Goblinoid Games have been really treating us recently to nibblets of the past with titles like Starships & Spacemen and Time Master.
I really enjoying buying older titles, often only to read, sometimes to mine ideas or compare and contrast with other games in my collection from the same period. With Wizards' World, it's primarily the collector, and curious archivist in me that hits the "add to cart" button (and by the way, real shoppers don't do wish-lists!). In saying that, this is an easy system to learn and play, with familiar mechanics and would definitely be enjoyed by more traditional of players
The text is an electronic scan conversion of the original rulebook (or it's been retyped) with black and white pencil and ink art - also presumably from the original book. I trust Goblinoid Games when it comes to creating loyal facsimiles. I'm guessing that this is as close as you can get to looking at the original game without maxing out of download sizes (which can happen when the original text is presented as a scanned image). At 83 pages long it's a "complete" system, but it's a pretty concise all-you-need level-based-progression D&D-type game.
Lots of space is given over to a fascinating variety of races and classes. Standing out in terms of originality are the Demonic Halflings, Metamorphic Dwarves, Jesters and Vampires (there's definitely more races and classes than in the AD&D PH). Some of the dice mechanics will seem familiar and yet it's different enough from D&D or RuneQuest to warrant a thorough look. After spell lists and a bestiary, the rest of the rules feel rather "squeezed" into this fantasy Happy Meal.
I'm guessing that if you're a connoisseur of the main game systems from the late 70s to early 80s Wizards' World will entertain and fascinate.
There's something about the production values, illustrations and writing style which really makes me want to place this game two or three years earlier than 1983: it provides more choice for players when compared with D&D B/X or AD&D, maybe T&T or RQ1, whilst not providing oodles of extra rules as in the AD&D DMG. It lacks the marketing gloss and introductory easy-play game chapters which start to appear from around 1983. (I won't be backing up this generalisation, by the way, just drawing a hazy line in my own narrow perception of gaming history. ;) However, I actually have a real soft spot for well presented do-this-then-that play-by-example games)
If you collect older games, Wizards' World is a classic, yet subtly refreshing, absolute bargain of game.
"Demonic Halfling Vampires"! What more do you need to hear?
-Billiam B. (More confused thoughts here: http://bit.ly/rpgblog_WW )
[5 of 5 Stars!]