I must admit that when it comes to choosing my character in a fantasy game, a standard wizard or mage is usually not what I go for. Dealing with a squishy little spellcaster just isn’t for me, I’d rather be a musical bard or a tricksy rogue who stabs people in the back. There could be hope for me and wizards yet though, I just need to find the right wizard for me. Wizard with a Gun looks to provide that by giving your protagonist a much needed overhaul and handing them a firearm.
In Wizard with a Gun, the world is ending. Not just ending in a month or two unless you kill a big bad dude either, it’s ending in five minutes. But all is not lost, because a group of mages with the power to rewind time are trying to stop Chaos (evil red tentacle monsters) from destroying life as we know it one rewind at a time. You’re next in line to take over this task, and after crafting a wooden gun and being given access to a timeproof base your adventure to save the world begins.
Once you craft some bullets infused with spells, you’re ready to head out into the world to try and find some extra cogs so you can rewind time more than five minutes back. The floating island environments of Wizard with a Gun are full of stuff to collect, and enemies to blast, which are randomised every time you leave your base, and with your trusty gun you’ll take them down easily. Combat is as simple as pointing and shooting at enemies while dodge rolling to avoid their incoming attacks, but as you unlock and upgrade the spells you load into the gun it becomes even more satisfying.
The variety of bullet types in Wizard with a Gun is really impressive. First I opted for fire bullets that left a line of damaging flames in their path, then I switched to lightning that chained between enemies. If those don’t appeal there’s everything from charm bullets to stun bullets to load into your gun, so long as you can find the appropriate materials to research and craft them.
I was expecting isometric action when I started Wizard with a Gun, but I wasn’t expecting quite so much crafting. Thanks to a gun you’re given called the Worldbuilder, you can make all sorts of crafting tables either in your base or while out in the world as long as you have enough wood, stone and metal. Materials aren’t hard to come by though: you just need to shoot enough trees, walls, and rocks, and before you know it you’ll have plenty of bits to craft and research with.
Even more important than your Worldbuilder, though, is your First Edition spell book. This magical tome is used to scan any enemies, environmental objects, and most importantly crafting tables you find on your adventure. Once you scan an object you’ll be able to make it with your Worldbuilder and add it to your collection of workbenches in your base, so never forget to scan your surroundings.
It won’t take you too long to get used to the standard gameplay loop in Wizard with a Gun. With only five minutes on the clock there’s only so much you can collect and discover on each run out in the world, but as long as you grab a cog or two you’ll be making progress towards the next biome you need to explore. By blasting back chaos portals you can add a little extra time onto your clock and stay out longer, but eventually those seconds will tick away and you’ll have to deal with the chaos apocalypse.
The moment that timer hits zero the world will start to tear apart, and making your way to a gate that can get you home will be tough. There’ll be exploding debris falling from the sky, a ridiculous amount of chaos enemies and a very small chance of survival. Honestly it’s probably the most exciting part of the game, and I enjoyed pushing my luck and venturing further from the gate when the end was nigh.
Wizard with a Gun is a fun and compelling game, but I also had quite a few issues while playing it. Compared to most Roguelikes (which Wizard with a Gun essentially is) everything is much more repetitive. It feels more like you’re grinding towards upgrading than pushing yourself to get further in the game, and it takes hours of this before you start reaching new exciting content.
One of the reasons the game feels repetitive is how similar fighting all the different enemies feels. There’s not a lot of variety in the attacks they unleash, so you spend most of the game dodging attacks in a straight line or attacks in a big circle. There’s so much potential in Wizard with a Gun, but these issues do add up.
Wizard with a Gun combines crafting and Roguelike isometric action to create an entertaining, if slightly too repetitive game. It’s worth the repetition to try out all the cool bullet types and guns though, and the end of the world is always a real rush. It my not be perfect, but there’s nothing else quite like Wizard with a Gun.
Lots of great weapons and bullets to experiment with
The end of the world is exhilarating
Lots of upgrades to work towards
Is too grindy
All the enemies feel the same to fight