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Wands for the Daydreamers

Studio: Multivrses AB / NUX Studios
Type: Action, Arena Combat
Device:  Daydream View w/ Google Pixel
Control: Head set tracking and controller
Game modes: Single Player, Online Multiplayer
Price: 5.99$

Sorcerers multiplayer battles

Wands VR is a wand building, multiplayer arena combat game set in a steampunk style world. The game consists of a workbench to customize your wand, a single player practice area to try out new wand abilities, and a portal that enters the multiplayer arena.

Gameplay:

The game starts by dropping you into a small room with simple tutorial written on a blackboard in front of you. The dimly lit instructions tell you to first look left to build your wand.

Crafting your personal wand

The crafting mechanics are very simple, click on the wand, select which spells you’d like to add to the wand, then drag them to the wand and save. While basic, this allows the user to create various wand combinations quickly and proceed back into online games or into the training dungeon to test. The skills available at the beginning are very limited, but more can be unlocked after playing a few online battles. All wands will have a teleport spell by default and four other spells. These spells can include offensive spells such as fireballs or lightning strikes to defensive spells like a magic shield or gas traps that trigger when an enemy teleports to a specific area. Once the player is done crafting their wand, it’s time to head to the basement.

Train and test your spells

The basement, or as I call it the “training dungeon”, is located to the right of the tutorial board and contains two dummies to attack to your heart’s content. One dummy is stationary to allow the player to see how much damage a spell does and how long they take to charge up, if any charge up is necessary. The other moves side to side down a longer corridor to test your accuracy with a spell. Both dummies help the player learn which spells suit their play styles the best and which one’s can hit their opponent the hardest.

Time for Battle

When you feel like your wand is created perfectly for you, it’s time to head into the arena. You have two options upon entering the arena, Competitive or Casual Duels. Competitive duels are done over wi-fi against a player somewhere else in the world and uses a ranking system for leaderboard and character progression. Casual duels are not done via the internet, but rather between a friend or other player in close proximity. The arenas can be open to allow long ranged combat or contain many turns to allow for close combat and ambush opportunities. The players teleport around the arena in preset points to try to flank their opponent and launch various spells until one player’s health reaches zero. Upon winning or losing a match, a statistics screen will appear to show how much damage each player did or received, as well as how much Relic Dust is obtained to buy more spells at the crafting bench.

VR Comfort Level:

The VR immersion in this game is spectacular. Upon loading up the game for the first time, I couldn’t help but look around the starting area in awe. The lighting and sounds help set up the ambiance of the areas and helps immerse the player in every aspect of the game.

While most of the game only requires slight head movements, playing a live opponent can cause a player to have to look around very quickly to try to locate their teleporting foe. This could lead to dizziness in someone prone to motion sickness, but not once did I have a feeling of nausea while playing the game.

Music / Sound Effects:

As noted above, the sounds help you become more immersed in the setting that you are fighting or crafting in. From the sounds of the various moving pieces in the levels to the fantasy music playing in the background, it all gives you a sense of wonder and danger. The spells all have different sounds that add to the power behind each cast. While a fireball may sound menacing, nothing strikes more fear to a player than hearing a meteor being sent in your direction!

Controls / Options:

Wands takes full advantage of the Daydream View’s remote and really shows off the potential that Google’s VR has to be a great contender in the mobile VR market. The controls are simple, aim with the remote where you want to teleport to or launch a spell, then press the touchpad to charge and activate. Holding down the menu button brings up the spell selection wheel which requires the player to point at the spell they would like to use, then release the menu button to confirm. While a quick spell select option would be nice using the touchpad, this current control setup is very easy to get used to but difficult to master.

Value:

At $6 on the Play Store this game is a bit steep considering the amount of content you get. While the visuals and controls are great, the content is a bit lacking and leaves me wondering how long I will play the game for if no new content is added in the future. Also, this game is online only and even tells you that on the app’s store page. Although in its current state I had a lot of fun with the game and playing online battles to add new spells kept me playing for a few hours at a time.

Wands: Launching Spells with a Remote Never Felt More Fun!
Wands has the great beginnings to be an amazing arena combat game that mobile VR needs. With its excellent usage of the Daydream remote the controls feel like you're actually holding the wand and casting the spells that you are launching at your enemies. The sounds help captivate the player and help them find a player that may have gone around the player's current view. The only thing holding the game back is the price tag and the lack of content. Being an online only game with two game modes, the replayability for most may be lacking unless new content is added in the future (i.e. new maps, spells, modes, etc). I absolutely love what the team behind this game have done and I look forward to future updates that might be in the works.
Gameplay8
Graphics9
Sound8.5
VR Comfort7
Value6.5
Pros
  • Fast paced online combat
  • Simple wand builder
  • Responsive controls with Daydream remote
Cons
  • Online Only
  • Slow skill progression
  • Not a lot of content
7.8Overall Score

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