IFReviewed by Greg Boettcher on 2006-05-22 08:25
Wizards Playground is a small ADRIFT role-playing game. It mostly does a reasonably decent job with combat and magic, but whereas good games are well fleshed-out, this one is skeletal.
For instance, don't go examining any of the scenic objects in this game, because nothing has been implemented except that which has to do with combat and magic. Also, even when you can refer to things, it's not always easy. For instance, if you want to look at Master Jibu, you have to type "examine master jibu." If you type "examine jibu" or "examine master," you get the same response as "examine asdf."
With all the non-standard commands required for combat and magic, guess-the-verb could have been a problem. Fortunately the author recognized this and tells you what commands to use. Unfortunately, these instructions are given in room descriptions, not in any response to "help" or "about." This is rather awkward. Also, the magic and combat commands have no synonyms, and, in at least one case, were not well clued. Do not type "join' the wizard's guild," as the room description tells you to; you must instead simply type "join." And then, even when you do join, I was not able to figure out how to do anything in the Wizard's Guild's main hall. No clues there, or none that I found.
There are some enemies to beat here, and I was able to beat most of them without much difficulty, except for one troll. It might be that you win the game if you beat the troll, but this is just a guess. On the other hand, oddly enough, it is possible to walk past the troll without hitting him and cross the bridge that he guards. Oddly, too, there is nothing special on the other side of the bridge. This certainly does not build anticipation or any desire to try hard to defeat the troll. As a result, I stopped playing this game without winning.
There is no story here, nor anything else except whatever is necessary for combat and magic. The game feels sort of like a demo or an exercise in game design. As such, I wouldn't recommend it except to somebody who was interested in seeing what is possible for RPGs in ADRIFT. With regard to that, it's not so bad. Otherwise, though, it doesn't have much to offer.