Wizard with a Gun Review: A Magical Western Shooter Worth Exploring

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Shatterlands: An In-Depth Look at the Game's Unique World

Wizard with a Gun defies expectations with its seamless blend of roguelike survival and magical western shooter. Developed by indie studio Galvanic Games and published by Devolver Digital, this new IP carves out a compelling niche in the saturated sandbox genre. At first glance, the premise seems gimmicky – you’re an old west wizard whose gun fires elemental spell bullets. But through smart execution, Galvanic transforms this high-concept hook into a deeply rewarding gameplay loop.

In this review, we’ll examine if Wizard with a Gun’s spellbinding formula lives up to the potential. Does it achieve that elusive alchemy where premise, mechanics, progression and presentation congeal into something greater than the sum of its parts? Or does the idea of a magical gun-toting outlaw ultimately fail to leave a lasting impact amidst stiff competition? There’s no denying Wizard with a Gun exudes novelty – but is this enough to carry an entire roguelike adventure? We’ll critically evaluate where this magical cowboy shooter hits the mark, and where it fires wide of the potential bullseye.

Those seeking fresh thrills through experimental genre fusion may find their match with Wizard and a Gun. But players requiring deep combat, progression and levels of polish expected from triple-A titles should temper expectations. One thing is clear – Wizard with a Gun is unafraid to get weird. So gear up for a journey where chaos rules, death lurks around each corner, and victory hinges on how cleverly you wield the mystic arts of gunmanship. This may be the most untamed wilderness in gaming yet. But is the lure of magical loot and progression compelling enough to brave the brutal, unforgiving frontier? Let’s delve into the shatterlands and find out.

Venturing Into the Shatterlands

Wizard with a Gun thrusts players into a fragmented world on the brink of annihilation. You take on the role of a rugged gunslinger who discovers a mysterious tower floating in the ether. This tower houses an ancient time machine called the Chronomancer’s Wheel, built long ago by cosmic beings. However, chaos has shattered the mystical device by scattering its gears across the dimensional ruins.

Wizard with a Gun Review

It’s a classic race against time premise. Each expedition beyond the tower has a strict five minute timer before pure entropy consumes all. Finding maps to locate powerful gear-holding bosses becomes critical to locating the scattered cogs needed to rewind the clock and heal this fractured realm. Developer Galvanic Games leverages the looming apocalypse to great effect. The constant ticking clock pressures you into balancing greed and caution with each foray into procedurally generated biomes. Go too far and you risk losing everything. Return too soon and progress stalls.

The world itself also bears the jagged scars of chaos. Environments are glitchy, torn and unstable. One wrong move can open sinkholes or detonate bursts of entropy seeking to consume unwary travelers. Despite the ruined state, biomes contain diverse hazards and visual flair. Lush forests, desolate canyons, and corrosive bogs each challenge gunslingers uniquely. Those who endure will unearth remnants of occult lore hinting at the primordial forces forever warring in these lands.

NPC allies in the tower offer some humorous banter and quest lines rewarding resourceful wizards. But ultimately the narrative takes a backseat to sandbox gameplay and progression. This isn’t a story-heavy experience like Hades or Bastion. Instead, Wizard with a Gun keeps the focus on mastering spellcrafting combos and powering up for intense boss showdowns.

The fragmented world evokes a magical western frontier where civilization barely clings to existence. While the setting isn’t overly original, it provides an engaging backdrop for high-stakes expeditions against doomsday. Each return to the tower feels like coming home to your arcane sanctuary, teeming with potential. And the allure of revealing more of the history behind this shattered land will keep lore hounds pushing further into the mouth of madness.

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Mastering the Arcane Arts of Gunmanship

Wizard with a Gun’s spellbinding gameplay loop captivates through smart synergies. At its core lies the tense duality of venturing beyond the tower to gather resources while racing against encroaching oblivion. This fuels progression back at your personal sanctuary, where precious materials unlock new crafting recipes or upgrade special ammunition.

Expeditions play out from an isometric perspective, granting spatial awareness as you locate map fragments, harvest resources, and slay minibosses guarding gears. Destructible environments also encourage experimentation. Why circle a bandit camp when you can flush them out with walls of fire or chain lightning?

Chaos rapidly escalates tension with world-decaying meteor strikes and reality-rending abominations. Surviving hinges on destroying ephemeral portals to delay the apocalypse while balancing greed and prudence. Extract safely with minutes to spare, and you’ll return empowered. Cut it too close, and corruption will claim your hard fought prizes.

Back at the tower, activities shift towards creation and customization. Harvesting materials out in dimensional badlands feeds directly into crafting guns, specialized ammunition types and research stations. Unlocking new gear then provides incentives to risk further outings. It’s a rewarding loop where gathering and growing power perpetually fuel one another.

