|Gunbrick (mobile)||←||Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire||→||Silly Sausage in Meat Land|
Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire is an endless game released on 25 February 2015 on the Apple App Store and Android on the Google Play store and released on 26 February for the Amazon App Store. The game is free across all three mobile platforms. The player plays as a wizard who has to protect a castle from oncoming enemies descending on balloons.
The game is based on the browser Magic Touch game released in 2007, but unlike that version this mobile version of the game has new backgrounds and introduces spells. Nitrome has released several updates that have added new content.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Game modes
- 3 Level design
- 4 Achievements
- 5 In app purchases
- 6 Announcements
- 7 Cameos
- 8 Versions
- 9 Development
- 10 Beta elements
- 10.1 Unused balloon symbols
- 10.2 Unused graphics
- 11 Reception
- 12 Porting
- 13 Trivia
- 14 References
Each balloon has a symbol on it, which when drawn on the screen will pop the balloon. When a symbol is drawn, all balloons on screen that have that symbol will pop, and when a knight is out of balloons it will fall to the ground and be destroyed. A destroyed knight will add an extra point to the player's score and also yield some coins. Popping multiple balloons with one drawn symbol that causes multiple knights to die will cause a combo, which will grant extra coins and points. If a single knight lands on the castle, the player loses.
Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire has four game modes: Classic, Insane, Zen, and Time Attack.
Each game mode progresses by advancing through a series of phases, each phase determining the types and behaviours of knights encountered in that phase.
- Classic: The main game mode in Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire and consists of the general Arcade game mode gameplay. Bubbles appear exclusively in this game mode.
- Insane: This mode focuses on being very hard. Knights move much faster, have more balloons early on, kings appear more early on, and this mode introduces two new shapes: an S, an 8 symbol with horns, and a backwards 3.
- Zen: This mode removes some stressful and distracting elements of the game. There are no barbarians, thieves, and gladiators and kings have less balloons. The only available spells are hourglass, lightning, fire, cannons, Balloon Nuke, Dragon, Unicorn, and gun hat. This mode also only has two phases, the second phase being a slight variation of the first.
In Time Attack mode, the player must pop as many balloons as they can before the clock reaches its starting point. Initially, the player is given sixty seconds, and extra seconds are granted by performing combos, with each knight in a combo contributing an extra second of time. Unlike arcade mode, knights cannot land on the castle. For every fifty knights that are popped, a spider will descend to the middle of the screen with a complex symbol on its balloon. This spider carries a bomb that counts down from 5, and incurs a ten second penalty if the complex symbol is not popped within the bomb's detonation.
In Magic Touch Wizard for Hire each game mode progresses by advancing through a series of phases, each phase determining the the types of knights encountered along with their speed, number of balloons, and the order they are encountered in. Along with this, some phases also determine the types of symbols encountered on balloons. Potions and treasure chests appear in each phase.
While each phase has certain attributes, at what points different types of knights appear at, with the exception of kings, is still largely random.
With the exception of the first phase, for subsequent phases some knights from the next phase may occur in the current phase.
Upon a phase ending (except for the first phase), one out of six events related to interactive objects can enter the screen, either: a bubble, a potion, a treasure chest, a treasure chest and potion, two treasure chests, or nothing.
Classic starts off with the first four knights that descend allowing the player to get two combos in the form of the first knight's balloon being identical to the third's and the second knight's balloon identical to the fourth's. The possible symbols for these balloons are V and A.
After this, a moderate amount of knights will descend that can allow the player to get up to three more combos, as many knights will usually descend that share their balloon with another balloon on a different knight that will come on screen shortly. During this event, the player should pop balloons only when the knight is about to land. In some cases the player's ability to make a combo will be prevented because they will be forced to pop a balloon right before the matching balloon enters or is above the screen.
During this phase not all balloons are planned to come in pairs, sometimes balloons enter that are planned to have no matches and other times three of one type of balloon are planned to come, though the third cannot enter the screen and may be encountered later after the second of that same type balloon.
