Coming Soon – Hedge Wizard

Hedge Wizard, on the way from Zombie Bonsai, is a cute looking puzzle game unlike any I’ve played before.

You play as a wizard, sort of. You really want gold but, being kind of lazy, it’s much easier to get the local peasants to just bring it to your tower for you. So, you control a local peasant who moves with the left stick, and cast spells from the comfort of your tower.

The goal in each level is to ensure that the village is safe, collect the gold, and then walk over to the wizard’s tower with it. This all sounds simple enough but there’s just so much that can destroy a village. Fire. Floods. Wizards accidentally reducing them to rubble. It’s tough, being a village.

Luckily, if the village gets destroyed (or you find yourself otherwise stuck) you can just tap LT a few times and it will take you back in the timeline to certain points such as the moment just before you cast a spell, find a point you’re happy with and simply continue your solution from there.

Saving villages is done by casting spells in the local area. For example, an early level has two areas of forest separated by a dried up river. On one side is the village, on the other is a raging fire. The fire will spread and cross to the other side and burn the village down unless you cast a water spell in the river to stop the fire crossing. And you should, because the peasants won’t want to give you their gold if you haven’t saved their village. Sometimes you may need to cast more than one spell depending on how quickly you need the water to flow.

Spells are collected by the peasant and cast with an on-screen wand pointer, which is controlled with the right stick.

Once the village is saved in the above example, just grab the gold and take it to the tower.

That’s a simple example, but later you’ll be casting all kinds of different spells. You’ll have no water spells so you’ll have to use wind spells to blow rain clouds around, or move rocks with an earth spell. Sometimes, it’s not enough just to save the village, too. A puzzle might have a very simple solution but then as you’re making your way to the tower you’ll realise that a river has filled up and barred your way across.

Back in time you go, and try again.

It means that there’s always something to think about, and it does something that all the best puzzle games do: it lulls you in to a false sense of security. Just when you think you’ve got something solved, you find something else that you hadn’t considered and you have to go back and start again, or in this case, just go back as far as you need to.

Hedge Wizard is coming soon to Xbox LIVE Indie Games.

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