Arm yourself with magic; it's time to duel.
Just about everyone has had a phase where they wished they were a wizard who could fling spells at their enemies with ease and aplomb. With Wands on Google Daydream you can finally fulfill that dream by dueling against other Wizards using spells as ammunition. This is a great game to play with other friends who have VR headsets, and it is a ton of fun to play.
When you first get started, you'll find yourself in a lair of sorts. There are papers scattered along the table, along with a few odds and ends that you can interact with. The awesome part about the look and feel of Wands is that everything looks as though it really could be a wizard's lair.
From the runes that you can choose for your wand to the paperwork with strange symbols to the wavering, glowing light that illuminates everything, it puts you right in the mood to get mystical and also definitely delivers the feeling that you might not exactly be on the up and up.
While there are two more options for wands, you'll need to win a fair share of duels in order to afford them.
To the left of the desk in front of you is a wanted poster, and by clicking on it you can switch between a male and a female avatar. After you've chosen between the two, it's time to set up your wand. Turning to the left you'll see a wand on the table, with glowing runes raised above it.
While there are two more options for wands, you'll need to win a fair share of duels in order to afford them. What you are able to do is decide on the spells you want to use in the upcoming duel. While there are about a dozen different spells, only a handful of them are available when you get started.
Choose your runes carefully, as they are how you'll get around, attack during duels, and defend yourself. Each spell has its own benefits and detriments. Some spells will be extremely damaging but throw bulky projectiles that can get caught in the atmosphere. Attacks that are slightly less vicious may be faster and easier to throw but do less damage overall. Once you have chosen your spells, it's time to actually jump into the meat of the game by finding yourself a duel.
Fight for your life
Once you've found a match, you'll spawn inside a dungeon. There are a variety of places where you'll duel and each one has its own perks. In some levels, you'll have to transport around corners in order to find your prey. In others, you may find platforms that move up or down or elevated areas that give you a better view of the entire level.
No matter what things look like, your intent is the same. Find the other wizard, and kill them using your repertoire of spells. You'll have to transport around corners, and keep your eyes open while you do so. That's because everything happens in real time, and while you're zooming around the level looking for them, your enemy is doing precisely the same thing.
Once you have spotted the other Wizard, you just need to select the spell you want to throw and then launch it at them. The easiest way this goes down involves catching an eyeful of your opponent when they can't see you. While you certainly can stand still and just launch a vicious offense, if they start to attack back you might end up in dire straits.
That's where your shield spell comes in. This spell is the first defensive ability you get access to, and it lets you block attacks from your enemies. It also has the unique ability to ricochet their attacks back at them which can have a devastating effect in the heat of battle.
Getting the hang of the controls can be a bit difficult at first, especially learning how to quickly switch between spells to access what you need at a moment's notice. After a few matches, things definitely start to get easier, but you can still get thwomped if you end up playing against a Wizard that has been able to upgrade their spells or wand.
Teleporting between different sides of the level and switching between spells to attack most effectively was more fun than I thought it would be.
Thankfully, the creators of Wands thought of that. If you're having a lot of issues, you can enter a training mode. This lets you check out new spells and get used to dealing with moving targets, as well as getting more comfortable with all of your spells. This is especially handy for players new to Google Daydream who need a few minutes to get acquainted with using a remote in VR.
Almost as soon as I was in actual battle, the game hooked me. Manically teleporting between different sides of the level and switching between spells to attack most effectively was more fun than I thought it would be. Since every match is against a different human player, it guaranteed that I'd never get the same fight twice.
That really added to the charm of the game, too. It made the stakes a bit higher and made me think harder about how to attack without getting killed in the process. Since each match was fairly short, it made the play fast and furious with time to upgrade between matches if I had accumulated enough dust.
Wands is a fun, fast-paced multiplayer game that will have you hurling spells at opponent Wizards in order to take them out. With a variety of spells to equip, wands to use, and dungeons to master there is plenty here to do. Since Duels are fought out between two actual players, you can always expect a different experience — even when you fight in a dungeon you've seen before.
- Plenty of upgrades to unlock and equip
- Playing against human enemies means a new experience in each duel
- Different dungeons require different tactics
- Quickly switching between spells takes practice
- The only single-player mode is training
- Making sure you hit your enemy and not the wall can take work