Retired Wizard Story launched on Android recently, adding a proactive twist on the Plants vs. Zombies wave defense formula. Instead of sitting back and letting minions do all the defending. players don the robe and wizard’s hat to stop accidentally-enchanted sheep from escaping their pen and ruining their quiet, anonymous retirement. This is done by casting spells with taps, swipes, and dragging and dropping scrolls creates mystical circles of power.
Graphics and Audio
Retired Wizard Story has a goofy cartoon/anime art style that works wonderfully and keeps the game fresh and fun. The cartoon graphics weren’t quite as sharp as I would have liked, there aren’t any significant screen transitions, and some of the text elements feel stark and out of place, but overall, the game is well laid out. The season and time of day change throughout Retired Wizard Story’s change throughout the game’s ten chapters, ensuring visuals stay fresh all the way through.
The sheep bleat appropriately when nuked with elemental magic, though things stay G-rated as they simply revert to their passive animal state rather than exploding. The sound effects are equally lighthearted, though the constant laid-back, Old MacDonald-style music going in the background feels out of place considering the speed of the action.
Gameplay and controls
Retired Wizard Story’s gameplay can get extremely frantic as evil and oddly well-equipped sheep approach the finishing line. Casting spells uses up mana, which regenerates over time, or can be topped up with a mana potion in a pinch. On top of consumable potions and powerful scrolls, gems can also be spent on passive skills that increase mana regeneration, maximum mana pool, and overall magic damage.
Progression is very straightforward; finishing levels rewards players with gems, which can be spent on upgrading existing spells or purchasing new ones which have been unlocked. Gems are also dropped randomly by sheep in the middle of a round, or can be bought through in-app purchases. New spells open up as players progress in gameplay, which is good because over time those sheep get all sorts of gear to help them weather your onslaught of sorcery. A timeline in every level shows how many more sheep there are left to freeze or incinerate, as well as when there’s a big rush incoming. Each round is rated out of three stars, depending on how many sheep you let through to the other side. After 10 cross the line at the other end of the screen, it’s game over.
I had a lot of fun playing Retired Wizard Story; the only thing I could really ask for are a wider variety of unlocks, and maybe a levelling up/talent system to specialize in particular kinds of spells. A selection of progression trees to unlock unique abilities would be a great addition.
- Frenetic gameplay
- Cute, characterful graphics
- Same ol’ wave defense set-up
Retired Wizard Story gets major points for its frantic gameplay and familiar but fresh premise. In-app purchases are implemented in a sensible, non-intrusive way, and not remotely required to play the game and have fun. If you ever played Plants vs. Zombies and wanted to be able to open up on the targets yourself, Retired Wizard Story is just for you.