Originally released on Steam, Waltz of the Wizard now has an extended edition that is also available for Playstation VR users. Developed by Aldin Dynamics, we checked out the game to see how well a game originally released back in the early days of VR (2016) fares today.
I mention the original release of Waltz of the Wizard for a reason, and it’s because it’s a game that has a lot of that early “let’s see what we can do in VR!” charm to it. What this translates to is an experience that I would summarize as a “wizard playground in VR”, and it’s a lot of fun while it lasts.
Not surprisingly, Waltz of the Wizard is played with a pair of Move controllers – the only choice for any self-respecting wizarding simulation. It’s a more condensed experience than what we’ve seen in games like The Mage’s Tale or The Wizards, but some of the spellcasting has a similar feel to it as you cast spells into the environment surrounding you.
Unlike those other games though, Waltz of the Wizard doesn’t have a clearly defined gameplay objective. You’re basically free to explore the tower you’re in and play around with whatever you can pick up and manipulate. There’s a skull companion who does a bit of narrating to guide or edge you on, acting as a tutorial of sorts but also a harsh critic when you don’t behave like he wants you to.
Spells are created in a giant cauldron and have different purposes, all of which allow you to have fun with them. You can cause (temporary) destruction with your fireballs or levitate objects in thin air, but there’s more to uncover and play with. You can even teleport yourself to far away locations that you find inside a selection of snow globes, but while you have a lot of freedom to move around in your tower you’ll find that these external locations are stationary experiences.
Although there’s no real narrative or goal to work towards, the game does keep track of your activities and awards you with in-game trophies (as well as the PSN variety) for the different things you go, so it’s a game that keeps trophy hunters happy as well. If you’re done playing around then the list of trophies can also help you figure out what you might have missed, which in a game without an objective is certainly helpful in getting the maximum amount of enjoyment out of it.
As far as offering a VR playground for those wanting to pretend being a wizard for a bit, Waltz of the Wizard – at least in the extended version – has a ton of content to play around with. Its lack of a real narrative of campaign means you won’t quickly go back to it, but it’s a wonderful way to show off what VR can do for those already familiar with motion controlled gaming. If you have friends who’ve played with a Wii before, then I guarantee they’ll be smiling when they play this.