Wizard of Legend review
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Wizard of Legend review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on November 15th, 2023
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NOT SO MAGICAL
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This action roguelite is fairly standard and otherwise kind of unwieldy in this mobile port.

Developer: Contingent99

Price: $7.99
Version: 1.02
App Reviewed on: iPad Pro

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

I will be the first person to say that there's a good case for more PC and console games to make their way to iOS. After all, my experience with other mobile game-playing devices that folks fawn over like the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch is that they feel like bad iPads that have tremendous game libraries. That said, I don't think we need to celebrate every time a port happens, and particularly so in the case of games like Wizard of Legend that mostly feel like an also-ran among what is now an ocean of higher-quality roguelites on the App Store.

Dungeon dueling

Wizard of Legend is an action roguelite where you go on dungeon-crawling runs equipped with an arsenal of different spells you can use in tandem with each other to defeat waves of enemies and bosses. In each of these dungeons, there are also item shops, environmental hazards, loot, and sometimes random offers that may help or hurt your chances as you try to progress through three different and randomized dungeon archetypes.

All of the action moves in real time and at a pace that--personally--feels a bit too hectic for the game's unwieldy touch controls. Luckily, there is controller support, but that's not perfect, either (more on that later). There are also different difficulty tunings you can adjust as well as some aim assist features you can turn on to help you out.

Combo caster

The core of Wizard of Legend is its combat, and a lot of it revolves around mixing and matching a loadout of spells that work well together and forming combos with them that lead to seamless victories over enemies. Each spell has several different attributes, including the type of element it corresponds with, a cooldown for when you can cast it again, and a certain ability type.

By managing these appropriately, you can find yourself in a groove of hitting certain spells in a certain order at specific times to have a continous wave of damage flowing from your character. This style of play is incentivized via a combo meter that builds as you hit enemies and--once full--empowers certain kinds of spells that can be used as huge damage-dealing finishers.

Once more, with bugs

The core design of Wizard of Legend is solid and can be enjoyable, but it's also something I've seen before... a lot. Action roguelites are not new territory in the slightest, even on iOS, and the combo-based gameplay doesn't feel like enough to make me want to master it over the half dozen other games that otherwise have a lot of the same stuff but more unique mechanics layered in as well.

It also doesn't help that I have had some peculiar issues while playing Wizard of Legend that make me not really want to put in a whole lot more time and effort into it than I already have. As mentioned earlier, controller support is present in this game, but it doesn't seem fully functional? Certain commands will have button prompts next to them, but pressing the appropriate button doesn't do anything. This doesn't ever happen to any of the primary controls, but rather more on things like pulling up or closing the map. You can just reach over to tap your screen to activate those buttons, but Wizard of Legend also doesn't seem to love transitioning from controller to touch and back again. It all just feels clunky.

Perhaps more importantly, I have also most recently found in my last attempt to put in a few runs on Wizard of Legend that somehow all of my progress in the game to-date had been wiped. I'm not sure how that happened, but obviously it doesn't feel great.

The bottom line

Wizard of Legend seems like a fine game if you just want another roguelite in your game library. I'm just not sure I do, or at least if I did I'd want something that does a little more than Wizard of Legend does to differentiate itself from its peers. I'd also want it not to have the technical problems it has.

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