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April 3, 2014 / KingsIsle Entertainment

A Look (Back) at Wizard101 – Gaming as a Family

It’s Throwback Thursday, so today we’re throwing back to one of the first articles ever printed about Wizard101 in the Beckett Massive Online Gamer magazine. Originally printed in the May/June issue in 2009, this article gives an early look into the Wizard101 world you know and love!

If you’re looking for a family style MMO that has a unique method of combat, you’ll want to sink your teeth into Wizard101. Released in the summer of 2008 by KingsIsle Entertainment, this game is friendly towards all ages and provides some great content and entertainment no matter the player. Not to mention you can try a large helping of the beginning content for free before deciding if you want to upgrade your account and access other areas through subscription (or you can also purchase Crowns and use those as currency to unlock zones one at a time).


The basic combat system is a turn-based card game. Each player has a deck of cards to use against various opponents that you come across. Walking on the sidewalks is considered safe, while in the middle of the street, vicious mobs roam around intent on sweeping you into combat with them. AS you enter combat, a playing field will show up on the ground with positions on one side for mobs and the other side for players. Each time it’s your turn you automatically draw a selection of cards from your deck, and then gain the ability to play it against the creatures you’re facing or use buffs on yourself to protect you from future attacks. More players can be drawn into the combat field along with you, and this allows for other creatures to also join in on the fights. Traditional grouping is not used in Wizard101, and it’s refreshing to see something as innovative as open groups.


Don’t let the bright colors and cartoon0like graphics fool you. This game may be aimed at families and children, but a large percentage of the players are adults who are drawn into the Wizard story. Character creation is fairly straightforward: you pick your hair and facial features along with the color of your clothes. Because this game is safe for families, you choose your name by means of a scrolling wheel with pre-approved names. There are parental controls for everything; children cannot even talk to others in-game without first turning them off. The public (and private) chat channels work much the same way. Any word that has not already been pre-approved will be blocked out. While some may find this frustrating (especially if you’re an adult trying to communicate with a group of your friends), it’s a great feature to keep this game safe for all users and it doesn’t take much time to get used to it.

The Worlds

You start off as a young Wizard in Wizard City; there are 15 sub-zones within the one world. 11 of the 15 zones are free, allowing you to spend some time leveling up and getting a grasp of the game before deciding on whether or not you’d like to subscribe or purchase Crowns to unlock future zones. Once you’ve completed the quests for Wizard City, you’ll move on to Krokotopia, which is home to 20 smaller areas. These areas will either need Crowns or a Membership to unlock. The worlds following are Marleybone, MooShu, and the newly released Dragonspyre.

Each world has a unique feel to it, along with some great graphics. The spell effects from the cards you use in your decks are also quite impressive, and if you’re looking for a game that has low time and computer requirements but looks amazing, Wizard101 is certainly the one for you. Speaking with resident Wizard Tara Mythcrafter, I asked what drew her to the game and she had this to say:

“The card battle system, casual feel, and low computer requirements make it perfect. Plus I love dressing up and collecting pets, do other things or just relax while playing; most other games demand constant and continued attention.”

What’s New?

There’s constant work being done on Wizard101, and some of the new changes that have been introduced to the game are the new player versus player arenas. There’s a special arena for PvP located in Unicorn Way, right by Diego. You can join matches, create matches, and even watch ongoing battles. You’ll earn arena tickets for partaking in PvP, which can be spent at Diego for rare clothing (something everyone loves: looking unique). There are tournament seasons that last for 3-4 months and once they’re over, a new season will begin. All pervious ranks will be erased and the items that you can purchase will also change, so it’s best to take advantage of it while you can! I spoke with Tara and her friend Thomas Lionblood to see if either of them had gotten a chance to play with the new PvP aspects. Thomas said:

“I have a few times, but I want to get to fifth tea first.” (Note: remember, there is a chat protection in place which restricts the use of numbers, so fifth tea is fifty.)


There was a line up around Diego when I happened to wander by, so it’s obviously going to be a very popular aspect to the game. It also helps things branch out a little – if you’re tired of running around completing quests and vanquishing foes, you can take a time out and do something different. Having more avenues open to players is never a bad thing.

When I asked about the chat filter and whether or not it was an issue in-game, Thomas was very honest with his answer:

“I like it because I know that everyone’s safety is a top priority in the game. You don’t find that kind of consideration in other MMOs for the most part.”

PvP is not the only new aspect implemented in Wizard101; they also recently released their newest world: Dragonspyre!

As the story goes, Dragonspyre is where Malistaire has been spotted, in an ancient haunted world that used to house an academy that rivaled the Ravenwood School. The people had a special interest in fire magic, and somehow the world was destroyed when the great Dragon Titan was summoned. Now the world is covered with lava, fire, and ghosts just waiting for young Wizards to explore and conquer!


Each real world holiday also brings around special events held in Wizard101, proof that the world is always evolving and changing in order to keep players interested. The forums are a flurry of activity with feedback and special notices; Wizard101 is certainly one of those games you’ll want to try at least once. Before you know it, you may just be hooked!

By Stephanie Morrow

This article originally appeared in Beckett Massive Online Gamer Issue 18 on May/June 2009 and has been reprinted with permission from Engaged Enthusiast Media by Beckett.