The end of this phase is marked by three knights, the first and third knights' balloons sharing the same symbol. The possible symbols for these balloons are , V and . The second knight of these knights will move faster than all previously encountered knights and in rare situations a fourth knight will occur which will have a balloon with the same symbol as the second knight.
After these knights, a barbarian will follow. When 20 points or more is reached, the phase ends. In the case a bubble or a treasure chest is encountered in this phase, it may occur before the barbarian.
Four grey knights each with a single balloon are encountered moving at a medium pace. For these knights, each balloon has a symbol that matches a symbol on another knight's balloon. The possible symbols for each balloon are restricted to either Z or V. The knights that have a balloon with a matching symbol either occur in pairs or with the first and third knight and second and fourth knight having a balloon with a matching symbol. The phase ends when player has reached 25 points.
In rare cases, the knights encountered may not have either Z or V symbol but other symbols.
An assortment of knights with a single balloon are encountered moving at a medium speed, and then a barbarian is encountered and the phase ends.
In this game mode all knights move at a varying fast speeds and new symbols are introduced, these symbols being 8 with horns (exclusive to barbarians), backwards 3, and S.
Each phase consists of ten to twelve knights moving at a fast speed and a king at the end of the phase.
At the start of this phase two grey knights with a single balloon descend, with one knight's balloon having a V and the other knight's balloon a A. After these knights a random assortment of knights with one to two balloons are encountered, along with two barbarians. The S symbol is seldom encountered in this phase. A king is spawned at the end of the phase.
After king is destroyed, a potion bottle is spawned. Gladiators are encountered in this phase, along with knights that have three balloons.
After the third king, often encountered when the player has around thirty-nine points, the symbols exclusive to this comes much seldom but often with thieves, who are also introduced in this phase.
After one hundred points, some grey knights are encountered that have four balloons.
Each time a treasure chest appears, grey knights with V and Z balloons appear. These knights will occur until the treasure chest is destroyed or it has reached the other side of the screen. At a later point when a treasure chest enters the screen, knights with other symbols and/or with V/Z plus other symbols are encountered.
There are 8 achievements in Magic touch: Wizard for Hire in the game's mobile versions.
- Size Matters: Cast a spell by drawing a really big shape.
- Multi "Magic" touch: Draw two spells at the same time .
- Combo X2/3/4: Pop the final balloon of two/three/four knights at the same time.
- Love spell: Cast 10,000 spells. (Knight balloons included)
- Shopaholic: Purchase all the spells in the shop.
- Sir Slay a lot: Kill ten knights at the same time. This achievement usually requires the precise use of the Frog and lightning spell.
In app purchases
|Object||CDN ($)||US ($)||GBP (£)||EUR (€)|
The player can obtain one thousand free coins almost at any time by selecting the one thousand coins option on the shop page. Once this is selected, the player is presented with three ways of obtaining them: watching a video ad, downloading another game, or sharing Magic Touch Wizard for Hire.
When "Watch a video ad" is selected the player is shown a video ad and then given one thousand coins. This method can be used an infinite amount of time, although it cannot be used again right after being used and only becomes usable after a short amount of time. On Android, after viewing the ad the player may have to press their device's back button to get the coins.
For "Get a game", selecting this option takes the player to their respective App Store's shop page for another free Nitrome game, and upon downloading the game and playing once returning to Magic Touch Wizard for Hire will grant them 1000 coins. Alternatively, if the player already has the game sometimes when selecting to get the game, when asked what should be used to load the app store's page, closing this message will grant them 1000 coins.
For logging in to the player's Twitter or Facebook account and sharing the game, the player will earn 1000 coins. However, this method cannot be used with the exact same account after the player has redeemed the coins after the first time.
- January 1st, 2015 - The game was announced and a preview image shared.
