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Is Wizard101 Just For Kids?

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By Eric Bloom, long-time gamer and lead vocalist for Blue Oyster Cult

The simple answer to the question is a resounding "No". I haven't been in the kid category since Eisenhower (who?) was President. To give you some perspective, I saw a game at Ebbets Field when the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series in 1955, I was in college when JFK was shot, I went to the original Woodstock on my Suzuki 250 motorcycle and I bought Pong when it was new. I toured Japan when every bar had a Space Invaders machine at every seat. I played computer games on my Commodore 64 in the 80's and paid $2600 for a 66 mhz 486 chip computer in 1994. Now that we have confirmed that I'm a gen-u-wine geezer, I can confirm that Wizard 101 is an all-ages game, pretending to be for kids-only. Actually, I wonder how little kids can grasp some of the game's nuances, like no entry to certain areas without completing all the area quests first (wah! I can't get through the secret door and I have a quest to go there!) Even I, with ::cough:: years of gaming experience had to ask fellow contributor Stephanie assorted questions to clear up some stuff that wasn't obvious to me.

WizardGraphicalClient2008-11-1114-26-59-46Down to the game itself: It's fun. On the surface it waves it's "kids only" flag, for example the way the NPC's talk to you. However it's sophisticated enough for adults, sort of MMO-Light. Graphically, it nostalgically reminds me of the King's Quest games I used to play on the Commodore, and that's not a bad thing. Colors are bright and vibrant. Technically, it loads very quickly, entrance between areas load almost instantly, a pleasure compared to more modern MMO's. You don't need a high-end computer to play. I think the Dev's have a home-run on their hands. I am turning my other gaming friends onto it, especially those with children so they can play together.

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