Leave a Comment
  1. valzabrat / Apr 3 2014 9:11 pm

    What a wonderful trip down memory lane. Thanks for the throwback. I just loved it.

    • Anonymous / Apr 4 2014 10:50 pm

      cool. I still have this issue. (Yea I save old gaming & computer mags) Wish they still published this mag.

    • Anonymous / Apr 4 2014 11:13 pm

      Lol back then when Wizard101 actually was good.

    • zainab / Apr 5 2014 9:02 am

      it is.

  2. Anonymous / Apr 4 2014 5:02 pm

    so nostaligic

  3. Barb / Apr 4 2014 5:27 pm

    I remember this artical wow has it been five years already since this was printed

    • Anonymous / May 28 2014 10:21 pm

      lol ! !

  4. Anonymous / Apr 4 2014 11:44 pm


    • Anonymous / Apr 9 2014 5:01 pm

      this game is a good game for now learner with out membership it is boring

      • Anonymous / Apr 9 2014 6:49 pm

        i know how you feel xD

  5. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 7:54 am

    I have been playing since 2008 and I am a level 92 balance wizard so it was great to see such a memorable throwback.

  6. DARBY ANGLE GLADE / Apr 5 2014 8:04 am

    it was a lovely memory to think about that again

  7. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 8:27 am

    i play wizard101 for 3 years and i never got tired of it i love it!

  8. Alura Storyshard- first generation wizard / Apr 5 2014 8:36 am

    We as the players remember this article! This was the time, my husband and I made our first generation wizards and made it all the way to dragonspyre and grizzleheim. wow! time has really gone by! Love this game and can’t wait for our daughter to start her journeys through this wonderful gaming and online experience. You guys are so brilliant!

  9. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 8:51 am


  10. zainab / Apr 5 2014 9:01 am

    Kingsisle you did a good job on updating Wizard101 and the preview of Pirate101 these are good stuff for kids, its to use their brains. In the future hope you have more amazing stuff roled up in your sleaves.

  11. cameron / Apr 5 2014 9:20 am

    I think wizard 101 is amazing. Can you make the wizards able to fly?

  12. marsa beck / Apr 5 2014 9:50 am

    Wizard101 is the one game in the world I am so blessed to be playing such a fantastic game

  13. angel / Apr 5 2014 10:27 am

    🙂 ahh I remember those times, really brings back the memories 😀

  14. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 10:29 am

    it is a very awesome game but the crowns price is too more

  15. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 10:44 am

    i still remember when i first got the game when it came out

  16. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 10:52 am

    i have been playing the game for awhile now and i loved remembering how it was in the begining

  17. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 12:47 pm

    been playing since you began. love it.

  18. Anonymous / Apr 5 2014 2:29 pm

    good memories peaceful times in the game

  19. gunit20 / Apr 5 2014 3:33 pm

    i have loved this game ever sence i tryed it out when i was 4 and made me kinda angry cuz i couldent go to cyclops ally, firekat ally, or the planet kroctopia and my family is to poor to get a membership or crowns so i dont play much anymore

  20. A Wizard / Apr 5 2014 8:50 pm

    Unfortunately, the activity level of Wizard101 is dropping in terms of the number of players on a daily basis.

  21. Juan DarkHunter / Apr 5 2014 10:33 pm

    I wish i could see how wizard101 was at the very begging like just about when this blog was made. Wished my friend showed me earlier XD lol.

  22. DuchessCool / Apr 6 2014 2:43 am

    Thank you for explaining the history of Wizard101. I really enjoy the game, although I do wish some of the crown items were a little cheaper to purchase. The variety of the game and the graphics are the best I personally have seen in any game.

  23. mitchellskullcatser / Apr 6 2014 4:01 am


  24. Anonymous / Apr 6 2014 8:10 am

    wizard101 rocks

  25. person / Apr 6 2014 11:44 am


  26. chris angel / Apr 6 2014 2:17 pm

    this world is awesome and cool i just like and love the place thnx for the throwback x kingsisle you the best and awesome and in the worlds 🙂

  27. tannerfirerider / Apr 6 2014 7:42 pm

    hmm nice but tell Thomas he can say fifth ty it dont have to be fifth tea just “fifth ty” it work for open chatter and text chatter?

  28. ethan / Apr 9 2014 6:14 pm

    it a good gme

  29. ethan / Apr 9 2014 6:14 pm

    it a good game
    i have a 66 fire

  30. Anonymous / Apr 9 2014 9:03 pm

    I love this game but I really wish you did’nt have to pay crowns for areas.

  31. Anonymous / Apr 18 2014 6:45 am


  32. afrah / Apr 18 2014 8:33 pm

    wizard 101 should really make a tv series it will be awesome

    • Alejandro Story / Apr 24 2014 1:13 pm

      Obviously! Gawsh… Dat trip down memory lane ;-;

  33. Anonymous / Apr 23 2014 5:46 pm

    great job on the games

  34. Anonymous / May 28 2014 7:24 pm

    I love the game thanks 4 years I have been playing! Thanks for every thing! You should throw us some crowns! 🙂

  35. Anonymous / May 29 2014 10:13 pm

    the game is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. lynaire / Nov 15 2014 10:09 pm

    love it lol!

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