Wizardry took the gaming world by storm when it was released for the Apple II back in, gulp, 1981, and now it’s coming back to enthrall new generations of RPG fans. Developer Digital Eclipse is remaking the turn-based title, which is now called Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord.
The remake is a modernized version of the 1981 RPG and its built right on top of the original Apple II code, so you can easily swap from the old-school interface to the brand-new graphics, similar to how the 'Halo 2: Anniversary' edition handled things, or the just-announced Tomb Raider remasters for the Nintendo Switch.
Modern visuals are nice, but Wizardry is over 40 years old, so the gameplay's likely a bit dated. To that end, the developers promise a number of quality-of-life improvements, including a revamped party management system, new spellcasting options and navigation tools, among other minor upgrades.
Wizardry is generally considered to be the first party-based RPG ever released for computers or consoles and inspired countless modern franchises, including Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. It’s not the first Dungeons & Dragons style RPG to grace computers, but it did invent many mechanics that are still active in JRPGs to this day. It was an instant hit when it launched for the Apple II and was ported over to numerous other systems including the Mac, C64 and even the NES and Game Boy Color.
This is not Digital Eclipse’s first remake rodeo. The team has helmed a number of retro compilations, including Atari 50 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, among others.
Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is available today as an early access build via Steam and GOG. The game costs $30, but the developers say that price will likely increase as we get closer to an official release.