- January 30, 2015 - A vine of the game was shared
- February 17, 2015 - A trailer of the game was uploaded
- February 20, 2015 - A vine of the game was shared
- February 21, 2015 - AppSpy does a preview of the game
- February 23, 2015 - A vine of the game was shared
- March 6th, 2015 - Nitrome announces that Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was downloaded 1.1 million times on iOS and that new content is coming
- April 2nd, 2015 - Nitrome announced that the game had been downloaded 3 million times, that the first update is almost complete and shared a screenshot of content from it.
- April 15th, 2015 - Nitrome released the trailer of the first update and that the next update is in development.
- May 29th, 2015 - Nitrome announced that Magic Touch had been downloaded 5 million times and that the second update had been released.
- June 26th, 2015 - Nitrome announces that Magic Touch had been downloaded 6 million times and that Update 3 had been submitted for review
- July 15th, 2015 - Nitrome released the third update
- October 7th, 2015 - Nitrome released the fourth update
- November 27th, 2016 - Jon Annal posts on Twitter that the game has been featured in the Apple App Store in the section "Our Favorite Action Games".
- The Gunbrick background (pictured below) is a cameo of Gunbrick content.
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|The wizard Merlin is a reference to the wizard in the flash version of Magic Touch.|
This version of the game was the initial release version, labelled 1.0.5 on Android and the Amazon App Store and released on February 25 2015 for both iOS and Android and February 26 for the Amazon App Store.
This versions of the game fixes bugs. It was released on March 3 2015 on iOS and is labelled 0.2.1, while on Android it was released on March 9 2015 and is labelled 1.0.6. On both versions the update fixes a bug where the Dragon and Bomb Nuke spells' book icons were swapped when obtained from potions.
The iOS version also fixes a pause screen glitch that caused the power ups button to not register the "new" label when the player gains enough coins to purchase a background, some minor bug fixes, and a few pixels being tweaked. Despite the bug fixes, this update brought another bug where the symbol on the book for the Dragon and Bomb Nuke spells when obtained from potions was incorrect.
On Android the update also fixes a bug with text that is shared.
Regardless of platform, this update also greatly reduced the chance of encountering six knights in a row with matching balloons during phase 2 of the game's level design, as this along with phase 1 previously allowed for the player to get five combos in a row at the start of the game.
Android update version
This version was put out on Android and is labelled 1.0.8. This update is said to fix the Dragon and Bomb Nuke spells being swapped when obtained from a potion and a bug with shared text, but is also said to fix a problem with the game crashing on some devices.
Second update version
Released for iOS on March 17th 2015 and labelled 0.2.2 and on Android on March 18 2015 and labelled 1.0.11, this update fixes some bugs. Although the iOS version is not specific on what bugs are fixes, on the Android version an in app purchase bug is fixed.
This version of the game, referred to as Update 1, was released on iOS and Android on April 15th 2015 and on Amazon App Store on April 26th 2015, labelled as 0.3 on iOS and 1.1 on the Amazon App Store.
This update introduced the gun hat and unicorn spells, the Jousting and Magma backgrounds, the thief and king knights, and updated the shop screen with categories and easy access to buying/obtaining coins.
This version also made two changes to potions: when on screen they could be destroyed at any time by a Dragon spell dragon after it has entered the screen, and when the Balloon Nuke spell is active the player only has to pop the potion's first balloon to destroy the potion and get the spell.
The Android version of this update accidentally caused a bug that granted access and the infinite use of all spells.
Second Android update version
Released on April 15 2015 and labelled 1.3.1, this version fixes the bug in Update 1 and also drops the required operating system for Magic Touch Wizard for Hire from requiring Android 4.1+ to now just requiring Android 2.3+.
This update was released on iOS and Android on May 28 2015 and adds ten unlockable wizards. It is labelled Version 0.4 on iOS and 1.4 on Android.
