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Wizkid: The Story Of Wizball II

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Released: 1992

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Ocean Software

Developer: Sensible Software

It must be said, Wizkid is a game with an odd atmosphere. It doesn’t quite set in until you hit Mount Wizimanjaro, the third stage. It takes place in an active volcano, yet you’ll be casually steering a disembodied head around the screen, dropping rocks onto butterflies to some extraordinarily relaxing background music. Sometimes, you can pick up a clown nose to juggle the rocks, or teeth which let you carry them around.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that if you grab a complete set of musical notes, you’ll be able to buy items to take into an adventure platforming section. This is, if you can believe it, even odder than the standard gameplay. For example, you can drop down a well to find some toilets. You can use the toilets, resulting in a distant volcanic eruption. How do you get back up? Flood out the well with a broken toilet, obviously.

So here’s a sequel that is nothing like its predecessor, and designed very unusually – but with Sensible Software behind it all, the game just /works/. The developer’s trademark sense of humour is evident, the game looks lovely and the act of trying to bash multiple enemies with one block is compelling. This is the kind of game that is clearly a one-off, never to be repeated, but that’s why we love it. In today’s world of big budgets and high risk, nobody would dare make a game like Wizkid – and arguably, there’s no equivalent of Sensible that could.