As reported by Alpha Beta Gamer (opens in new tab), the retro-style FPS Wizordum (opens in new tab) recently got its first playable demo as part of the 2022 Realm's Deep event. This fantasy-themed boomer shooter takes its cues from Raven Software's Heretic and Hexen, and has you fling fireballs at goblins in an overrun medieval town.
Wizordum's ace in the hole is definitely its art style. The game has a really colorful, cartoony sort of look, almost like developer Emberheart Games covered Hexen in frosting. It almost reminds me of those Doom WADs or CounterStrike maps people make of the Simpsons House (opens in new tab) or Bikini Bottom (opens in new tab).
I find the effect really refreshing, and the demo's two levels are fun to spend some time in. Wizordum doesn't demand too much of the player, though only the second easiest of four planned difficulty levels is currently available. None of the scraps in the demo have more than a handful of goblins in play, and they stick to some pretty standard shooter archetypes. You've got melee goblins, beefy melee goblins, and ranged wizard goblins.
That's not necessarily a dig on Wizordum though. I would expect Emberheart to introduce more enemy variety as the game approaches full release, and I found it quite nice to play something a little more chill compared to the rest of the genre. There's enough variety in arena layout and the demo's three weapons (mace, fireball, and icicle machinegun staff) feel good to use. The shooting engages me enough, and makes for a nice counterpoint to Wizordum's exploration.
The two levels have optional areas, some light puzzling, and a bit of key hunting and backtracking just complex enough to make me think, but which never killed my forward momentum through the level. Wizordum's levels are like a nice, light snack version of Raven's sprawling, sixth dimensional tesseract levels.
The shooter's bright aesthetic, easygoing shooting, and chill exploration were like a palette cleanser for me compared to the hardcore combat and grimdark looks you get in a lot of boomer shooters. If you're interested in Wizordum, you can wishlist the game and check out the demo on Steam (opens in new tab), or even support Emberheart Games on Patreon (opens in new tab).