Rating : 71/100
‘Wonder Witches’ is an apt name for a lovely little android game currently available for free download from the Kindle app store, and Google Play for your pc. It hails from Johann Digital Works in Seattle, and the developer has stated it was a personal project worked on at weekends and evenings after his full time job, so it gets instant credit for that. The premise is for you to guide a series of witches on their broomsticks up and down vertically by tapping and holding down the right hand side of the screen which then causes a boost to be injected into your wee witch on the far left of the screen as she desperately swoops and dives to avoid an increasingly difficult onslaught of birds, bats, randomised walls that appear, clouds that obscure your vision, light changes as day turns into night, and random scrolling speed fluctuations all designed to keep your intrepid teenage witch on her flighty aerial toes.
The ultimate goal is to reach the moon, though no one seems quite sure whether that is actually a possible goal, or if it just keeps on generating more obstacles. Having logged in around 12.7k points on easy in one sitting, I can confirm there is a little change, in that the wildlife disappears altogether, but there was no end in sight for the ever deadly series of walls (the graphics of which could really do with a lick of digital paint). The dynamics of the game are nothing new, but what makes it really appeal is the endearingly cute witch icons and the sound effects of them whizzing around, and indeed the fairly humorous crack and squeal as one of them nose dives into something. Speaking of ‘which’, the collision detection is excellent and even allows for an element of grace, so that when your hat or the bristles of the broom touch something it counts as a mere scuffle and you can continue your journey unabated. It is only really when the tip of your broom bashes into something that are you plummeted to an unknown fate on terra firma.
As you accrue points you unlock more witches to play with, each with their own broom and its special power that can be utilised by collecting special power icons – three per broom use. The icons are regular and easy enough to collect, best saving them for liberal use later on. Currently the final broom, ‘The Whizz’ is not available, and whereas mostly points and power ups are cumulative over games, the second last broom, ‘The Wunderbar’ no less, can only be unlocked by gaining 4000 points in one go. It’s quite fun once you get it, but the ‘Firestorm’ before it is much more useful when the going gets tough. There are three difficulty levels, easy, fun, and hard, and the difference between them has been well judged. A good way through to the Wunderbar would be to school it on easy where you don’t really need to use the power ups, then once you’ve unlocked the Firestorm you could play on easy or fun and just blow everything out of the way.
Initially this was pretty tiring for both the eyes and the right thumb, but after a warm up it’s easy to last a short while – repetitiveness sinks in after about fifteen to twenty minutes, but it’s still a great game to have stored on Kindle or your hard drive and it was pretty exciting unlocking the more difficult Wunderbar. It’s possible that there is a way to get to the moon, getting so many points in one sitting on hard with a certain broom maybe, but hopefully updates will flesh out the groundwork that has been done, and add The Whizz too of course.
Woohoooo! (Witch clarion call)