This update adds a new mode called Time Attack. It was released on July 15th, 2015, for iOS and Android, and is labelled Version 0.5 on iOS and Version 1.5 on Android. On iOS, the introduction of automatic updates prompted Nitrome to enable this for this app, something Nitrome would consider doing for future updates if this proves to be popular.
iOS update version
This version was released on July 23rd, 2015, and is labelled Version 0.6. It is not known what changes to the game it made.
This update was released on October 7th, 2015 for all app stores and is labelled Version 0.7 on the Apple App Store and Version 1.7 on the Google Play store and Amazon App Store.
This update adds the game modes Insane and Zen and renames the "Arcade" game mode "Classic". The button on the game mode menu previously occupied by just the Classic game mode is given the name "Arcade" and allows for the player to select the Classic, Insane, or Zen game modes via the arrow buttons on this button. This update also introduces ten new wizards.
The game over menu is also changed for Arcade mode, adding a button on the bottom left corner of the menu that allows for the player to switch between the three game modes.
On /assets/atlas/balloons.png, an unused light red balloon with a bracket symbol was added.
The Apple App Store version of the game fixed a bug in Time Attack mode that prevented coins from being obtained and another bug in the same mode that caused the game to crash when the player had more than sixty seconds of time. Also, the App Store added different high score tables for each mode.
Bug fixes version
This update was released on September 14th, 2016, on the Apple App Store and Google Play and is labelled Version 0.8 on the Apple App Store and Version 1.8 on Google Play. This update fixed a glitch where the torso and heads of characters could be swapped.
Development of Magic Touch Wizard for Hire started during the development of Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage which was developed from December 2011 to June 2013. During this time Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was being programmed by Arthur Guibert and the game was meant to be a premium title, however, Nitrome lost faith in the game working under that model and Guibert was relocated over to working on Icebreaker A Viking Voyage.
Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was put on hold at some point and not returned to for a very long time, until 2014 at the time when Nitrome was testing out free games with ads.  While the game working well with this model was one reason Nitrome decided to return to it, the main factor was the original flash Magic Touch being playable on mobile via Nitrome Touchy.
When development started again it was at one point worked on in December 2014. The game was revealed on January 1 2015 and no projected release date was given, though Nitrome was hoping to release the game in January. The game, along with Green Ninja: Year of the Frog and Silly Sausage in Meat Land was shown at Pocket Gamer Connects, an event which took place on January 13-14 2015. Magic Touch Wizard for Hire missed its internal projected release date of January 2015 due to Nitrome not anticipating the amount of work required for it.
When Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was first being worked on it was not made in Unity (like Nitrome's other free mobile games), and because of this the game would not available on Nitrome's website upon being released on mobile. However, because Nitrome would prefer to have all their free games on their site Magic Touch Wizard for Hire may be added to the Nitrome website at a future date.
The music used in Magic Touch was reused for Magic Touch Wizard for Hire because Nitrome enjoyed the original music a lot. The shape recognition part of Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was overhauled from the flash version and is also more accurate at recognizing shapes. 
On February 17 2015 Nitrome released the game's trailer and announced the game's release date.  Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was released on February 25 2015 and garnered 1.1 million downloads on iOS within its first week of release, the success of the game causing Nitrome to start work on new content for it on the week following its release.
By April 2 2015 the update was almost ready to be submitted to the various app stores the game was on.
The game had received 2 million downloads on iOS and around 1 million on Android by April 2nd 2015, but considerably less on the Amazon App Store.
The Unicorn spell, a new spell that would be introduced in Update 1, had been implemented into the game by March 31 2015. Update 1 was later previewed on April 2 2015 where it was almost ready to be submitted to the various app stores the game was on. The update was released on April 15 2015 for iOS and Android, Nitrome also updating fans on how the game had received over 3 million downloads on all platforms and that they were currently working on Update 2. Update 1 was released the following day on the Amazon App Store. Update 2 was released on May 27 2015, the total downloads for the game across all platforms exceeding 5 million.
