Magic Touch: Wizard For Hire is a game about drawing symbols on your iOS device in order to burst balloons. It's a pretty fun game! Although the core mechanics are very enjoyable, I didn't play it for too long because of a lack of clear progression, luck-based difficulty spikes and the abusive usage of full screen video ads in a free game - an eternal debate I'm having between myself and the iOS game space.

The ads ruined most of my experience. I know you can disable them with in-app purchase, but I don't enjoy doing that. I always feel like it's saying "this thing that's terrible? Pay us if you want it to go away!" Why not just sell the game for the price of the ad-removal? I'd rather pay for a good thing than to get rid of a bad one. And the ads are piled high, after each run through the game I would almost always get one, frustrating me to no end, until I uninstalled the game.

The game itself is pretty nice, however. There are evil knights raining down on your castle and you have to draw the shapes on their balloons to pop them. When all their balloons are gone, they fall, and you get some gold, which you use to buy other costumes for your wizard or to buy magic spells. Are the costumes only cosmetic or do they do anything? If they don't, it's not a great way to spend your gold. Maybe there should've been more upgrades to unlock than just magic spells. The spells are also kinda iffy because you 'unlock' them and they appear randomly and you can only use them while they're floating around or by boxing one at a time - when found in chests. Some enemies REQUIRE the use of these spells so why not let you cast any spell you've bought when needed? It could be on a cooldown!

Moreover, you defeat enemies to get gold, but there is no progression besides the highest score you can get to. There are a few achievements, but it's not really progression. A level structure, quests or any kind of meters you could fill by doing stuff would've added a layer of interest over the core gameplay loop, which to be frank, is pretty good. And that's my takeaway from this review of MT:WFH, many parts of it annoyed me, but the main action you do when playing - frenetically drawing shapes on your iOS device, a perfect use of the input method - is really fun. Too bad about the rest.

AuthorJérémie Tessier