Crafting Metroidvania-style ability gates also prevents overpowered loadouts early on. Want flaming rounds? Better build an incendiary station and research fire mastery first. These long term goals keep progression meaningful across repeated runs.

Spell slinging gunplay proves a cornerstone by blending physical rounds with magical effects. Shot from the basic wand, arcane bullets immobilize, charm, ignite and more. Mixing elemental types creates surprising combos. Then advanced weapons exponentially expand possibilities with their dual ammo slots and enhanced capacities.

The result makes combat an engaging test of creative thinking. With some practice, wizard gunslingers can orchestrate environmental chaos through clever amalgamations of oil, fire, ice, electricity and beyond. While enemies lack sophistication, manipulating the world itself during battles remains constantly engaging. Overall, Wizard with a Gun delivers an intuitive, polished magical combat sandbox that master spellslingers will delight in experimenting with.

Surviving the Shatterlands

Staying alive in the entropy-ravaged Shatterlands hinges on skillful spellcrafting and strategic progression. Wizard with a Gun imbues its sandbox survival with roguelike brutality through punishing combat gauntlets guarding each magical gear. Expect harrowing battles demanding clever resource management and upgrading.

Early expeditions rely on kiting enemies while conserving basic wand ammo. With only homing arcane bolts or short-range ice blasts, survival means avoiding direct confrontation. Retreat and bottlenecking foes provide time to harvest resources critical for empowering your arsenal back at the tower.

This asymmetrical dynamic shifts dramatically once elemental mastery unlocks tier 2 ammunition. Suddenly ice walls can halt pursuers while lightning bolts pierce multiple foes. Such customizable crafting alters the battlefield. Taking the time to ignite oil slicks or electrify water pays huge dividends. Maximize crowd control and environments for an easier path to minibosses.

Of course, these guardians represent progression gatekeepers. Their randomized loot drops may fulfill crafting goals like conjuring charm bullets. But it’s the gears they protect which unlock subsequent biomes and tower sanctum expansions. These harrowing boss encounters demand using every tool at your disposal, from buff potions to summoned allies. Expect grueling tests of reflexes and resourcefulness.

Death remains an ever-present threat, forfeiting all items gathered on that run. However, incremental masteries persist through the soulbound spellbook and tower upgrades. This incentivizes pursuing side objectives like scanning enemies to reveal new combat solutions. Dying in a blaze of glory while testing an experimental build still advances the long game.

Deeper progression mechanics mitigate initial difficulty spikes. Leveling elemental affinities unlocks additional loadout slots and advanced weapon blueprints. What may feel impossible early on given limited options transforms entirely once you can equip shotguns blasting fiery shrapnel alongside freeze ray pistols. Combinatory potential expands exponentially.

Procedural generation also keeps things fresh by randomizing enemies, environments and miniboss locations. Adaptability becomes critical when ice levels melt into scorched badlands. Loadouts tailor-made for crowd control falter when applied to giant golems. Expect your mastery of spell synergies to be tested constantly.

Through stringent combat, impactful progression and endless build diversity, Wizard with a Gun empowers players to endure its magical gauntlets. You will die, often, but the journey fosters creative problem solving against diverse challenges. And there lies the spellbinding fun.

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Visuals and Sound That Weather the End Times

Wizard with a Gun complements its imaginative world with stylized visuals and a soundtrack evoking supernatural western frontiers. While not the most technically advanced, the art direction shines through vibrant magical effects and environments torn between order and chaos.

The angular isometric perspective lends spatial familiarity amidst increasingly alien biomes. Lush sylvan glens give way to fungal reaches and crystallized badlands beset by glitches in the fabric of reality. Voxel destruction also impresses as melting ice platforms or meteor strikes deform the landscape in real time.

Character designs are similarly exaggerated yet distinct, from the hulking biker barbarian to the plague doctor alchemist. Expressive animations help NPCs exhibit personality despite limited actual dialogue. Enemies also broadcast tells through kinetic motions, keeping you engaged during frenetic encounters.

While detailed textures are rare, splashes of color enrich environments like neon fungal blooms or auroral nights in ethereal deserts. Efforts clearly focused on hallucinatory style over photorealism to establish an otherworldly atmosphere. The frame rate also holds steady despite onscreen turmoil.

Where the visuals falter is in fine detail and variability. Assets like trees and buildings repeat often, undermining the illusion of boundlessdiversity. Still, the microcosms created feel alive with wind-blown flora, distant wildlife and environmental ambience.

The transcendental synthwave soundtrack further enhances immersion. Echoing vocals and driving melodies capture the ominous, almost psychedelic tone. Sound effects also prove impactful, from crackling electricity to deep bass thuums punctuating colossal meteor strikes. Explosive gunfire and magical discharges round out the mix.

