As I’ve likely mentioned, my good friends (Todd, James, and Jason) in Austin work on Wizard 101 – a pretty spiffy tween/family-oriented MMO.
Massive Gamer Magazine posted a review last month.
Who wouldn’t want to go to Wizard School? High school would have been far more enjoyable with spells. Wizard101 is a new, light MMO for families and tweens, produced by KingsIsle Entertainment. They’ve aimed for the sweet spot between Webkinz and World of Warcraft. The designers at KingsIsle took a generous foundation of Harry Potter, added a few glugs of Zelazny’s Amber, the Wizard of Oz, Narnia, Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and handful of other fairy tales, and built it around a “collectible-card game” based dueling mechanic. The end result is a fun game that should appeal to children and adults alike.
In Wizard101 each character is a boy or girl enrolled at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. When you first create a character you get to answer a number of questions that help determine which school of magic will be your primary school, based on your personality (either Storm, Ice, Fire, Myth, Life, Death, or Balance). Alternatively, you can just choose your primary school from a list. As you gain levels you can learn spells from other schools of magic, but most characters focus on a primary and a secondary school.
From a story-perspective, your character has been summoned by the headmaster, Merle Ambrose, to help save not only Wizard City, but also all of the worlds of the Spiral.
It’s a terrific game and I wish them lots of luck in 2009+!