What is a witch? A witch is a woman, usually at around the age of 19 to 1675, a genuine hoarder of various food ingredients, ancient magical artifacts and educational magazines from the 80s. Especially good at making delicious mushroom stew and mind- bending, juicy, frog cocktails, a witch would always say “No” to a game of poker without at least some minor gamble in it. A witch may build a store just for the sake of having one. Witches are pretty cool overall!
While Halloween was over almost a week ago, I still have some stuff that I didn’t managed to post for the spooky LR19 event, due to me getting sick and also having bad internet connection. Two of those games are “Witches” by James Burton and “Wendy: Every Witch Way” for the Game Boy Color…
“Witches” is a fairly old game by James Burton for the PC. I remember playing it quite a bit during my middle and high school years, though I would go only as far as reaching the 10th level or so. The story of the game revolves around a group of witches who start acting weird, way more weird than the usual weird, due to some unknown phenomenon. The youngest witch in the group remains unaffected though and she decides to unravel the mystery behind her sisters unusual behavior.
Controls are a bit clunky to be fair. You have two forms in the game – A normal one and a witch- transformation. During the normal one, you can walk, jump, duck, craw around, grab on to ledges and climb on, cast a limited number of spells… Picking up a broom item will let you transform into one of the witches you’ve defeated previously. In this form, you can fly and move freely around, while being able to cast a certain type of spell without any limit whatsoever. This form itself has a time limit and getting hit by an enemy will cancel it in an instant. Switching between both forms is a must if you wish to be able to successfully navigate through all the over- twenty levels in the game. Take care not to glitch inside a wall while using the witch form or get stuck in a place that requires a broom for you to take off! I was unfortunate enough to experience both and I resorted to using a password once to recover my progress! There were no enemies that I could use to kill myself and start from the checkpoint and sadly, there isn’t a button that would let you restart a level. Sometimes, hitting all the buttons helps with getting unstuck from a wall. Sometimes.
There is quite the huge variety of spells that you can cast. You can turn monsters into frogs, freeze them, make them levitate… Normal damage shot, explosive shot, triple shot, Contra 7 – the [SPIDER] wars. You can stop time, become immortal for a few seconds… For all the items, combined with the various monsters and bosses within’ the game, there is quite a lot to experience. Some levels are huge and present lots of opportunities for exploration. That’s it, unless you play on lower difficulty, where you get a map to help you out. Honestly, the highest difficulty feels like the most proper difficulty. One hit death, no maps – It calls for accurate performance and careful navigation, all and all while relying on a limited resources, in terms of items that’s it. The checkpoints in the game are pretty reasonable though!
Traverse vast mountains, get chased by a horde of vengeful frogs who used to be monsters, but got transformed by you and the spell is ’bout to expire, get eaten by witch- eating slimes, get spooked by gray- grave imps rising from the ground, climb clouds, drown in a swamp, get lost in an ice castle, have a deadly spider fall on your head as you ascend with a broom, get killed by a witch as you enter her chamber, without being able to do anything about it. There goes my hope for a no- death run, due to some silly RNG!
I love the music in the game. Classic classical music pieces are my hot pocket full of salami. The witch fights are pretty clever and innovative, though I can not say that for the last boss, who felt like one huge pile of mess. I don’t know if his design was based on the idea of making the fight difficult, but if so, that certainly wasn’t the answer. If anything, the whole fight felt raw, boring and uninspired.
In the end, “Witches” is a game that I really enjoy and I am proud to put into my “best Halloween game pick” pick. Thank you for making, James Burton!!!
Remember the gravity reverse gimmick from that one Mega Man game? “Wendy: Every Witch Way” ‘s whole gameplay is based solely on that, just like that one game with the lots of Vs in its name. Though here, there are linear levels and you can defend against dark arts like snails and Tiki Men hiding in bushes! Also, you can take a number of hits from enemies, but spikes are still instant death. The overall level design is really good and I like how the gravity concept ACTUALLY affects certain enemies and platforming segments. The controls are pretty good and the graphics are pleasant. The difficulty is overall reasonable. While the final boss is quite easy, I’m glad that instead of making it entirely a shmup thing, they still made the main [gravity reverse] gimmick play an important role in it! Plot is about something something collecting magical stones and whatnot, it’s all good with me, really.
For my first “Game Boy Color” title that I’ve tried and played, I am more than satisfied with it. Wendy is a cute witch!