If you’ve been yearning for a platformer on the Nintendo Switch that requires inventive strategy, traversing through chibi landscapes, putting you in control of witches with fowl sidekicks in search […]
If you’ve been yearning for a platformer on the Nintendo Switch that requires inventive strategy, traversing through chibi landscapes, putting you in control of witches with fowl sidekicks in search of candy, then Sweet Witches is the game for you.
An unexpected journey, developer Lumen Section and publisher Drageus Games, puts you at the helm of this Halloween-themed platformer, in which you take control of Praline or Vanille, two witches in search of candy, as they traverse through over 50 levels and 5 different worlds, but wait – you can’t jump in this platformer! While jarring at first, this is where the game demonstrates its magic.
The goal of each level, simply put, is to plant a flower in each available square, avoiding a variety of enemies in your quest. This is where strategy is necessary in Sweet Witches; to travel between platforms, you use your chosen witch’s magical ability to craft a ladder that can be climbed – by your witch and her enemies. Crafting a new ladder will destroy the ladder that was previously placed, so there’s some light puzzle-solving required to be able to plant all of the flowers and move on to the next stage. If it sounds like an addictive formula, it is.
Adding to the challenge, most enemies are simply stunned by the aid of a chicken that roosts atop your witch’s head. A variety of traps and power-ups can be earned by unwrapping mystery gifts that fall from the sky, and these will permanently dispose of enemies, so they have to be used strategically. Traversing from stage to stage proved to be quite the challenge, and this game is certainly an enjoyable, magical treat. So, let’s break it down:
Presentation Grade: B-
This may be a bit of a strict grade. Menus are easily navigable, and aesthetically pleasing, but the presentation of the game takes a hit on the tutorial, or lack thereof. What is explicitly stated to the player is covered pretty quickly, but the majority of the tutorial comes in the form of background signs that are reasonable-enough to understand most of the time, but inevitably causes players to have to figure out even some of the basic mechanics for themselves, making the learning curve far too steep for what boils down to a simple game mechanic.
Graphics Grade: A
For a 2D platformer, enemies and levels are well-defined. I was really quite stunned by the detail and sense of magic felt when summoning ladders. I really understand that my witches are actively casting spells rather than getting the sense that ladders are arbitrarily appearing. The design is very cute and charming, and will bring a sense of comfort to fans of classic arcade games like Burger Time. It just feels like an authentic arcade experience, and the graphics brought me joy.
Sound Design Grade: B
While I can’t point to anything critically wrong with the sound design, nothing here really impressed me either. Sounds are pretty much exactly what you’d expect. So, overall, sound is fine – not much to call your mom about here.
Gameplay Grade: B+
This charming platformer is fun. Mechanics are simple enough to jump in and learn, and if you’re into a traditional platformer with a bit of a twist, this is certainly for you. My only complaint here is that the difficulty did seem to ramp up pretty quickly in ways that seemed unfair due to the lack of clear explanations about power-ups. You have to clear several stages before you reach a check-point, and there are times where it felt like by random chance, my witch would be stuck in a corner with no way of escaping a swarm of flying bats. It’s cute. It’s fun. It comes with the rage-inducing bad luck of arcade games. Authentic experience.
Overall Grade: B+
The price point for Sweet Witches on Nintendo Switch is $9.99, which is spot on. This is the type of game that you can sink ten minutes into, or maybe get really hooked and play for an hour. It will be a fun title to grab as fall approaches to casually play every once in a while. The concept and story alone make it worth the investment of your time, because it is truly a unique experience, and combines some of the greatest elements of platformers, adding the need to strategize with the ladder mechanic. The game does offer a multiplayer versus mode, which I unfortunately did not have time to check out, but the inclusion of multiplayer only makes this more of a deal at $9.99
By: Dan Burkett