Wizards & Warriors (NES) Review

By Athanasios 09.12.2017 2

Review for Wizards & Warriors on NES

The Wizards & Warriors series, which mainly got a few months of fame due to the second game Iron Sword: Wizards & Warriors II, is an example of pure NES cult: not many know of it, and yet those who do actually love it quite a lot… and find it impossible to admit that this was far from a well-made product. Therefore, and while it certainly doesn't belong in that long list of shockingly bad games of the NES library, Cubed3 makes a 30-year trip back into the past to explain why.

The title is called Wizards & Warriors, the main character is a metal-clad knight that wields a sword, the enemies are all sorts of critters and monsters, and the purpose is to save a bunch of half-naked damsels (more like clones, to be honest) and free this generic fantasy land from the clasp of an evil wizard - so it's safe to assume that this is a typical action game similar to Castlevania. You know, go from A to B, hacking and slashing foes while doing so.

Well, guess again, as this turns out to be nothing more than a scavenger hunt about a bunch of diamonds that just happens to include a swordsman; speaking of which, he is very bad at what he does. Oh, sure, he can swing that sword, but he might as well use a frying pan, as it doesn't really make things any different. To put it simply, it's almost impossible to kill something without getting hurt first, as the hit detention is almost… non-existent.

Screenshot for Wizards & Warriors on NES

As such, the only thing left to do is run and jump as if this is a Mario game. Furthermore, enemies never ever stop coming towards our "hero," meaning that stopping to catch your breath is not advisable. The fun factor decreases even more when one takes the atrocious level design into consideration… Although, to be honest, it's not the levels themselves, but more how Kudos, err, Kuros is simply not a skilled acrobat, not to mention a lot of occasions where he must climb 50 tiny platforms, only to miss one and fall down - thankfully, not to his death.

As mentioned before, this is a scavenger hunt for diamonds, meaning that one needs to find a certain (large) amount of them in order to open the door to the boss of a stage, and then do it all over… And this is what really breaks this game. It's a constant exercise in frustration, as the player has to search every crack and crevice in order to find those gems, with lots of backtracking (after falling for the tenth time, for instance) to get those few that are required to move on, and all this while the enemies… Never. Stop. Coming.

Yes, Wizards & Warriors has endless continues, therefore it's technically not a challenging quest, although it does feel like a tiresome, redundant marathon. The music doesn't help, either. While the introductory tune, as well one or two level themes, are pretty darn good, some are simply irritating, with the five-second loop that plays when low on health (something that happens pretty often) taking the biscuit.

Screenshot for Wizards & Warriors on NES

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Nostalgic charm put aside (because this definitely has some), Wizards & Warriors is a badly-made and very frustrating platformer… And, yes, it's not an action game as it is supposed to be, but a platformer. Sure, sure, the hero holds a sword, but again, no, don't expect any major hacking 'n' slashing here.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Del_Duio (guest) 09.12.2017#1

Oh no way this game was awesome back in the day!

You have to jump into the enemies with your sword in order to kill them, as yeah the sword swinging is pretty much non-existent. One aspect of this game you didn't touch on are the 3 potions that grant you some pretty awesome powers: Invincibility, High jump, and Speed Boost. You can also collect items that stay with you to help like the feather that slows your falls or the daggers / axes that allow you to shoot projectiles (where you'll be doing most of your damage anyhow).

Haha, this game was so extreme. The buggy/challenge was part of what made it so laughable and hard and memorable.

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