-stellar controls, I recommend this game to anyone that is a fan of RPGs or classic arcade games. This is basically the Puzzle Quest version of Breakout/Arkanoid, and it's fantastic. There's more depth to it than the classic Breakout game, so it will definitely keep you coming back for more.
With Wizorb being available on Xbox Live, Windows, Mac, Linux, and now iOS, you’re running out of excuses for not playing this game.
If you're interested in other RPG games, make sure to check out our RPG AppGuide.