Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

CBS Wizard of Wor -Atari 5200
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewCBS Wizard of Wor for Atari 5200 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Wizard of Wor
Manufacturer: CBS Electronics
Platform: Atari 5200
Release Date: 1983
Part #: 4L2713
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: CBS Electronics Wizard of Wor Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
CBS Wizard of Wor Screenshot:
CBS Electronics Wizard of Wor for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

I can't explain why I loved this game so much in my arcade days, but I jammed hundreds of quarters into this beast. The graphics and controls were simple, but the music and voice synth always stuck out to me. It quickly became a regular favorite at the arcade.

I hadn't owned the home version, until I bought it online decades later after remembering all those quarters of fun. Finding it on the Arcade Treasures disc for PS2 also made my day. However, long before this gem from CBS Electronics found it's way to the Atari 2600 and 5200. The arcade graphic weren't anything to brag about and the 5200 version even less so. It's a simple maze game with only afew characters, so the game play makes up for this blocky rendition.

Wizard of Wor Story Arc

In the mystical Kingdom of Wor you command an elite squadron of Worriors who've been tasked with finding and removing the Wizard of Wor. The dungeon mazes will offer protection as you track him down. On your journey, Worlings will be hunting you down. Your only weapon is a laser and radar screen for tracking his position.

Wizard of Wor Game Play

You start with 3 Warriors, but you can easily boost it to 5 or 7 on the 5200 kepypad. Aside from choosing either 1 or 2 players, the keypad (and overlay) have no function. It's hard to say why they even included an overlay. The joystick moves your Warrior and the lower fire button fires. The arcade controls for Wizard of Wor translate well to the 5200 controller.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Each dungeon begins with a dramatic rendition of
the five-note opening from "Danger Ahead" (theme to the TV Show Dragnet) with the fifth note only playing on the "double score dungeon" screen.

You will get a bonus life if you get to the 4th dungeon, The Arena and another in The Pit (13th dungeon). Once you clear a dungeon of all Worlings, a new moe complex dungeon appears with tougher enemy Worlings. Like Pac-Man, there are opposing doors that take you from one side of the screen to the other. These doors can open and close, but be careful they are used by Worlings.

At the start of each dungeon, you have 10 seconds to enter the maze. You can wait for an opening in which there are no enemies close by, but after 10 seconds you are put into the maze - safe or not. Make use of the radar screen. It's a valualble tool because it shows the location of all enemies - even if they are invisible!

The 2-player games are a lot more fun than on most 5200 games because both players enter the same dungeon together. Begining on opposite sides, you can work with your opponent in a co-op fashion or shoot him. The strategy is up to the players to decide to fight the Worlings together or have a full-on death match. Very cool feature!

Species of Worlings in Wizard of Wor

In the first dungeon Garwors and Thorwors only appear after all 6 Burwors have been destroyed.

Special Wizard of Wor Dungeons

The 4th dungeon, The Arena is the hardest of the initial dungeons you encounter. If you make it to the Pit, the 13th dungeon, you'll find yourself in a completely open area with nowhere to hide. Every 6th dungeon from here will be an open area like The Pit.

The blocky graphics seem rediculous for a 5200 game, but once you get past that, the game play is truly awesome. The graphics of the arcade version of Wizard of Wor were far superior although simple. The 2-player games are the most fun with the simultaneous play to the death! Great game - fire it up.

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

CBS Electronics Wizard of Wor

was an arcade favorite and enjoyable on the 5200 once you get past the low-budget graphics and lack of voice synth.

Read about our Spaceship video game review rating system

« Return to Retro Video Game Reviews


Friends of 8-Bit Central Retro Gaming

Old School Junkie Australian Retro Gamer Retro Games Collector Retro Yak Lets Play with A3D Commodore Is Awesome DigiSpun Gamewise

More info about our Retro Gaming Friends & Link Exchange programs »


Printed: