Wizard of Wor (Arcade / Atari 2600, 5200) Review by Mike

Mike Matei / March 4th, 2015

Review for Wizard of Wor, an arcade game released in 1981 by Midway. Also discussed are the Atari 2600 and 5200 ports.Β You can view my Atari 2600 collection here


  • Don Skiver

    March 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Oh man.. Midway had a lot of those “talking” games like Wizard of Wor and Gauntlet. Man I love Gauntlet.

    • Pablo1989

      March 6, 2015 at 8:27 am


    • March 7, 2015 at 9:46 am


  • JohnnyV234

    March 4, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I’m going to keep saying it…please play Star Master again for the Atari 2600.

    I am surprised I did not know this game but it sort of reminds me of Sinistar in how the main bad guy taunts you.

  • March 4, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Never heard of this game before. It looks great, though.
    Kind of like Pac-Man and Dig-Dug, but with much more variety.

  • March 4, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Those flashing lights… not a good video for the epileptics.

  • Yoyo

    March 4, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    It’s always great to see you and your gal playing games together. I’ve always loved Wizard of Wor, there just isn’t anything quite like it.

  • Kenshiroh

    March 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I recognize music from Last Ninja 2! (This is during the part where Mike and his GF are playing the game.)

    • underdrummer

      May 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Yep, I heard it too! Last Ninja 2, level 1 Central Park.

  • Highwing

    March 4, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    That voice is stupid, creepy, and awesome all at once. Thanks for the review, Mike.

    But is James aware of how much we miss AVGN reviews too? πŸ™

    • greedo

      March 6, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      James is pretty busy, with his family life, and all. James said that he’ll always make at least one a year, though, because he loves the Nerd so much. Having said that, I miss not seeing Nerd vids, too. I remember the days where James would release a vid, every 2 weeks. That was magical.

      • Highwing

        March 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

        Yeah those were the days… but I figured he was pretty busy. I’m sure we’ll get something soon.

  • March 5, 2015 at 12:57 am

    i didnt know mike matei had a sister, cause theres no way thats his GF

    • Frida Fugazzi

      March 5, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Of course it is. He had a pic of them together on tw, isnΒ΄t that her? She is very pretty and seems very nice. GO GAMER GIRLS!

    • ArcadeNostalgia

      March 5, 2015 at 10:54 am

      It’s his GF. Here’s a photo: https://twitter.com/Mike_Matei/status/379401073737224192/photo/1

      I think that’s a nose ring?

    • ArcadeNostalgia

      March 5, 2015 at 10:58 am

      • March 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

        I think I might have met her at Retro-Con. I remember there was a pretty blond girl with them. I figured she was the SO of one of them.

        So, yeah she’s real. Mike didn’t make her up or anything. πŸ˜›

      • Devan Shell

        March 16, 2015 at 2:32 am

        Damn she is super hot. Like photo model hot. That lucky son of a bitch.

    • diegowar

      March 5, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      You must have quite an interesting life to use your own time to post these kinds of comments…

    • Cheesebone

      March 6, 2015 at 3:20 am

      I think he confirmed in his last video that yes, it’s his girlfriend.

  • K6CTX

    March 5, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Worluk? More like Skinny Puppy’s Worlock.

  • March 5, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I like these new game reviews by Mike. He doesn’t get so nasty, and there is no explosive anger like in the AVGN and James and Mike Mondays. Also, his little cutaways with the camera behind him while he is playing his games is a totally different approach and it is very subtle and not in my face.

    • fcabanski

      March 5, 2015 at 3:17 am

      He was back to his cheating ways in this video.

      • March 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm

        I meant the obscene comments and such.

  • MrPlow3

    March 5, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Ill be honest Mike. I haven’t been a big fan of your video game reviews in the past. But this one is by far your best effort and what you should use as a template going forward. Perfect blend of Nostalgia, informative gaming history, and light humor. Nothing to scripted or robotic like I feel you’ve done a but in the past. Also no forced awful humor. This felt natural and well done. Good job : )

  • Hanglyman

    March 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

    This guy should team up with Sinistar.

  • fcabanski

    March 5, 2015 at 3:11 am

    In my day? I loved this game.

  • Frida Fugazzi

    March 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I looooved this game. We played it in the darkness in my cousins basement, on the C64. I got nightmares from the Music, but I loved it. WoW indeed.

  • Frida Fugazzi

    March 5, 2015 at 9:46 am

    T-rex, is that what they are? I Always thought they were Moomin trolls!

  • Legato32x

    March 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I was born in ’89 so I found myself growing up on NES and Genesis. I didn’t even know what Atari was until about the year 2000 lol. The reason I enjoy your videos Mike is because they introduce me to games I’ve never heard of, in an era that predates my gaming interests. Some peak my curiosity while others don’t impress me much but it’s nice to see someone showing the classics some love and I enjoy being able to take in the culture of games of the past. Your videos are almost mini history lessons lol.

    I’ll have to check this one out sometime. I think the reason this game intrigues me is because it captures my imagination. I feel motivated to go kill the wizard myself and that’s an impression not all retro games can imprint on a person.

  • Glorious Gerbil

    March 5, 2015 at 11:25 am

    That blonde again! she sounds pretty hot!

  • March 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Mike ,
    this was a really great video..really entertaining funny and informative..
    please, please . please do more like this !!

    brilliant Mike !

  • diegowar

    March 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Ahahah, Motherfucker Mike isn’t a character after all :). Although I have to say, this is one of the rare co-op games where friendly fire is actually rewarding, so at least he had an excuse πŸ™‚ !

  • GameCom

    March 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Mike do you play accordion?

  • March 5, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    There should be an adapter for those old pre-USB PC Joysticks. I’d make one if I had a 5200. Once I did it the other way round for a somewhat rare system from the 70s which had analog controllers but I had no game that made use of them. So I made an adapter to use them in my PC. They were of very high quality. And older than the 5200.
    The 2600 IS incapable of speech synthesis. What it did in Quadrun was some sort of PCM wave sample, which takes up LOTS of memory. A speech synthesizer is fed syllables which exist in plain text, allowing for a huge amount of phrases in very little memory.
    No. It does not feel cool to know things better.
    I want a girlfriend too. Guess why I don’t get one…

  • March 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    btw. I love this game and still play it on my Commodore 64. The Atari 2600 version suffers from PAL in Black&White only. Joust has the same problem on the title screen and fishing goes to B&W as soon as you start the game (demo is in color but the colors are weird).

  • Thifurious

    March 6, 2015 at 12:34 am

    That sound at the very end sounds familiar. This was great as usual Mike, thanks πŸ™‚ Man, that game and its sound effects..I can just picture an arcade machine lighting up and talking, taunting the player – both with this game’s flashy lights and sounds.

  • Cheesebone

    March 6, 2015 at 3:23 am

    This seems like a step up from your previous videos, Mike. Looking forward to seeing more quality reviews!

  • Brad Attard

    March 6, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Mike, correct me if I’m wrong but did I spot a my pet monster in your room? That’s awesome if I did! Either way, great review brother!

  • Wayne

    March 6, 2015 at 3:40 am

    The game is much more like Berzerk than it is like Pac-Man. Night Stalker for the Intellivision also is a very similar game.

    You can also play the game on MAME, but make sure to also get the sound samples.

    It’s weird that back in the 1980s they used to think robots of the future would sound like this instead of like human speech.

  • March 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Music used in this video:

    “Ocean Loader 3” by Peter Clarke
    “Invade-a-Load” by Rob Hubbard
    “Last Ninja 2: Back With a Vengeance” (main theme) by Matt Gray

    All taken from the C64 and its famous SID chip. πŸ™‚

  • greedo

    March 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Whoa, Mike! I can’t believe you took my suggestion! This is an awesome review. Thanks!

  • greedo

    March 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    One more thing. I’m surprised that Midway had an arcade version. Maybe I forgot about it, something, I dunno. Anyway, I’m surprised at how different it is from the 2600 version. That thing seems to have had a lot of voice acting, for a game of that era, which was incredible unusual. (But then again, you don’t need me to tell you that, do you)? πŸ™‚

    Anyway, it is jarring to me, in many ways, though. Having said that, if I had my druthers, I’d play the 2600 version for nostalgia’s sake, and buy the arcade version to show off for friends. It would make a great party game!

  • Eric

    March 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Interesting………it sounds like it has the exact same background music as an old C64 game I had as a kid called “One Man and his Droid”…..loved that music soooo very much!

  • March 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Loving the C64 music in this review. The sid chip has some amazing tunes composed for it.

  • Satnav

    March 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Good review Mike, would like to see you do more old arcade stuff.

  • MadHitz

    March 6, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I love all the Midway arcade collections released over the years. You should try out Midway Arcade Treasures, volumes 1 and 2 on PS2. Some really good games in those (and some crappy ones)

    • March 7, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Or you know, MAME… which I’ve been complaining that Mike and James all but ignore on this site when they give the excuse that they don’t do arcade games because they don’t have access to them.

  • March 7, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Cool… Ocean loader music from the C64… Nothing beats the arcade version but the C64 version was the best port…

  • March 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm


    I am Sinistar!

  • Zach Standig

    March 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Great choice!

    A piece hardware called “Atarivox” for the 2600 lets certain games have synth voice. If you have a 2600 flash cart (harmony) you can get an atarivox enabled version of Wizard of Wor.

    As for the 5200 controller, a few years ago there was an adapter that let you use Atari Jaguar controllers on it.

    Anyone who prefers a disc over a download can get wizard of wor on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (PS2,GCN,XB)

  • gone with the vint

    March 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Is the music in the background the actual gamescore or did you guys mixed it in for the video? Because it is the very same music from “Monty on the run” C64 and “Last Ninja 2” C64.

  • Ben_from_G-town

    March 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    That game looks pretty cool. Gotta love that trash talk. Can’t beat Sinistar when it comes to trash talk and pure fear, though. I’m liking these Atari reviews. You’ve hit an untapped market, here.

  • Aaron1375

    March 24, 2015 at 1:33 am

    I was in many an arcade during my youth and never got the pleasure of playing this one. Nice review.

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