Wizards of Waverly Place Review
Wizards of Waverly Place box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Disney Interactive 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Disney Interactive 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug. 25, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 (4 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Even though the online modes really redeem this title in terms of gameplay value, the same can't be said for production values. The game looks and sounds awful. The characters all have giant heads and tiny, featureless, stick-like bodies that just seem to float around. The environments are also very plain. Though they try to recreate the look of the show upon which the game is based, the environments feature little to no detail or movement, which results in a bland, almost desolate look to the world. The sound also suffers from being too basic. Repetitive sound effects and music clips play during each level, and they don't really change as you move from stage to stage.

Wizards of Waverly Place screenshot

Control here is also just plain bad. Since most of the gameplay revolves around selecting different objects and then drawing shapes, the decision to make the game's control entirely stylus-based seems logical. However, the game will occasionally refuse to recognize a command. During missions where you have to search nearby items, the stylus control also breaks down, as you have to hit a certain area of the item to search it, which can be hard to find.

Of all the things that disappointed me about this game, I was most dismayed by the difficulty level. Although Wizards of Waverly Place is certainly a show for children, the extremely low difficulty makes this game absurdly easy for anyone over the age of 5. Just clicking random objects and drawing up to five shapes to cast spells is boring, and I can't imagine children interested in this show (who I would imagine to be in the tween category, based on the show's focus on fashion and dating), to be very interested in the game's preschool level of difficulty.

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Wizards of Waverly Place on the Nintendo DS can best be described as a missed opportunity. The Wizards of Waverly Place TV show has a lot of spunk, and its magical premise would have made a great adventure-style game. However, the title is nothing more than bland point and click fare, which kids and tweens probably won't find very enchanting.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.0
Graphics
Graphics are poor and character animations are painfully slow. The game's environment is very bland and does not resemble the world of the show.
2.5
Control
Point and click controls are very simplistic. Although this is good for really little kids, anyone over the age of 6 will be bored quickly.
1.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is repetitive and annoying.
2.8

Play Value
Though the game itself is quite boring, the D Gamer component saves it from being a complete bust and actually gives it decent replay value.

2.3
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Wizards of Waverly Place for Nintendo DS is the only game that allows fans to experience the magical mishaps of Alex Russo, with the help of her brothers, Max and Justin.
  • Players can experience five unique and exciting episodes while learning how to cast new magic spells ensuing in hours of hilarious and mischievous fun!
  • Fans will visit recognizable locations from the show, and hang out with familiar friends from the hit Disney Channel TV series.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Wizards of Waverly Place screenshot - click to enlarge Wizards of Waverly Place screenshot - click to enlarge Wizards of Waverly Place screenshot - click to enlarge Wizards of Waverly Place screenshot - click to enlarge

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