Released: 1987 | Genre: Shoot ’em Up | Publisher: Sensible Software
Platforms: Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, MS DOS, Thomson MO5
Wizball is a Sensible Software developed shoot ’em up from Jon Hare and Chris Yates, release in 1987 for the Commodore 64 and then later forother computers.
Inspired by Gradius, Wizball is a side scrolling shooter that takes place over eight levels. However, with a slight twist you have to collect droplets of coloured paint to colour the level.
Every level begins monochromatic, in three shades of grey, your mission is to collect red, blue and green droplets to complete the level.
You play a Wizard, who has morphed into a green ball who can navigate levels through portals, at first you can only access the first 3 levels, but as you complete levels, more will unlock. Each level requires a different colour to be added, you must do this by collecting the required colours that can be composed into the colour you need.
The wizard cannot collect paint droplets, with very limited movement, collecting pearls from shooting certain enemies gives you tokens, these can be used to buy upgrades including movement enhancements and extra firepower.
There is also an option to summon Catellite (the wizard’s cat), the cat is also spherical in form and follows the wizard around, but if you hold down the fire button, you can control the cat independently but the wizard cannot be controlled at the same time. You must use Catellite to collect the colour droplets, if you play in co-op mode, player 2 controls Catellite.
Wizball is a game that is hard to master, but once you do, the game is fantastic, in fact Retro Gamer back in 2011 hailed it as the second best game ever for the Commodore 64.