Wands started life as a game for the Samsung VR, but it has recently been given a breath of life thanks to the Oculus Quest. Any game that lets you pretend to be a wizard is cool in my book and this is one very exciting multiplayer experience that you Oculus Quest owners really need to take a closer look at.
Let me start by saying that I love the style of Wands. Rather than go for something cute and whimsical. They have gone for a rather gothic, dungeons and dragon’s kind of art style and that for me certainly makes the game feel badass. The different arenas in the game as well as the menu screens and even the way the characters look. Feel like they could have been ripped from an 80s fantasy movie like Conan the Destroyer or Beast Master.
The idea of Wands is that you and another wizard are having a duel to see who is the most powerful wizard in the land. There is not really a deep narrative or anything like that to the game and honestly as multiplayer is the focus, I am more than fine with that. You start off with a small selection of spells, but you unlock more as you play. As far as I know, there are over 20 spells and you need to pick four of them to make your “loadout”. You can have offensive and defensive spells and finding the right mix is really key to going far in battle.
I like the way that you do not have to wave your Quest controller around in some kind of Harry Potter-style motion to do a spell. Instead they have kept it nice and simple which makes the gameplay faster paced and easier to pick up. You can teleport around the battle arenas and they are a nice enough size that you can go and catch a breather for a second, but there are very few places to hide. This keeps things moving at a brisk pace and also forces you to always try and be on the front foot.
One of the cool things about Wands is that it has cross platform play. So, you are not just grouped with people on the Oculus Quest. You can play against those on the Rift or even something like the Gear VR. This makes getting a game a lot easier. There is also a mode where you can face off against the AI and that serves as the single-player aspect of the game. I do wish that they added a narrative here as I think it could have been a lot of fun. As the Oculus Quest has no wires to get in the way, I found this quite an immersive experience. I never once had a worry about getting tangled in any kinds of cables and the wireless natures I feel does make this a game that is probably best on the Quest.
I really enjoyed playing Wands on the Oculus Quest and I can see me coming back to this quite frequently. While playing against the AI is not all that exciting, as a multiplayer game, it is one of the most exciting and fun that the Quest currently has. The asking price is more than fair, but I do hope they add a tad more to the matches against the AI.
Casting magic spells is fun
Plenty of different spells to use
The matches are fast-paced and exciting
You can play against people on other devices
The presentation of the game is fantastic
Playing against the AI is not all that fun
A tad more story would be nice