The screenshot above is from Wizards: 1984 – a game from studio Terrasect Mobile founded at The University of Advancing Technology in 2014. The company, created by John Wisniewski and Jeff Rosenberg, has produced several mobile games that fit into different genres. Wizards is a Retro FPS, made for Google Cardboard, that’s available for .99 from Google Play.
To start, there are multiple elements of this Android title that offer a truly fun experience. The first is the retro gaming nostalgia that comes from jumping into a game that offers a throwback to the vector-based graphical days of Atari and Commodore. Played on newer technology like smartphones might encourage others to put a higher look to the graphics, but this game stays true to the classic feel of the early days through wireframe graphics and an 8-bit pastel color palette.
The second element builds on the first by adding gameplay that fits well within the retro framework. The game puts players in control of “the last remaining Techno-Wizard” as they fight the “evil Techno-Viking horde” in a space tower to prevent loot from disappearing from the tower.
This straight-forward premise for the game narrative leads to innovative gameplay on top of a rather simple plotline. This is done through a gameplay mechanic that has players control the tower on a swivel with left and right rotations of the phone to control the camera and look for targets. Once targets are found simply vanquish the horde by pressing the right side of the tower to fire a slew of bullets or the left side of the tower to fire missiles, being careful to not overheat the weapons.
Also, players need to avoid destruction by keeping a careful eye on the shield meter. For a rather desolate landscape grid with only simple trees on it and enemies, it’s not too difficult to spot them and fire on them from afar to survive. There is even the option to make use of Google Cardboard for an immersive experience that’s reminiscent of old school VR games.
I simply loved the game and recommend it to any who want retro gaming with innovative gameplay, just make sure you are in a safe place when you start spinning around and taking out the evil horde lest you run into something.
Benjamin Pope is a Game Design and Art/Animation student at the University of Advancing Technology working toward giving something back to the gaming industry through great, deep and addictive game titles.