Being defeated and cast out of your own castle can really suck, and for this Evil Wizard, it definitely does. Now, you must go back and retake your domain from the group of 5 heroes that have taken it from you. Take up your sword and staff and crush the protagonists in top-down real-time combat, while timing dodges, shooting magical spells, and swinging your sword. Only time will tell if you will be able to take your castle back.

I was given the chance to try out Evil Wizard from a preview and, personally, I love the concept. Before I go into the game though, I will mention that this is a preview and not the final build of the game. All parts of this are subject to change, including the performance of how the game runs on the Steam Deck. So, without further delay, let's dive into Evil Wizard.

Evil Wizard - A Humor-Filled Revenge Quest

The Comedic Story

After I was contacted regarding this game, I went to the Steam store page and I personally love the concept. I tend to enjoy these kinds of games overall, but one that focused on humor and comedy is something I don't see too often. This was also evident when I first entered the playtest and was greeted by a message. It plainly states that humor is the main focus and the developers stand by it. Then, we got to dive into the game.


The first scene here is the evil wizard, who is the "final boss" against the protagonists, being defeated and escaping his castle. With it now being controlled by the heroes, you must now infiltrate and re-take what is yours. During the short tutorial on how to play, I was almost immediately greeted by the humor the game touts. Some of it felt a bit much to me, like the large amount of 4th wall breaking, but there were some that really hit me like the guy named Tutorialot who was just pissing on the side of the road singing saying "Shake it Off" (Taylor Swift reference).

Evil Wizard

After a battle with him, and learning to execute, I came across another two guys who were waiting for Tutorialot. Before I could start talking to them, they were having a conversation about one of the guys sleeping with the other's sister. While the brother seemed devastated at first, he then mentioned he doesn't have a which the other guys says "well...that explains a lot. So is your brother single?". That conversation got me real good.

As I head back to the castle, I got to meet a couple new people, including Robito, my ducky-loving henchman who locked himself in a cage to get away from the heroes that came in but forgot the key. He is also claustrophobic, so he started to freak out a little until bringing up the ducks and calming him down. It was actually quite heartwarming seeing someone supposed to be evil actually taking the time to help calm someone in distress instead of being mean, but it was still quite funny seeing Robito walk out of the cell with a duck hat.


And then we have Bloodymir, which my character didn't seem too happy to see, but situated himself nicely in front of a statue calling the evil wizard a loser. And D. Monique, who seems to be in love with the evil wizard, and definitely has made a couple sexual innuendos, but is rebuffed. Oh, and I can't forget Igor, who's just trying to do his job and takes so much verbal abuse from the wizard.Talking to these characters is a joy and one I looked forward to every time I saw them that I ended up going out of my way to find them later on.


The rest of the playthrough is primarily just going through other comedic events and then encountering the first boss, Hailga, who is a former associate turned hero to try making up for the bad she has done. My playthrough ended after beating her, but I did start to feel bad as she seemed remorseful for what she has done. In the end, we had an epic boss fight which was quite challenging and felt very unique.

The story itself is a revenge quest against the heroes who kicked you out of your castle and reclaiming what was yours. It is also filled with humor that hits most of the time, but those 4th wall breaks feel like they happen way too often. I am enjoying the conversations with characters so far, and the gameplay loop complements this quite well.

Slaughtering Enemies...Like an Evil Wizard Should

The gameplay/combat can seem a bit simple, but I actually think it works really well with the game. From a top down perspective, you run around and will get into fights with enemies. In these fights, you have two buttons to attack: Your melee/sword attack and your ranged magic attack. The sword attack is just a 3-hit combo, while the ranged attack can change depending on which of the 5 elements you have equipped. There is a cooldown for the magic, so you can't use it constantly, but it is relatively short.


You can only hold one of the 5 elements at any specific time, but you can swap out as you walk through the world and absorb one of the elements from items like a torch (fire) or generator (electricity). Some enemies will also have elemental weaknesses, like how electricity is good against fire enemies and fire is good against ice enemies. Utilizing these will help tremendously in difficult battles and bosses, which I experienced fighting fire elemental and ice elemental enemies respectively.


Once you get enemies close to death, you will be able to execute them. This will give you 1 heart back, so if you lose one of your 4 hearts in the battle, you can get them back! And yes, the hearts act as health in the game.


I also have to make a quick aside and mention how much I enjoy the animations. From the death animations, to just walking around, there was a lot of work put into it and I can very clearly tell. I also love the visual aesthetic personally and combined with the colors, it all works quite well with each other.

Overall, the game looks great and I am enjoying the simplistic gameplay. I do wish it was more accessible to swap out elements, or being able to do it whenever you'd like to instead of having to find it though. There was a couple times I went from one area to the next and didn't swap out my element, which lead to my death. I can see combat getting old if there is little enemy variety, but that's not something I can say much yet, but from what I did play, I had a really good time.

Steam Deck Performance - Great Highs and Unfortunate Lows

Before I get into performance, let me talk about the settings. Evil Wizard has a small list of graphics/video settings I was able to change. I could change resolution and v-sync, but the one that made me pause was enabling or disabling HDR. On the Deck screen, this would do nothing as it doesn't support HDR, but enabling and disabling it did make a small difference visually.

Accessibility wise, there wasn't much here other than turning rumble off and on. Something I wish was there was the ability to change subtitle size. While I could read it, and there is some voice acting, I would consider it too small for general play. I hope this is something that is added due to the reliance on reading the text for the humor in the game.


As for performance, this is a hit or miss depending on the area I was in. In some areas, like the beginning and the main lobby, the game performs fantastic easily hitting 60 FPS and a low battery drain around 10W. This is what I would expect for a game that isn't as intensive as something fully 3D, but Evil Wizard starts to struggle outside these areas.

Without any TDP caps or limitations, the game will cap itself around 15W and start to slowdown, fluctuating between 30 - 50 FPS. I did try capping the framerate at 30 to see if it would stay stable, but it felt like my controls sometimes didn't work or there was a huge delay. It didn't feel right and definitely contributed to 80% of the deaths I had. This is something that really needs ironing out, but since this could be an old build of the game before optimizations were added, I will be cautiously optimistic thanks to the type of game it is and how optimized some of the areas are.

Evil Wizard does have controller support and will have cloud saves.

Wrapping it All Up

After my playthrough, I was left conflicted with Evil Wizard. I love the visual style, animations, and the gameplay loop. I enjoy the humor personally, but the 4th wall breaks happened too often for my taste. The combat is simple and effective, though being able to swap different elements for your magic would have made for a more engaging experience.

What stopped me from fully enjoying the game is the performance. This is, of course, subject to change on release and I hope it does. There is a great game here and as a game itself, I would recommend others check it out if you're looking for a great-looking adventure filled with humor and challenging, simple combat. But with the performance issues that did cause some of my deaths, it would be one I would wait to play on the Steam Deck. Regardless, I will be watching Evil Wizard and happily be one of its vocal supporters if the performance can be ironed out!

Evil Wizard is due to release on May 25th and you can wishlist it on the Steam store page!

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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