The Wizard's Pen
Year Published: 2008
Publisher: PopCap Games
Developer: PopCap Games

Many positive reviews I've seen of The Wizard's Pen are from people who had played it when they were children and back when it was first released in 2008. Nowadays, the game looks and feels very dated, particularly in its use of static CG rendered images, and its simple design makes it best (and perhaps only) suitable for kids.

The Wizard's Inception: A puzzle is the answer to a puzzle.

The Wizard's Pen is not a traditional hidden object game in the normal sense. It is more of a cross between a HOG and Pictionary. As the apprentice of an unnamed "Wizard", you arrive at his castle to find he has disappeared, and you decide to play a series of picture games with his talking titular quill pen while waiting for his return.

Most of these games involve a blank page of a book that will reveal an image piece-by-piece when tapped with the pen. You can only tap the page so many times before you are forced to take a guess on what the object is. The fewer times you tap the page and the fewer wrong guesses you make, the more stars you will earn for completing the puzzle. The stars are used to unlock bonus sketchbooks which don't feature in the story, but give you something more to do with the game once you are done with it, which won't take very long. Failing to correctly guess an object only results in earing 0 stars before moving on to the next one.

Since you have to type your guesses, it's good that the game is fairly lenient on them, accounting for different names for the same object (hat vs. cap, for example) and misspellings. Unfortunately, the bonus books repeat many of the same objects from the main game, sometimes even with the same exact pictures. I would've hoped for a little less redundancy in a game that's already rather small.

Maybe the reason the Wizard is missing is because he's hidden behind all this junk.

The only other type of puzzle in The Wizard's Pen resembles a hidden object game, but instead of finding stuff, you're given a list of items that are missing from the picture and you must click the areas where they belong. There are only four scenes that repeat throughout the game: all very cramped and cluttered, animation-free CG renders. Strangely enough, they get easier as the game wears on because once you've seen the same picture enough times, you'll more easily recognize where something's been removed from it. Unlike the first time, when you're not necessarily going to know what's missing a handle (and boy, handles go missing a lot in this game).

The Wizard's Pen might be mildly entertaining for those who love Pictionary-style games or for very young kids. I doubt too many others would have much interest in it.

SCORE: 2/5



AddThis Social Bookmark Button Dreamhost