Update 3 was announced on June 26 2015 and had already been submitted to the various app stores at this time. It was released on July 15th, 2015. The Apple App Store page for the game mentioned in the update changes text that multiple future updates were planned.
In the app stores the game is in, there are pictures of a few spells with different colors: lightning is pink instead of blue, the frog symbol is dark green instead of light green and the fire spell is beige instead of pink.
In the actual game's shop, when the Balloon Nuke spell is activated in the example video, its colour is brown instead of purple.
Unused balloon symbols
The purple balloon with the 8 with horns symbol was present in the game's graphics since the game's release and even had a corresponding treasure chest panel. This balloon's balloon was later used in Update 4, but only in Insane mode. Due to the absence of treasure chests in this mode, the treasure chest panel for this balloon is still unused.
Despite not appearing in the game until Update 4, the balloon appears in the short tutorial animation for the fast forward spell, where it is visible on the grey knight closest to the castle before the spell is activated. It is unusual that this balloon is on a grey knight as in the final game purple balloons are only found on barbarians.
Question mark balloon
Under /assets/atlas on balloons_atlas.png is an unused balloon with a question mark on it and a checkered tan and dark brown design. It is unknown what this balloon would have been used for, considering that the symbol in question cannot even be drawn.
The balloon's graphic was removed in a later version of the game.
Drawing < will cause it to be recognized by the game and flash white, even though the symbol does not correspond to any balloon or spell in the game. Subsequently, while lines in the game flash to correspond to the colour associated with that balloon/spell, white is not used for any of them and is unused.
Update 4 added to /assets/atlas/balloons.png a light red coloured balloon (the same colour as the S balloon) that has a left square bracket on it. Its symbol is not recognized in the game.
In assets/atlas/ingame_ui.png there is an image of the book icon for the Frog spell when obtained from a potion, only this icon lacks the icon for the spell. No other image like this exists for the other spells.
Located in assets/atlas/magictouch.png is the sprite of a bottle and a blue object that fits inside the bottle's sprite. The bottle has a large circular opening at the top with a brown cork in it, this opening having a small brown rope around the bottom of its neck, this neck attached to a large glass container.
The bottle's sprite on its own is transparent, but there is another sprite that appears light blue and fits perfectly inside the bottle's container.
While it is unknown what the bottle would have been used for, it has traits of both potions and bubbles. The top of the bottle is very similar to the top of the regular potions, though the bottle deviates from that by having a larger cork, smaller neck and smaller thread around the neck. The container part of the bottle is similar to bubbles in that both are transparent and have another light blue sprite that fits perfectly into them.
Found in assets/atlas/magictouch.png is an unused font for numbers. These numbers differ in appearance from the ones used in the final game, particularly the seven being a different seven than the one used, and also the zero having a triangular hole. The one in the font is just a 4x28 white line instead of having a unique sprite like the other numbers. Also, the sprite of the one appears twice in the sprite sheet.
Present in assets/atlas/magictouch.png is the sprite of a knight from the flash version of Magic Touch that has been shrunk and coloured green. Although likely unconnected, the Retro skin contained green Magic Touch knights in it.
Found in assets/atlas/magictouch.png is a pause button for the game. This pause button appears as a scroll with two vertical lines on them. In the final game, a setting cog is used to pause the game.
There is a white triangle with a hole in the middle that can be found in assets/atlas/magictouch.png. It is uncertain what it would be used for, as the only other completely white sprites in the game is the large lightning sprite from the lightning spell, the bottom part of bubbles, and the first sprite of the egg of the Dragon spell.
It resembles the Illuminati symbol.
Scattered throughout assets/atlas/magictouch.png are various rough sprites for features in Magic Touch Wizard for Hire, all them appearing to be vectors and not made in pixels, and most likely were created to be used for features before proper graphics could be made.
The sprite "combo x" would likely have been used to test out combos, while the font for numbers may have been used to indicate the multiplier.
