Indie-ana Co-Op and the Conjurer’s Octagonal Excursion
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Indie-ana Co-Op and the Conjurer’s Octagonal Excursion

A Wizard’s Odyssey
Developer: Digital Staircase, Inc.
Genre: Action & Adventure
Available On: XBLIG
Co-Op Modes: Local, Online, and System Link
Price: 240

Demo w/ Co-Op Available: No

In the previous issue of Indie-ana Co-Op, I talked about a game (Protect Me Knight!) that was retro right down to the intentionally poor English translation.  This week, I played a game that certainly left me with a very retro feeling, though I can’t necessarily say it was entirely intentional on the part of the designers.  Imagine a beginner’s version of Gauntlet where everyone plays as the wizard (who may, or may not, need food badly), mixed a little with isometric games like Equinox, and Diablo to some degree, and you’ve got A Wizard’s Odyssey.

A Wizard’s Odyssey takes place in a world where magic is as commonplace as technology is in ours, and its practitioners are divided into one of four elemental camps: water, earth, wind, and fire.  All is going well until one day a particularly gifted wizard appears that is able to master all of the elements and promptly decides that the best thing for him to do is to use this power to rule the world.  Somehow, though, he’s not the only one who has control over all four elements and you, and up to three of your co-op buddies, set out on a mission to put a stop to his diabolical plans.

Gameplay in A Wizard’s Odyssey involves moving from one dungeon to the next, using the four elemental magics to defeat your foes.  Each of the different elements is mapped to the correspondingly colored button on the 360 controller, thus the B button (red) controls your fire attacks while the Y button (yellow) controls your wind attacks.  Each of these attacks does something different, e.g., water attacks cause giant ice balls to hit the enemy, and can be linked together to cast a different spell, e.g., quickly performing two earth spells followed by a wind spell casts the “Sanctuary” spell, which heals your caster and damages nearby enemies.  As you progress through the dungeons, there are enemies aplenty to fell, prisoners to rescue, and even the occasional power-up for the different elements that increases their power and effectiveness.

When playing the game cooperatively, each player controls his or her wizard, which he or she can choose to be of the male or female persuasion.  The magic power-ups only apply to the player that picks them up, so sharing them, or determining that one player should focus on a couple of elements while another player focuses on some others, is recommended.  There are some enemies that are stronger against particular magic attacks, so it works well to be pretty equally balanced amongst your group of friends.  Finally, playing the game with a friend certainly makes the game more fun as the rather repetitive nature of spamming magic attacks to down the fantastical foes can get tedious.  Overall, I’d say A Wizard’s Odyssey is a great co-op title for younger gamers or parents looking to start playing games with their kids.

Wrap-Up

A Wizard’s Odyssey is Geared Towards: Casual or younger co-op gamers looking for an easy and fun dungeon crawling experience
The Co-Op Experience: Each player controls his or her own wizard that wields the four elements and must use them to defeat their foes


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