Cross Harry Potter with Dodgeball and the result would be Wand Wars. Fast, frantic, multiplayer arena action, Wand Wars hits all the right notes with a flashy visual style combined with great music and sound effects to spark life into any local gaming session.

The Rules

With 3 buttons to juggle, Wand Wars has a slight learning curve when it comes to getting non gamers used to the controls as they are not typically found in the mainstream scene. Thankfully, there is a quick tutorial that is accessible right from the game’s main menu where the objectives and controls of the game are explained. I observed that this process took quite a while for my friends to digest but it helped set the stage before they started the first match.

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The game is played across a few rounds with the default being set to three wins before a winner is declared. Players will have to grab hold of a glowing orb that gets larger and faster as the game round gets longer. If proper timing and fast reflexes, all players possess the ability to reflect the oncoming projectile and make it their own. Eventually, the glowing orb will be too large and move too fast to the point that it will be impossible to dodge.

Throw in ever changing arenas with different obstacles, a variety of powerups and you get a game that provides a great amount of depth that might see itself sit well with the more skilled gaming crowd.

Why this game should be part of your Steam Box library

You’ve probably already exhausted all the casual party games in your library and are looking for something with the longevity, Wand Wars is probably it. The game would not create all that laugh out loud moments and is definitely geared for the competitive crowd.

If Bomberman were popular in this current day and age, Wand Wars would be the apt comparison. Friends with a competitive streak will enjoy trash talking and request for repeated rematches to ensure they come up top.

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With awesome pixel art and even more over the top special powers to be unleashed, Wand Wars reminds me of all the flashy ultimate moves that are a mainstay in fighting games. Controls are extremely tight and precise which eliminates all manner of chance in the game. Due to the high skill ceiling, some friends might see themselves relegated to the sidelines who the final two in the arena duke it out which can becomes rather drawn out between two skilled players.

wand wars review

The level of concentration needed in Wand Wars is real, unlike more casual multiplayer games, this title requires full on concentration right from the start of the game. I found that my groups of friends preferred if everyone was free-for-all instead of arranged into teams. When a round becomes a 2v1, the pressure mounts and I’ve rarely seen a team come back from the loss of a team mate.

Support the indie developers, Moonradish, and pick up the game on Steam!

Wand Wars is part of the Steam Box series that we’re developing on Geek Culture. We try to check out the best games, tips and tricks to bring Steam Box gaming to the next level. Let’s bring back local multiplayer for endless fun in the living room!

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Review overview

Gameplay7
Presentation10
Value9
Multiplayer Satisfaction7

Summary

With great pixel art, audio and tight controls, Wand Wars is great for your competitive friends who want to lay the digital smackdown.

8.3
Gerald

Gerald

Gerald currently straddles between his love of video games and board gaming. There's nothing that interests him more than trying out the newest and fanciest gadget in town as well. He dreams of publishing a board game sometime in the future!