While not AAA caliber, Wizard with a Gun’s artistic direction achieves its goals through stylized world building. The foundations are here for something grander should Galvanic Games expand on this first foray into the Shatterlands. For now, sights and sounds harmonize well with the setting of a magical gunslinger navigating existence’s end.

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Endless Potential for Spellbinding Adventure

Rather than relying on sheer scale, Wizard with a Gun leverages procedural generation and layered progression to produce remarkable replay value. The roadmap may seem finite at first glance – defeat five mystical riders to repair the Chronomancer’s Wheel. But Galvanic infuses the journey with endless possibilities through randomized biomes and enemies.

No two expeditions play out the same as maps scramble threats and obstacles. What was once familiar tundra shifts into crystalline caverns teeming with bio-luminescent monstrosities on the next run. Adapting tactics and loadouts to unpredictable challenges keeps gameplay fresh.

The true hook goes deeper though. With each failed attempt, your capacity to bend the rules of reality expands back at the tower. New elemental mastery abilties, advanced gun crafting, and resource stockpiles make previously insurmountable challenges achievable. The power fantasy evolves persistently.

Add in secrets to uncover across environments and the drive towards perfecting builds through endless experimentation and Wizard with a Gun delivers monstrous depth. This is a title you’ll revisit compulsively long after credits roll.

While primarily single player focused, cooperative potential exists. Having an ally to manage crowd control, distractions or support abilities opens even more strategic avenues. Judiciously utilizing teamwork against Universe-shattering entities promises memorable clashes.

Considering the quality of emergent experiences tied to mastery, Wizard with a Gun provides exceptional lasting value at an indie-friendly $24.99 price point. Hours melt away tinkering with spell combinations or pushing deeper into entropy-ravaged frontiers. That sensation of always having new peaks to ascend as a powerful gun-wielding battlemage cements this as a roguelike sandbox well worth revisiting.

So while the journey may technically end after restoring reality’s clockwork, the true experience lies in the unpredictable vistas and overpowered abilities earned along the way. In that regard, Wizard with a Gun offers tremendous lasting incentives to cheat oblivion again and again in style.

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Spellbinding Despite Rough Edges

Wizard with a Gun delivers an intriguing supernatural western shooter layered with roguelike brutality. For gunslingers craving inventive hybrids, it blends procedural chaos and sandbox progression into a potent brew. However, unrefined gameplay and repetition dull the magic at times.

Among the highlights, dynamic spellcasting gunplay takes center stage by turning environments into weapons. The constant danger of impending apocalypse also imbues each run with urgency. Chasing randomized gear blueprints and mastery unlocks provides long-term incentives as well.

Yet while the ingredients hold promise, the execution often lacks finesse. Enemies and biomes grow repetitive across the campaign’s length. Progression also hits walls, providing little benefit on tougher expeditions. The lack of multiplayer at launch further limits options.

Despite flaws, Wizard with a Gun still delivers an original experience that excels in bursts of arcade action. There is a compelling loop here that rewards magic-slinging cowboys able to push through the monotony. Those seeking fresh amalgamations of genres will find inspiration despite blemishes.

In the end, Wizard with a Gun comes recommended for spell-blasting gunfight fans willing to weather early access shortcomings in hopes of seeing this inventive concept fully realized. Provided Galvanic Games continues expanding the toolset and world, the journey to restore reality could become a sensational romp. For now, temper expectations and enjoy unraveling the quirky mysteries of these shattered realms. The ride is worth taking, albeit bumpier than anticipated. But the destination holds promise.

The Review

Wizard with a Gun

7 Score

Wizard with a Gun offers a unique blend of genres that, while suffering from some repetitive elements and occasional rough edges, manages to deliver engaging survival-shooter experiences. Its innovative spellcasting gunplay, procedural generation, and creative potential make it a compelling choice for those willing to explore its magical arsenal. However, it falls short in terms of melee combat variety, and the narrative and characters take a backseat to gameplay. Despite these drawbacks, the game holds tremendous promise for future improvements and expansions.


  • Innovative blend of roguelike, survival, and magical shooter genres
  • Spellcasting gunplay encourages creativity and environment manipulation
  • Tower hub world and progression unlocks are rewarding
  • Procedural generation provides endless replayability
  • Stylized visuals and soundtrack complement the theme
  • Accessible gameplay perfect for quick sessions


  • Melee combat lacks variety compared to firearms
  • Enemies and environments can feel repetitive over time
  • Progression can stall at points, diminishing incentives
  • Narrative and characters are quite sparse
  • Technical issues like frame rate drops or glitches
  • Some sections feel unbalanced or poorly tuned

Review Breakdown

  • Overall 7
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