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Wizard of Id's WizMath (Commodore 64)

Wizard of Id's WizMath Commodore 64 Loading screen


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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40858)
Written on  :  Jul 24, 2011
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Simple, but not very clever

The Good

This is the second game to feature one of Creators Syndicate's famous comics and, like WizType before it, is meant to be an education tool for children. The description for this game says it much better than me, so I'll get right to the chase. Unlike most games that teaches you mathematics, this one is unique. The game has you moving blocks in the correct place to solve a simple math problem, not having you type your answer or a part of the sum.

The only cut-scene in the game shows your character who is named Spook trapped in a dungeon while Turnkey, the guard, watches over him. While Turnkey is not looking, he is able to escape through a loose brick in a wall. It is impressive, and it shows how colorful graphics on the C-64 can be. I like the look on the guard's face when he notices your character missing.

After the cut-scene, an elevator stands before you. There are fourteen floors, with the last two floors reserved for editing purposes. Only one of these floors is highlighted blue, indicating your recommended starting floor based on the age you entered at the start of the game.

Each of the dungeons contain a series of blocks that can be used in two ways. Not only are they used to form an equation, but they can also be pushed into guards to stun them while you are finishing your job. Pushing is essential as you are faced with two or more guards later on. The way a block rolls as it is pushed is neat.

As Spook walks around in each dungeon, I noticed that his walking sound is very much like a train reaching its destination; and when you form an equation, the blocks flash as a sound of a level crossing is heard.

The Bad

The game isn't very clever when it comes to determining how hard your games are going to be. As a thirty-two year old, WizMath thought I would be better off with simple division. Another problem with the game is it doesn't let you advance a floor automatically after you solve enough equations. You have to restart the game to get to the elevator again.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, WizMath is not a bad educational game, mixing mathematics with one of the famous comic strips. It certainly appeals to children who have a keen interest in them during their childhood years. Basically, the user goes around and manipulates blocks with numbers and operators on them to solve an equation; and how difficult these equations are will depend on the floor they have selected before the start of the game. Users who find their selected floor too easy are free to advance one or two floors.

Unfortunately, WizMath wasn't popular enough to warrant a release on more than one platform; and anyone who wishes to buy the game had to own a ColecoVision or C-64.