App Army Assemble: Loopy Wizard – “Is this roguelike puzzle magic?”

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Loopy Wizard is the latest effort from indie developer Jesse Vebrux. It uses the same concept as its previous game, Seven Scrolls, but is intended to be slightly more accessible than its predecessor. Our App Army really enjoyed Verbux’s latest release, so we decided to give them Loopy Wizard and find out what they think.

Here is what they said:

Oksana Ryan

It’s a fun time waster of killing enemies with spells while trying to escape to the next level. The graphics are bright and cheerful, the gameplay easy to understand (with the help of an easy-to-follow tutorial), but the sound effects weren’t to my liking and I turned them off. There are different spells to earn when you kill enemies and some enemies give you a life heart when sent, allowing you to continue playing. There really isn’t much more to say except that it’s fun to play and I found myself picking it up when I had a few minutes to spare but didn’t want to dive into something too immersive.

Robert Maine

Loopy Wizard is a turn-based dungeon crawl that can be frustrating at times. The playing area is a square that is subdivided into smaller squares and you must guide your magician, one turn at a time, to reach the exit. Random monsters and walls complicate your journey. Above the play area is a clock, where the spells you collect from defeated monsters go. As each turn is completed, the clock hand moves allowing you to access the spell the hand is pointing to.

Games tend to end quickly. Monsters regenerate, so it’s best to reach the exit quickly. Also, if you kill all monsters in the playing area and the clock hand points to a damaging spell, you have used it on your wizard. This can be very frustrating, especially when your wizard is in low health. Graphically simple, the game is addictive and has that extra vibe when trying to improve your score. I see myself playing this game for a long time.

Maxime Williams

I generally can’t be bothered with score-racing games, e.g. roguelikes where you lose all your progress and start over when things go wrong. However, the core mechanic (very original to my knowledge) of Loopy Wizard is so compelling that it keeps me coming back for another attempt.

You have a spell “clock” at the top of the screen, and the clock hand spins with each turn. If you can cast the spell it points to, you must, **even if that means casting it on yourself**. So, that instant death spell that looked so cool when you first took it? When it’s time for that spell, if there are no enemies, then you point that gun at your own head and pull the trigger.

I’ve learned that often the best spells are ones that incapacitate the enemy rather than kill them, and cloning yourself is also very useful since your clone can take heat if needed. But, just the order in which spells appear on the clock can make a big difference – it’s a kind of emergent game, built from simple ingredients but with unpredictable consequences.

So, I’m exceptionally addicted, but I’ll probably get tired of it in a day or two, after a particularly long run – it’ll just be too painful to start again. If it had *any* type of permanent XP-based progression (a rogue-lite rather than a roguelike), I’d probably become completely addicted and not play anything else for the next few weeks. Either way, it’s a very original game with very compelling core mechanics.

Pierpaolo Morgante

I played the game a lot because the illustrations are super cute and the music is catchy. LW is turn-based and your objective is to guide the wizard to the next level of the dungeon while dodging or attacking the monsters that populate each level. As you descend, you can pick up spells that you can use to your advantage, or hearts to refill your life points. The game is challenging, especially at lower levels, but I never found it frustrating. I also saw a lot of replayability. In short, this game is a pearl. It is really worth it.


Michael Purdy

This game is best described as a roguelike puzzle game. You move a wizard onto a grid with several monsters moving to attack you. If you see them, you attack automatically. As they will if they see you. It works like a sliding game, moving from square to square trying to access the stairs to the upper floor. It’s a lot harder than it looks! This game is fun and infuriating.

Marc Aboukoff

Much like Seven Scrolls, it’s great fun. Simple to pick up, fast-paced, five minutes (or less) of dungeon crawling and battling and/or dodging various monsters. The art/animation is cute, the music is cute. Spells are imaginative and useful. I recommend checking out the help button to see what each does. It’s a fun mix of battling (you’ll end up losing but racking up an impressive score) and fighting your way out.

The controls work well. The only problem I had was remembering it was turn-based…which I found myself doing when I forgot it was rushing into tactical decisions and messing up. Take it easy, look at your options and your spells…and collect them because they can help you a lot. This game, like Seven Scrolls, accomplishes exactly what it set out to do. A fun turn-based dungeon crawler that’s easy to pick up and play for a few minutes. Great game that I highly recommend.

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