WIZARD GAMESWizard games come in two forms. Firstly, and in the majority, you have some nice, inoffensive slot games, with bright characters and gentle music. The games are colourful and pleasant, with a range of bonus games that are both delightful and inventive. Then there’s the dark side of Wizard games. The genetically modified killing machines. The alien suits of sentient armour. The weather formations that contain several tons of hungry, carnivorous fish.
It’s quite a contrast, but it demonstrates the wide range of subjects covered by Wizard games, meaning that whatever mood you are in, good or bad, light or dark, we’ve got a game that fits.
Atari ClassicsSeveral Wizard games are based on classic Atari computer games. Asterids was one of the biggest-selling of the early arcade games when it was released toward the end of 1979. Space Invaders had been released the year before, to great success, but Asteroids was a more complex game, albeit a slightly less colourful one. Instead of being in a fixed position, with only limited movement to the left and right like Space Invaders, Asteroids let you move around the screen in order to shoot the incoming space rocks that came at you from all directions. The starkness of the game – wire-frame vector graphics and no colours – gave the game an authentic, space age feel. Over 70,000 cabinets were sold, bringing Atari $150 million in profits, and making over $500 million for arcade owners.
Spider’s SilkAnother, lesser-known Atari property is Black Widow, also recreated as a slot by Wizard games. This was not as successful as Asteroids on its release in 1982. In fact, all arcade games were suffering by then, as the market had become saturated with thousands of games. In this game, you are the titular spider, trapping victims, defeating enemies and generally keeping your web clean of anything dropped by an invader. This game had more colour and a wider range of characters and actions, although nothing compared to modern slot games.
Valiant ComicsThere are two competing schools of superheroes: Marvel Comics, and DC Comics. These guys are the Coke and Pepsi of the comic world. But they are not the only flavours out there. Valiant Comics are a lot smaller than these guys, but no less tasty, and Wizard Games have made slots out of two of their titles, X-O: Manowar and Bloodshot. Both titles were created in 1992 and are more on the testosterone-filled side of the action.
X-O: Manowar is like a cross between Iron Man and Gladiator. The hero, Aric, is a rebel fighting Roman soldiers in 5th century Europe. He is abducted by aliens and comes into possession of a hugely powerful suit of alien armour, which he uses to free himself and others. But now he finds himself trapped in the 21st Century, and the aliens want their armour back…
Meanwhile, Bloodshot is the story of Angelo Mortalli, a genetically modified super soldier who can shape-change and regenerate. Naturally, he has lost his memories and the organisation that made him turns out to be a shady corporation hell-bent on world domination. We’re assuming this, we haven’t actually read the comic. But look at him. He means business.
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