Viveport Review: Wands
Become the ultimate wizard with this fun but flawed spell casting game.
By Renee Ruiz, Greenlit Content
Are you ready to be the best in wizardry? If you answered yes, then pick up your wand (AKA Vive controller) and put those magic skills to the test in Wands.
Cortopia Studio's spellcasting game takes the virtual reality experience to a different level by challenging you to handle competitive wizard battling. You'll step into an online world dueling against real people in real time, where you battle like never before with the use of spells. While there's a lot of magical moments in this game, some issues prevent Wands from being top of the wizard's class.
As the title suggests, wands are a big part of, uh, Wands. Before you enter the battle arena, you‘ll need to imbue your wand with spells. Unfortunately, only four spells will fit into your stick of power, so you'll need to choose wisely from the assorted options, which does involve some strategy. Of course, all the magic in the world will not help you with aiming or getting the timing right; that's down to you and your controller. Luckily, a secret workshop is available to let you test your skills on training dummies. When you feel like an arcane contender, you can bring your conjuring might into the arena.
When you enter the arena you hit the big stumbling block. Matchmaking in Wands isn't balanced well right now, so if you jump into a random match, you should expect to square off against players of varying skill levels. Sadly, the chance of facing a higher skilled opponent in an early bout is increased because of the current low population of duelists. You do get to dress up in your favorite wizard's cloak and mask, so if you happen to lose, at least you’ll look good doing it.
Unfortunately there’s not much more to an average Wands match than flinging spells back and forth with your opponents; while you can move around the arena, you'll be doing so to fixed teleportation spots. The scenery is nice, with a variety of multi-tiered levels from cathedrals to ancient temples to explore. With some clever maneuvering it's possible to get the drop on your opponent, so make sure to explore.
With the right opponents, all of the conjuring, teleporting, dodging, and ranking up can keep you entertained in Wands for many hours, but when facing random spellcasters you might not have as good a time. There are over 100 levels of experience to rank up in, so there's depth here, but on balance if you're looking for a pure singleplayer experience you may want to check out The Wizards instead (read our review here).
If you're looking to throw down against other virtual magic users however, Wands is a solid choice. Prepare your spells and become one with the elements while you earn magical bragging rights!