DescriptionIn Wizball the player takes the role of the friendly wizard Wiz who can turn himself into a green ball that is able to defend his world against the color-sucking enemies who have turned his once brightly colored Wizworld into a drab planet. With his trusty feline companion Catelite, the wizard will restore the colors to the world by retrieving them from defeated enemies. There are eight levels to be completed.
The player starts out as a bouncing green ball that can shoot and be put into more or less heavy rotation to move slowly or faster, physically correct through the side-scrolling levels. The first task is to upgrade the ball by shooting the first non-moving enemies, and collect the green bubbles that are left by them. In order to stand a chance against the following moving enemy waves, some upgrades are a must. First and foremost, complete control over the ball should be activated (i.e. flying through the levels), a shield sheltering the top and bottom of the player's should be acquired, and two-way fire (left/right) should be obtained.
But the extra needed to advance in Wizball is your friend Catelite who will, once summoned, take the form of a small green satellite that will imitate the ball's movement, or can be directly controlled by the player. Besides upping Wiz' fire power, Catelite is able to collect paint drops left by a certain kind of defeated enemies until the respective color pot is filled up. There's three colors available (red, green and blue), and several different combinations of them must be collected to complete a level and restore it to former colorfulness. Every color combination collected will send Wiz to a bonus stage, then to his laboratory where one of the power-ups can be made permanently.
The game also features a bunch of multi-player modes, there's even a two-player cooperative mode amongst them.
- "Wiz Ball" -- Alternate spelling
Part of the Following Group
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Feb 16, 2010
1001 Video GamesWizball appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Andreas AxelssonAndreas Axelsson, founder of and programmer at Digital Illusions (Pinball Dreams, Motorhead, Battlefield 1942 etc), said in an interview that Wizball was his all time favourite game.:
I always think about this game and how to recreate it.
ReleasesAbout the platforms and publishers: Originally released as a booting game in Europe, Mindscape had the developers recompile to a DOS version to market in the US. Later, Mindscape's Thunder Mountain title remarketed it at bargain-bin prices.
Spectrum VersionThe Spectrum version had a change of programmer midway through, Steven Watson left the company abruptly forcing Paul Owens to take over. This probably explains why the Bonus stage and Cop sprite were never added. Peter Clarke did write tunes for them, and had a couple of other unused sound effects. In 2017 Adrian Singh released a hack which made these sounds available from the main menu (and also changed the text over to the C64 version's custom font)
- ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
- March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Shoot-'em-ups (editorial staff choice)
- Commodore Format
- July 1991 (Issue 10) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
- March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
- March 1994 (Issue 42) – Heaven: Music of the Gods
- November 1994 (Issue 50) – #8 The All-Time Top 50 C64 Games
- Computer and Video Games
- May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Runner up in category Best Original Game of the Year
- Happy Computer
- Issue 01/1988 - Best Action Game in 1987
- Power Play
- 1987 - Best C64 Game '87
- 1987 - Best Music Track '87 (High score music)
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #25 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Shoot-'em-up (readers choice)
- Newsfield Reader's Awards 1987 - Best Sound Effects (readers choice)
- January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Stuart Wynne)
Related Web Sites
- Wizball Shrine (fan site dedicated to Wizball.)