Wizard of Wor

Born in 1981

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  • Midway

  • FormatArcade
  • TypeShooter
  • SystemArcade

In the 1980s arcade, Wizard of Wor exuded cool. The thunderous sound effects gave this game a dark atmosphere and the bassline sped up, ‘Jaws’ style, as the action intensified. 

The music, speech and sounds are what make this game so memorable for me.
Shaun Holley

On the surface it was just your plain old innocent maze shooter, but get to know it well and it was like that creepy friend you had at school, who seemed to be always standing behind you, smiling. 

The objective was clear: shoot everything and survive. Your player was placed in a blue maze, or dungeon, with another player, which was controlled by the computer if you were riding solo. There were three main baddies to shoot, which kind of looked like dinosaur Pokemon. These sometimes disappeared, so you had to rely on a radar display at the bottom of the screen to see where they were. 

Clear a level and the Worluk would appear. He was a fast moving fly thing which you attempted to shoot before he slid out of either the left or right dungeon exit. Get him and sometimes the Wizard himself would show up. He was super-hard to kill and spat out lasers like a man spitting a lot. Blast the Wizard and the screen would go all flashy and bonus points would be awarded. Then it’s on to the next semi-random maze. Survive long enough and you would be placed in ‘the arena’, a more open plan area which made it harder to stay alive. Later on you would be cast into ‘the pit’. This was a completely open area with no maze walls to hide behind. 

Two players could play at the same time, either co-operatively or competitively. Trying to kill the other player and get all the points was great fun. 

The music, speech and sounds are what make this game so memorable for me. The four note intro tune growls like someone playing a vintage Moog with hedgehogs. The ‘double score dungeon’ riff seems to be saying to me, ‘come and have a go then’. The gun fire sound squeals, yes squeals, like you’ve stood on a pig. 

This game was ported to many home consoles and computers of the time, with the Commodore 64 version being particularly good. But Midway, why you no do a sequel?

Review by Shaun Holley

Gameplay- Terra Cresta
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Wizard of Wor-World Record

  • Midway

  • FormatArcade
  • TypeShooter
  • SystemArcade
  • Terra Cresta is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up. The player controls a ship, initially with limited firepower. Numbered pods appear containing further parts of the ship that will increase firepower.

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  • Rastan, originally released as Rastan Saga in Japan, is a fantasy-themed side-scrolling action game originally released for the arcades in 1987 by Taito and later ported to various platforms.

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