Skywind, a world that has no relation to Skyrim, is in dire trouble. Evil forces have literally darkened the land, and it is up to a wizard to bring forth light amidst all this bleakness. Wizardlings enables gamers to decide whether it's a female or male wizard who will save the day, and that is just one of the many options that should keep you glued to this RPG. There are tons of spells to cook up, a multitude of ingredients to collect, and more than enough monsters to best with your wand. Hours of solid game play lay before you, but unfortunately Wizardlings is far from perfect.

If playability is your main concern, then Wizardlings has that in spades. Armed with two wands, you are tasked with hitting your wand onto various darkened tiles on the earth, and with each strike you revive deadened trees, unearth gold coins and rare artifacts, pick up ingredients to craft spells, and uncover villains who block your path. With the variety of items littered throughout each landscape, the redundancy factor is kept to a minimum. During each stage you uncover portals which lead you to an entirely different area, and if you have a wandering spirit you can jump from one unlocked region to the other. It's easy to get lost within Skywind's universe thanks to the multitude of options and on that level the game absolutely delivers.

To fight, you have a plethora of spells to choose from, and you can brew them before or during the battle. If you have the correct amount of ingredients, a brew command will show during a specific spell, and once you tap the screen, that spell is yours. If you don't have all the elements you must expend one of your precious emeralds, which are shown at the top right of the screen, to make your concoction. If you want to save your emeralds for more sophisticated spells, you can simply fight the creatures by hitting them with your wand. Hitting monsters with a wooden stick, however, takes much more time as well as expends your own energy.

On the upper left hand corner of the screen is a blue potion icon, which is essentially your energy bar. Although it increases incrementally within each attained level, that bar will go to zero in minutes flat, as hitting tiles and fighting creatures will zap you of your energy. Once that bar is completely empty, your character will simply stand still and look cute.

For every 64 seconds, you receive five of those points back, but again, the only chance your bar will be close to full is if you're absolutely not playing the game. So if you grow to love Wizardlings, you will probably expend your magic potion bar within the blink of an eye and have to put your device down for minutes on end.

Emeralds are also in short supply in Skywind, and they are essential in crafting spells. Purchasing emeralds, unfortunately, costs real money, as the gold coins are only used to upgrade the wizard's clothing. Essentially Square Enix is encouraging gamers to plunk down at least $1.99 for 30 emeralds, and if you want to splurge with 3200 emeralds, just cough up $99.99!!

A lack of emeralds absolutely slows the game down, since creating spells are the only sane way of killing the creatures. The magic potion/energy bar is also too quickly depleted (if you want to purchase more magic energy, you can ... with emeralds!), and it's these two facets which leaves me absolutely stewing.

I'm not going to spend any cash to fill Square Enix's pockets, but I do credit them with crafting a highly addicting game in the process. They've given us a land filled with interesting spells and a pretty intriguing storyline. Bringing light into darkness is a theme that always wins me over, and if it wasn't for those darn emeralds and that ridiculous energy bar, Wizardlings would have shined even brighter.


App Store Link: Wizardlings for iPhoneiPad | By Square Enix | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 44.0 MB | Rating 9+
6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating