Wizard (2005 video game)

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This article is about the Atari 2600 game. For the Commodore 64 game, see Wizard (computer game).
In-game screenshot
Developer(s) Atari
Publisher(s) Atari (Infogrames)
Designer(s) Chris Crawford
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Atari Flashback 2
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Wizard is a video game created in 1980 for the Atari 2600 video game system by Chris Crawford, although it was not released until 2005. Wizard's ROM takes up 2K, the last Atari 2600 game programmed by Atari Inc. to use such a small amount.[1]


The player plays as a wizard from Irata (Atari spelled backwards) and battles Imps. It takes place in a maze, but it's not a symmetric battle: the player is faster than the enemy, but the enemy can go through walls and fire faster than the player can.

Wizard was innovative in several ways. There was no need to aim, as the angle of the player's fire was automatically sent in the direction of the player's enemy. The enemy remained invisible when it was behind a wall, making it one of the first games to implement a line-of-sight algorithm. It also had a very realistic (for the time) heart beat, which would become louder as the player got closer to the enemy.


The production of Wizard is detailed extensively in the book Chris Crawford on Game Design.

Wizard was never released for the Atari VCS. It was first released on the Atari Flashback 2, 25 years after it was written. Its developer, Chris Crawford, was not even told about Wizard's eventual release on the Flashback 2, and learned about it in an email from a fan.[citation needed]

Interestingly, his original prototype did not contain a two-player mode, but the game released with the Atari Flashback 2 does.


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