Gunbrick background segments
The entire background of the Gunbrick background is too large to fit on the screen, so when it is used in-game only the large middle portion of the background is seen, rendering the left and right edges of the full background unused.
However, even though the large middle portion of the full background is used, not all of this portion is seen, as part of it is covered up by the towers of the castle, further rendering part of this background unused. Even though the entire background of other backgrounds is not completely seen, the Gunbrick background is different in that there are actual unique details that are unseen. It is unusual why the Gunbrick background is larger than what can fit on the screen, as the other backgrounds are not like this.
Even though the entire background is not seen in-game, part of the unseen part of the background is seen in the Gunbrick screenshot in the game's screenshots on the various app stores the game is on, due to the background of the screenshot not being positioned properly.
What appears to be a ball of smoke can be seen in /assets/atlas/magictouch.png.
On iOS during its first week of release Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was downloaded 1.1 million times, making it it (by March 6th 2015) Nitrome's most downloaded mobile game. It was due to the game's sales that Nitrome set to work making new content for it. 
By April 2nd 2015 the game had received over 2 million download on iOS and at least 1 million downloads on Android, but considerably lower numbers on the Amazon App Store. 
By April 15 2015 the combined number of downloads for all platforms exceeded 3 million, this number being over 5 million by May 28 2015. By June 26 2015, this number had surpassed 6 million.
A banner of Magic Touch Wizard for Hire appeared on the front page of the games category of the Apple App Store when the game was released, along with appearing in the "Best New Games" section. 
When Magic Touch Wizard for Hire was first being worked on it was not made in Unity (like Nitrome's other free mobile games), and because of this the game was not available on Nitrome's website upon being released on mobile. However, because Nitrome would prefer to have all their free games on their website, Magic Touch Wizard for Hire may be added to the Nitrome website at a future date.
- Magic Touch was accidentally leaked two days early due to a glitch on Nitrome's website which caused their search function to find unreleased blog posts.
- A bird with glasses appears in the Gunbrick background sitting on top of the Gunbrick. This may be a reference to the common misconception at Gunbrick mobile's release where some people thought the main character was a duck.
- On the front page of Nitrome.com 2.5, in the "FEATURED" section, in the icon for Magic Touch Wizard for Hire which has been present there since the game's launch, the "C" and the "G" of "Magic" are almost identical.
- Furthermore, in the slider animation for Magic Touch Wizard for Hire, the "G" in "Magic" lacks a notch to distinguish it from the "C", although due to the positioning of the "G" and how it has been tilted it can be inferred that it is a "G" and not a "C".
- If player starts the game from the game's menu then pauses it, unicorns can be seen on both sides of the screen.
|Magic Touch series|
|General||Magic Touch (Nintendo DS version) • Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire • Castle • Wizard • Wizards • Knights • Magic Touch series • Backgrounds|
|Interactive objects||Balloons • Treasure chests • Potions • Bubbles|
|Spells||Hourglass • Lightning • Fire • Cannons • Frog spell • Fast forward • Balloon Nuke • Dragon • Gun hat • Unicorn|
|Free||Endless Doves • Roller Polar • Platform Panic • Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire • Silly Sausage in Meat Land • Cooped Up • Green Ninja • Vault! • Beneath The Lighthouse • Gopogo • Rust Bucket • Leap Day • Stretch Dungeon • Hop Swap • Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert • Flat Pack • Turn-Undead: Monster Hunter • Colorblind: An Eye For An Eye • Turn-Undead 2: Monster Hunter|
|Premium||Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage • 8bit Doves • Gunbrick (mobile) • In the Dog House (mobile) • Bomb Chicken • Super Leap Day|
|Published||Ultimate Briefcase • Redungeon • Magic Mansion • Drop Wizard Tower • Tower Fortress • Slime Pizza • Nano Golf: Puzzle Putting • Spike City • Nano Golf: Hole in One • Spicy Piggy • Sprint RPG|