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Gameplay

In Wizards of Waverly Place, you take on the roles of Alex, Justin and Max Russo.  You are
Top screen spell hints. Stylus motions in these shapes make the magic happen.
quickly taught "spells" that are needed for every non-mini-game task.  The spells are simple stylus swipes in zig zags used to create or undo magic. 

Aside from the stylus swipe spells, some spells are written, and you must guess which is the correct spell needed to complete a certain task.  You are given 3 different magic phrases, and have to choose the correct one.  You then have to complete a short stylus based connect-the-dot style mode, or an arrow match mini-game to cast the spell.  If you picked the wrong spell from the three choices, you are forced to pick again, and re-do the mini-game to progress.
  

Mini-Games

"12-Ball", a game similar to ping-pong featuring 12 balls instead of one, with the object being to get 20 balls past your opponent to win.  12 balls can be on the table at any one time.
  
Catapult, a game in which you use a catapult to launch differently colored balls at targets to earn points.  You earn more points when you match the ball color to the target's color, thus ending the game quicker.
 
Dodgeball
, a tournament game in which the player must dodge balls thrown from opponents at them, and/or catch the ball in mid-air and fling it back, in an attempt to hit them.  Each opposing player hit by a ball is then kicked from the game, but in this game, you can be hit several times before losing.  Balls can be picked up from the court anywhere they lie, and thrown at opposing players.

Locker slamming, a Simon Says style game, in which you manually close lockers on the bottom screen in a matching order to the lockers slamming closed on the top screen.
 
Sandwich making, in which you are required to place food items on a sub sandwich, and apply condiments in the correct order to win.  After each successful sandwich made, you start a new one, and must complete a set number before time runs out.
 
Flying books, in which winged books are floating on the top screen, with their spines exposed.  Each book has a letter on its side, and you must grab books from the air with your stylus and drag them into the correct book slots on the bottom screen to spell the answer to a trivia question.   These trivia questions are based on information from seasons 1 and 2 of the TV shwo.
 

Settings

Wizards of Waverly Place employs most locations featured heavily in seasons 1 and 2 of the Disney television show.  These settings include WizTech, Tribeca Prep school (including classrooms, the gym, the principal's office and science lab), Waverly Place Sub Station, The Loft, The Magic Lair, Waverly Place Park, Waverly Place Mondoplex and the streets surrounding Waverly Place.
   

Playable Characters

During most portions of the game, you can switch between characters with a button press, but you often start as Alex.  You can find coins and gems hidden throughout the game and use them to purchase and customize clothing for each playable character.
 
Alex Russo - Daughter of the magic-stripped Jerry & mortal Theresa Russo, Alex also lives in the Waverly Place loft with her two brothers.
 
Justin Russo - Older brother to Max Russo, Justin is very well adept at magic, perhaps more so than his siblings.
 
Max Russo - Youngest Russo family member, and not as well-versed with wand magic as his older brother and sister.
 

Non-Playable Characters

A number of characters from the television show make short appearances in the game, but are not playable.  These characters include Harper Finkle, Dean Moriarty, Mr. Laritate, Gertrude "Gigi" Hollingsworth, Professor Crumbs, Jerry and Theresa Russo. 

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