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Review: Wizard Wars 2: Pepper Frog
Wizard Wars 2 is a great twist on the Frogger game.
You start the game with a really nice intro sequence, and the usual blah blah story of being turned into a frog for dinner by Warta the witch as you commonly find in most fairy tales The story gets you in to the mood for the game, and to expect more than just another frogger clone. Indeed when you get to the game menu, you are presented with another cool piece of visuals with a simple yet highly effective wobbly scrolling backdrop. Its when you see little touches like this that you know you are about to play a game that has a bit of time spent on it.
When you start the game you are not disappointed. You begin with the task of having to hop across some roads in the very usual Frogger style. The graphics at this point are very nice and fit in nicely.
As you progress through various screens (it is all flip-screen at this point) you find some bombs which you must pick up to help you pass through the barriers. A nice touch, and you even get a pop up to describe what to do with the bombs when you pick up your first one. My only gripe here is that the pop up is a standard windows one, it would be nicer to have this in game.
Some roads can be a bit frustrating, but it is rewarding when you get to the last screen to face an end of level boss. Here you need to pick up the bombs he throws at you and lob 'em back. Seems too hard and frustrating at first, but keep trying and you will find the way to best approach this level.
And keep trying is another good point about the game. When your lives are spent you get the option to continue, a great feature and much needed in this game. Because it is quite a hard game at times, it would destroy your will to play if you got really far and lost all your lives, only to start from the very beginning.
Past the first level boss and things really start to get interesting. Level 2 see's you on a scrolling map and this works really well. The graphics here are even better than the first level and there is the desire to explore. The first challenge is getting across the river, and for this you can pick up this bug thing (while avoiding the crabs) that temporarily gives you a double jump. Once over you get to a few more scrolling screens where you will discover the log floating sequence, another nice surprise My only gripes at this point is that once you hop on to a log you can not hop back off to the shore, or at least I could not. Also, on these levels when you enter a screen I sometimes had to look carefully for where I started as the grass is the same shade of green as the frog. Perhaps the shades should be more striking or the frog should flash when you first come on ? But so far there is no immediate danger at the start of a screen, so no frustrating deaths while you try to see where you've been placed.
I'm still playing this game, and hope that it goes on for a lot longer. As the game has a nice animated intro, you kind of want to play to the end to see what happens there, even if the story is a little basic, it will be nice to see the ending animated in the same way. I hope it does not disappoint.
But even when I finish the game, there is a two player death match mode. This gives lots of choices on the frog sprites used, the number of lives and the arena to play in. More great mindless fun and a great addition to the main game if you have a friend to play with.
Wizard Wars is a game worth downloading. It's put together well and you can see time has been spent on the little touches. Go get it now!
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