I had the chance to speak with the developers behind A Wizard’s Lizard as well as get my hands on an early build of the title and on behalf of RealGamerNewz I must say what I played felt great. While this is a game that you’ll definitely want to hook a controller up to your machine for, it can also be played with a mouse and keyboard. In case you haven’t heard of it yet A Wizard’s Lizard is currently aimed for computer gamers on platforms like the Humble Store and is a Roguelike Action RPG game which pays homeage to the classics but has an entirely unique identity all on its own.
In A Wizard’s Lizard there are always two unique worlds. On the one hand death is a main mechanic in the game, but when you die it’s not over yet – perhaps just beginning. Elements of the game appear only when you are dead that aren’t even there when you’re alive. Randomized dungeons are explored and players come back to the realm of the living by finding Pentagram symbols which are in a random place each time the game starts. A high level of difficulty and new experiences are presented every time you play the game, and your decisions to some extent effect your experience. For example, Shop Keepers will retaliate if you mess with them and if you manage to kill one their items will be easy to grab for free but their ghost will haunt you each time you hit up their shop afterward.
Controls are that of a twin-stick shooter with attacking in four directions or four diagonal directions if on the keyboard but on gamepad controllers players attack wherever they aim in 360 degree movement and 360 degree combat using dual analog sticks. The challenging dungeons in this game are where it shines most and playing A Wizard’s Lizard is something you can easily get into but play over and over again pouring in effort to find everything possible. The story-driven in-game events keep the pace moving while players are also forced to choose between one weapon at a time. Each kind of weapon gives a completely different play-style and feel with Daggers being weaker but spread out, Axes being stronger as they bounce off of walls, and so on. A couple examples of more unique weapons found in the game include the Golden Axe which drops a nugget of gold as well as the Boom Sphere which explodes when it hits walls.
In A Wizard’s Lizard it’s easy to die, but definitely harder to come back to life. Multiple runs are required to obtain a mastery over the title, as with any Roguelike, and yet the elements expected in an Action RPG are all there. When you’re in the world of the dead, monsters in the dead plane who you’ve already killed in the world of the living are ready and on the offensive to exact revenge for what you’ve done to them. Dead Mode is also harder than being alive. Light puzzle mechanics are found in A Wizard’s Lizard which require you to pass between being alive and being dead. For example there is a cemetery which holds a key surrounded by blocks you can only pass through when you are alive. Every dungeon’s resurrection room is randomly placed and later dungeons will be more likely to have them appear further away in harder to reach spots encouraging more exploration and mastery of the combat system as they’ll also be protected by monsters at times.
The difficulty in A Wizard’s Lizard is quite interesting because it’s actually brought on by the player themselves. Certain actions and choices make the game harder. You could play an easier version of the game by playing it entirely alive but then you’d miss out on side-content and harder to get achievements. Then again, the more you bury yourself with consequences and enrage the spirits of your enemies only to face them in the realm of the dead, the more of a hard time you’ll have actually surviving any particular play-through.
Every dungeon is a set size but the layouts and paths change each time players enter the game. Certain monsters and traps are rare while others are common. The procedural generation of A Wizard’s Lizard’s dungeons is another feature that sets its gameplay somewhere between incredibly fun and consistently challenging. There are also “Scenarios” found in the game that are a mixture of hand-crafted and randomly generated. For example, “Zombie Rooms” still have random internal specs but are semi-planned. There’s also an “Owelry” with owls and web traps that players may come across at times. The world of the dead has far more traps and enemies than the world of the living, and chances are that you’re going to find yourself there before you know it. While staying alive players also encounter enemies like Lych Lords and Skeleton Kings as well, only to face increased challenges in these situations if they are unable to defeat the enemy without entering the great beyond.
A Wizard’s Lizard is an HTML 5 game and as such it is compatible with Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. The game is currently undergoing many changes and upgrades as it transforms from the former project by the name of Crypt Run into A Wizard’s Lizard, but we hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into what to expect when the game makes its way into players’ hands. Lost Decade have announced a Q1 2014 release date and an eventual Wii U port is still up in the air but looks to be a hopeful as the team has become Licensed Nintendo Developers. Check out the Preview Trailer released for the game below.