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Common Sense Media
This game will appeal to children who enjoy Edward Eager or JK Rowling's magical stories. Apart from combat, little Wizards can earn enough gold in-game by playing minigames and dueling to buy new clothing, accessories, Treasure cards, as well as Houses and housing items to place in their house. As with any MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game), Wizard 101 is constantly changing because it provides regular and free updates to the game giving players more things to do. This is a fun game for parents to explore with their kids. They can even team up with their children in duels.
All in all, I found this to be a fun and compelling game. For the hard-cord among us, I’d say that it is not a game for long periods of play, but one for popping in and out of on a casual basis. I enjoyed the use of strategy as opposed to button mashing in combat, found the graphics charming, the mini-games scarily addictive and I even liked my dour instructor of the Myth School. I am not the only long time MMO player enjoying this game. A chat at E3 with other game journalists on games we were playing all turned to Wizard 101 beta, the schools we preferred and which mini-game was eating away our review and writing time.
That said, Wizard 101 is an ideal starter MMO for children, but challenging enough for adults. Kids will love the cute characters, colorful world, and grandiose combat animations (as well as the Potter-like setting) while their parents may be drawn to the Magic: The Gathering inspired combat card mechanic and online safety measures. Both kids and adults will enjoy the mini-games and PvP. Adult players may find the chat system too restrictive and annoying, but then again, they’re not the intended audience. In the end, if you are looking for an MMO to actually play with your child, especially if you have the ability to play in the same room on different desktop PCs or a laptop, Wizard 101 is an ideal place to zap bad guys together.
Even though only a small portion of the game is free to play, I give Wizard101 a ‘good’ because it is so original and well crafted that any gamer looking for something new should give it a try. The cartoony graphics and card dueling system make Wizard101 very much a hit or miss game.