JUSTIN STOUT·FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019
Perhaps readers with children will be able to identify with this phrase very well. This is how I feel about Sweet Witches for the Nintendo Switch. This charming, creepy little platformer will haunt your dreams after failing to pass through the level time and time again. The visuals of this game should appeal directly to fans of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” due to the heavy overtone of Halloween themes including pumpkins, slugs, spooky trees, and of course Witches! There is also a bit of influence from the drawn art style of Darkest Dungeon as well that can be seen in the various levels of Sweet Witches.
In this game, you play as one of two young witches trying to catch up with two other witches who have banned candy in the area. To aid in their pursuit, these young witches’ posses magic hats, ability to create ladders out of thin air, and are also able to spring up flowers over fertile soil tiles they cross over. You must pass over each soil tile in the level to continue on to the next area. This being the goal, the players uses the ladders to ascend and descend the various platforms of each level to plant a flower on each required tile. The ladders are also used to avoid enemies and their projectiles.
There are 5 different stages in Sweet witches that have 10 levels each. For each stage you receive 5 hearts or lives in which you have to complete that stage. Any bump or touch from an enemy will cost you a heart and start you back to the center of the current level you are on. Lose all five hearts and you will have to start from the beginning of that stage.
You can choose to play as Praline who has a purple hat which will strike enemies with a neon yellow tongue or Vanille who sports a blue bowed hat which contains a giant chicken that will fiercely peck your enemies. I prefer to play as Praline because she conjures green slime ladders and plants purple flowers which resemble Oogie Boogie from the previously mentioned Tim Burton film. Vanille being the friendlier of the two casts up white rope ladders covered in blue bows, and summons blue and yellow flowers that smile as they sway back and forth across the level.
The enemies in Sweet Witches vary from slugs, rabbits, cloaked rats, bats, snails with missiles, and even other witches. Each enemy presents their own challenge but one thing is for sure; they are all coming after you, all of the time. The evasion/ combat is just as sinister as the haunted tree laughing at your efforts throughout much of the first stage of the game. The key to success in Sweet Witches is knowing when to use your ladder to evade nearby enemies versus giving them a peck with your chicken hat! You can also collect little gift boxes in the game that contain one of three cute prizes; a bear trap, a stick of dynamite, an (my favorite) a spring loaded boxing glove! You use the gift items to stump and eliminate enemies, in particular the more tricky ones such as the cloaked rat or the blindfolded lizard that speeds up when he eats a pepper.
Sweet Witches has two different modes to play in, Story and versus. Versus mode is multiplayer and can have up to 4 different witches at one time! Story mode contains 3 options to play, Custom, Adventure, and Arcade which can all be played solo or co-op with one other player. Custom mode allows you to set your own run for the game whether it is easier or harder. Adventure is the standard method of play which has its preset rules and saves progress after each completed stage. Arcade mode requires you to finish the each of the 5 stages in one run and is the “Official mode for speedrun” as stated in the game menu.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of platformers as well as anyone who may have an affinity for the cute/ creepy style of video games. Also to anyone who just wants to try something new and doesn’t mind a simple yet tenacious game play system of combat and evasion and enjoys ferocious hats! A Massive thank you to the publisher Drageus Games and developer Lumen Games for providing this review code. I truly have enjoyed playing this spooky little platformer very much! Check out their websites down below to learn more about Sweet Witches or some of their other titles!