Wizard 101: A Game I Played A LOT!!

Wizard 101 is an online game you can play on a PC, and not on an console.  It’s called a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) that will remind you of the Harry Potter adventures. Though the game is made for children 10 years of age and above, kids as young as 6 enjoy the video game with a little bit of help.  It’s simple but fun, and boys, girls and grown-ups all enjoy playing.

The game begins with a player creating a character for himself — which is a wizard. Players design the character (which is an avatar) by choosing clothing, face, hair, gender and skin color. Each player then decides what type of magic school or special powers the young wizard will possess. A large list allows persons to choose one or two names for the character.  While attending magic schools, student wizards gain knowledge, skills, gold (called crowns), food, and magical items to journey on adventures and complete quests.

One of the key parts of the game is the fights that take place between wizards — which are really other players.   You do this by taking your place in a magic circle with other players.  You then use cards which create magical attacks on the other player.  Each player continues to turn cards — and attack — the other player until one of the player loses all of his health points and dies.  It sounds silly, but the graphics during the fight are pretty darn cool.  What makes this more fun is that as you level up your character over time, you get more spells and more powers.  This in turn makes you more powerful in your fights against other players — which is awesome.

The game has a free trial mode, but this limits you in terms of where you can travel, what you can wear, and what spells you have.  For the most fun you need to sign up for a monthly subscription which takes a parental unit’s credit card.  Once you are a paying member, the game really opens up and is much more fun.  Memberships are less expensive for families to join than for one person playing alone and provide unlimited options and rewards. Retailers and mass merchandisers sell game gift cards that are used in the same manner as money.  You can actually get these in any GameSpot, Walmart or Target.  We have three kids in my family and we got a family discount because all three of us signed up together.

Many parents play the game first before allowing children to do so. My Dad set up my account with me, he checked it out and got me hooked up to the parental credit card for my monthly subscription fee (bills his card every month).  Parents setting up an account may choose between different safeguards for the family that include limiting chat and online game time. Parents can decide to open the chat line or limit a player’s speech. Limited chat allows players to speak to each other by choosing words or phrases from a menu when needed.

While kids of all ages admit to enjoying the video game, it provides the chance for parents and children to discuss many topics. The adult controls of the game teach kids the importance of safety and security on the internet. Limiting game time and using game cards provide parents with tools to set goals and reward systems. During game play, children learn to budget supplies, make decisions, use strategy and work as a team with other players in order to journey to higher levels. But, the game also teaches players they must spend money or live in a world with limited choices.

I also paid my Dad a few times to buy me more crowns.  You can do this to help you in the game buy things like clothes and gear.  It makes it much more fun.  A parent has to do this because it requires a credit card.  I think you can also use the game cards for this too, which you can buy in Target, Walmart and Bestbuy.

I played this game for almost a year.  Sometimes I went to YouTube to help me out in certain places where I needed help.  Youtube is always a great source of help whenever you gut stuck; I did this often an highly recommend this at higher levels.

I also really enjoyed playing online with my friends.  We would get on the telephone with each other and play all at the same time.  You can actually find each other in the game and hang out, play together, and have fun.  In fact, one time there was a fight that happened in real life because of this game… one of my friends gave another friend his password.  Bad idea.  The second friend got mad at the first friend and DELETED my second friend’s character.  Yep.  all gone.  He had put hours into the toon (another word for the character).   And yep, he cried.  Seriously.  He cried.

It was very very bad… the moms got on the phone with each other, there was lots of yelling, my first friend got majorly grounded and was never allowed to play again.  The parents of my second friend somehow called Wizard 101 and got the toon back, but it was never the same.

I still play sometimes because I love the game.  Just take it from me — NEVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORDS.  It can literally kill the fun for you.  Hahaha

All in all this has been one of my most favorite games.  I highly recommend it.

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