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43 years later, one of the most influential RPGs ever has full remake

One of the key influences behind Final Fantasy, one legendary RPG has been completely remade after over 40 years, and you can play it now.

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord 1.0 release: A snarling monster from Steam RPG Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

What are the most influential games of all time? Doom. XCOM. Half-Life. Civilization. Baldur’s Gate. The list goes on, but without some of these legendary masterworks, the entire world of gaming today would look very different. Originally released all the way back in 1981, one legendary RPG created the template for almost everything that followed, including Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Darkest Dungeon. Now, it’s been completely remade from top to bottom, and you can play the entire thing today.

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the original RPG opus from Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead, released under the erstwhile Sir-Tech label for the Apple II and Commodore 64. Itself inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, it set the template for dozens of turn and party-based RPGs in the future, especially Final Fantasy, after the original launch found huge success in Japan.

After assembling six adventurers, you set forth into an enormous underground dungeon in pursuit of an evil wizard who has stolen an ancient amulet. You click the center, left, or right of the screen in order to navigate, and use menus in battle to access and deploy a range of attacks and abilities.

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While its mechanics might seem familiar today, 43 years ago Wizardry was groundbreaking, and even bore two sequels. Now, the original game has been completely remade in glorious, atmospheric 3D, complete with myriad quality-of-life improvements and a partial overhaul of the gameplay. Nevertheless, this is still, at heart, the classic turn-based RPG – although it looks completely different, the remake sits on top of the original 1981 code, and you can even switch to the old-school Apple II interface if you prefer.

After a period in Steam Early Access, where it’s accumulated a ‘very positive’ rating from players, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord has finally arrived in its full 1.0 form. If you want to try it out and experience this important part of gaming history firsthand, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is available right now for $34.99 / £29.50. Just head right here.

Otherwise, you can enjoy some more nostalgia with the best old games, or maybe try the best MMORPGs if you want to take your adventures online.

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