TTitle: A Wizard’s Lizard
Platform: Steam, Windows, Mac, Linux

Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Adventure, Rogue-Like
Players: Single player

Written by Whistler 17th June 2014














A powerful wizard finally finds a way to master death that is so powerful it gives him dominion over life and death as well as giving him the chance to bring his loved one back from the grave; of course it’s too good to be true and who else but Death, the big man himself enters the scene and isn’t too pleased.

Developed by Lost Decade Games, A Wizard’s Lizard is a top down rogue twin stick shooter in vein of The Binding of Isaac, Full Mojo Rampage and Our Dark Purpose that tells the tale about (shock horror) a wizard’s lizard by the name of Raga who must now save a town cursed by Death, traverse deadly dungeons and triumph over Death itself.



























A Wizard’s Lizard takes the tropes of the rogue-like formula and mixes a few of its own ideas; collect loot, fight swarms of baddies, die, upon death you lose all the loot, start over, it’s all there. However while you would start on a completely empty slate and pray to the RNG gods for luck in The Binding of Isaac, AWL allows you to somewhat tip the scales in your favour by starting you in Amber Village where you can pick up pocket money to grab an early item or two before venturing back into the depths of procedurally generated dungeons.

Death also doesn’t mean the end in a more literal sense than usual, upon dying you get a 2nd chance in a purgatory/spectral state (that also lights up the rooms), only in this state can you solve certain puzzles (though personally I feel not worth it) while looking for a special room that lifts the curse of death bringing you back from the dead.


Sounds great right? Wrong!
Sadly while it’s understandable that there needs to be something to balance the second wind, in your spectral form you’ll find rooms tend to become a lot harder with tankier enemies that can swarm the rooms to the point you can move to avoid them.

In fact that’s the biggest issue I have with the game, the combat, fights in most rooms turn into massive slugfests as you endlessly chuck swords, knives, spears etc at bullet sponge after bullet sponge even on the first level that isn’t helped much by the different weapon types. Most weapons do feel different there’s no arguing that, but they don’t add much variety like other twin stick shooters.



























While the games visuals are a nice variable that definitely gives it unique feel, the uniqueness along with the core mechanics aren’t enough to keep me all that enthralled. A Wizard’s Lizard is a solid rogue-like title that will please most rogue/twin stick shooter fans and it nails the basics of the genre; personally it just lacks that random spark that glued me to the keyboard that titles like The Binding of Isaac and Faster Than Light pulled off.



Pros:    

Nice visuals,

Allows steady progression,

Doesn’t do enough to stand out from the crowd,


Cons:   

Some Pretty cheap enemy/trap combos,

Combat is a little sluggish,

Underused unique mechanics.


Final verdict ,

A Wizard’s Lizard doesn’t stay dead with a 6 out of 10.


Written by,

Whistler

Whistler Morbid        Play Morbid Play Morbid Play Morbid Play - Articles Morbid Play -  Reviews Morbid Play - Staff