Wizards & Wagons Review: Restless Retirement

Wizards & Wagons is a mobile title from Touch Dimensions that blends a fantasy trading sim with aspects of several other genres. It's been out on iOS for a while now, but the Android version is newly released. Being an Android guy myself, I decided to take it for a spin! Is Wizards & Wagons worth coming out of retirement for? Let's find out in my Wizards & Wagons review!

Wizards & Wagons starts where most fantasy RPGs end - you have successfully slain the demon lord and are looking forward to resting on your laurels and enjoying your retirement. However, this is no happily ever after. You wake up one day without a dime to your name, and even your house has been sold to cover debt. What kind of crap is this?!? Your only option is to take up the humble life as a trader.

Wizards & Wagons is a trading sim at its core. Buy stuff where it's cheap, and sell it where it's not. It quickly becomes more complex, though.

For one, all goods must fit into your wagon. That sounds like no big deal, until you realize that most goods are oddly shaped. L shapes and T shapes are common in the early going, but quickly freaky shaped items start popping up. Rotating and shifting stuff around in your wagon is essential. It's a bit like Tetris, although I'm sure there's a term for this genre of game that I can no longer remember. :P Suffice it to say, it's a puzzle!

Compounding the organizational issues is your need to be armed. Weapons fit in various slots inside the wagon, and being properly outfitted is essential to survival. There are blue weapons and green items, and each has its own matching colored slots to be equipped in. Sometimes the two puzzles combine, and you have to make hard choices about how much stuff you want to be carrying versus how well you want it to be protected.

After you've loaded your wagon, it's time to depart. The space between cities is unfortunately still monster-ridden. Nothing cuts into profits faster than having to repair your slime-chomped wheels, so the better job you do of protecting your wagon, the better off you are.

Once you've made enough money, it's time to decide how to spend it. Wagon and gear upgrades are obvious choices, but there's also your foreclosed house to re-buy. It took me a good long time to earn enough to afford a top-tier wagon and reclaim my homestead. I probably sunk a good 10-15 hours in just to get to that point.

After securing your future, there's still a lot to accomplish. Side quests are available in practically every town, and some are the generic "kill monsters" or "deliver trade goods" style, but others are more unique and have you running errands to unlock new routes and make new friends.

There's a decent amount of depth available in Wizards & Wagons. Events are constantly occurring in the world, and taking advantage of them can really help your profit margins. Talking to people in towns gives you tips about profitable trade routes and monster-ridden areas to avoid. Each town has a set of objectives that give you bonuses, like lowering the sale price of goods or offering cheaper repairs. There are even some big bosses to encounter, like dragons or evil knights.

I do have a few complaints about Wizards & Wagons, though. One is that the game's pace can be somewhat slow and uneven. There's a distinct advantage to travelling the same trade route over and over, ad nauseum. Some of the most expensive stuff in the game takes a rather unreasonable amount of time to acquire, and after a while I was really craving some way to speed up time or skip past unprofitable towns on my trade route.

There's no way to stop your wagon mid-route, so fighting bosses can be something of a chore. This is double bad in situations where bosses only appear for a few days, like the Red Dragon fight.