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Crystal Wizard

Published by Tates Colony
Price $19.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

Crystal Wizard is a columns variant. We all know the score, take falling blocks (in this case orbs) and match three of the same colour in a touching cluster to make them vanish.

The hand drawn graphics are all very high quality. This is one of the sub-games that you can play in the demo.

There are a few differences in Crystal Wizard in that you can have pinball style chutes and pins over certain columns, and to get round that you can toss orbs in sideways if you choose, making them bounce of the walls and each other. Thus the game forms a hybrid between traditional columns games and some of the newer 3D ones where the blocks are not strictly placed in a grid.

The levels and goals can vary level on level in Crystal Wizard. Some might have awkward barriers, requiring the player to aim their orbs from a side. Sometimes one must clear specific targets or score a specific amount in a certain time. It's quite surprising how much level variation there is in this game.

The only difference between columns games nowadays seem to be the presentation and the graphics and presentation here are top notch. The intro has crystal balls flying around with spark trails, and indeed every ball has a spark trail at some point. In the game the bright sparkle sounds and particles seem only to underscore the fact that the game is called Crystal Wizard.

The jazzy music is very high quality. The in game music is little more than a looping bass line and gets very repetitive fast, it would have been nice to have an option to turn that one off.

The game also includes eight sub-games. A basic plain game is there for die hard purists who want to go and play columns old-style, and other game types including beat the clock. It's hard to think of any feature that is not present. You can even play in a window or full screen too.

The idea not very original but columns games are always fun, and the additional ideas and sheer quality of the presentation add a shiny reflective finish to an already playable game.

Graphics 90%
Sound 80%
Playability 92%
Longevity 78%
Overall Score 88%
Silver Star

Published on 27 Feb 2004
Reviewed by Mark Sheeky

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