I have mentioned it before, I have developed a massive soft spot for these little games, especially when they look so damn cute. So when I saw this on Keymailer it was an obvious choice to request.
You can see my first play here.
I quite like the premise of the ice wizard, its simple – fire bad, ice pretty.
In this game you have 70 levels to figure out and get through with increasing difficulty, which sadly turned to frustration after a while.
What was interesting about the first play is that we had Wackytoaster in to watch this, so I probably gave it longer than I normally would’ve done before I got really annoyed because I wanted to be as fair as possible.
Despite the controls being simple they were very slide-y and where the wizard auto jumps, I felt an element of control lacking I would have really liked. Even with the dev in and explaining you could make the controls less sensitive I didn’t notice a huge difference on fiddling with the dead zone (which should ideally be re-labelled sensitivity).
I also, after not a great deal of time had to turn the music off, as its just one repeating track for the whole game. When asked why this was, we were told its because music is expensive but my mods immediately found cheap solutions to this issue with hardly any effort. So it does seem this one niggle could really have been avoided.
There is also very clearly only one set way to solve each level, which means unlike Brain Bait you don’t have any wiggle room, as the dev was watching me play this and seeing the frustration levels rise I was told about the mid-puzzle save feature, which had absolutely no reference in the tutorials. Plus I would never use a save mid-puzzle in case you really fuck it up. Its an interesting feature but a totally unnecessary one.
I was also able to find out from the dev that beyond the 10 level tutorial/demo not much play testing by other people took place and I think if that had happened the learning curve could have been slowed to encourage you to want to play on more. You can skip levels and move on to the next one but then you find yourself with game mechanics you don’t understand and I am unsure if they do get explained if you do the levels in the right order.
It is a cute game though but needs (in my opinion) some further tweaking to make it polished enough for its current price point but a really solid effort for a one-man team.
2.5 out of 5
The set nature of puzzle solves, with the lack of play testing for players beyond the demo means this cute game gets very frustrating, very quickly. Whilst we appreciate the 70 levels, the lack of variation in music ‘because its expensive’ when the game has a £10+ price tag seems un justified, when the game mechanics and controls are so simple & basic. Its cute but cute can only get you so far.