Wizards and Wagons gives a sense of accomplishment and fun.
I have been a fan of trading games since playing Drugwars on my graphing calculator back in the late 1990’s. The premise of this genre of game is relatively simplistic, buy low, sell high and make profit. However, many of these games become repetitive, buy the same item enough times and then go to the place you know buys them at a profit to you. They often do not change much over time and you repeat the process until you can move to the next tier of buy/sell items. Once you make enough money, you can get better ships, more storage etc. I am a sucker for a good trader game, especially one with additional mechanics.
I have been given the opportunity to play and review Wizards and Wagons, a game that is now one of my favorite iOS games. The game starts out with pictures, depicting the story, setting the scene and your driving motive. You are a hero, a famous hero, one who killed a demon lord. Unfortunately, fame and fortune do not last and you find yourself without money. You must get to work to fulfill your main objective, to collect enough money to buy back your house in the starter city. How will you do this?
This game is more than just a buy/sell game. You are given a wagon, a very small wagon and instructed to earn money. To start, you will buy apples and take them to the second town to sell. From there you are given information to further your business. Each town has items in surplus and items in demand and you can see this on the main travel page as supply/demand. As the seasons progress the supply and demand shifts and you must change your travel plans. You will quickly notice your starter wagon is inadequate. Different wagons have different strengths and weaknesses. Do you want a slower wagon with more defense or do you want to faster wagon plus defense, or do you want a well-rounded wagon,one with better storage capabilities? You will have to decide for yourself.
As you travel beyond the first city/first time you travel, you are set upon by enemies. It is a dangerous world out there and you need to defend yourself. These enemies range from slimes to soldiers to archers to mages. You can either run, defend yourself, or a mixture of these strategies. As you progress, you can buy equipment/weapons/armor or various runes(speed, defense or attack). You can also hire aide. This combat aspect is actually my favorite part of the game. You have to touch the enemies to attack and ultimately kill them. You can have multiple weapons, chose which is best for a given situation. They sometimes drop money for you, which makes it worthwhile. As you travel you must choose your layout to include sellable items and weapons, defense, magic etc. Then you must make your way to the next city. You may survive, but you may not make it intact. Take enough damage and your wagon icon changes. This shows polish to the game and attention to detail by the developers. I, as a player, appreciate this attention to detail. If you continue to take additional damage, your wagon may be destroyed. You must visit the town blacksmith and repair this damage. When you make enough profit you can buy a new wagon.
To add additional layers/complexity visit the town guild. Here you can take on a couple quest assignments, ranging from simple deliver tasks, defeat a certain number of enemies task or convoy/deliver tasks. You can also view town perks (talk to enough people or buy/sell enough items) or you can talk to the loan shark. Did you just buy something new, like a new wagon or equipment and now do not have enough money to buy supplies? You can take a loan and pay this back with interest. Now borrow from the guild go to the blacksmith and repair your wagon, buy a new wagon or supplies.
I feel I have put a fair amount of time into the game and have only brushed the surface. There are towns I have not visited, wagons I cannot yet afford and I still have not purchased. This game is fun. One thing I do feel the game should have is strength listings on the weapons to give an idea of relative strength. Additional defense would also be of benefit. I have let it sit for a few days and returned to the game forgetting how much fun this was. I love that this is a mobile app that can go with me. I love that you can spend just a few minutes and travel to the next town to buy or sell. I give this game 5/5 stars. This is one I have played more than others and one that I will continue to play with time. This may be boring to some traveling the same path over and over, grinding to get the next wagon. However, it also gives you a sense of accomplishment instead of a freebie. Yes it is difficult at first, and it may take a restart or two. This game is fun and worth the time. I personally am not a fan of games that spoon feed you every aspect. Follow the journal, listen the villagers, build your fortune.