As the leaves transition to orange and the pumpkins become adorned with frost, it’s clear that autumn is right around the corner. Halloween isn’t far behind, but Devolver Digital is bringing the holiday to Nintendo Switch owners early with the fantastically fun and highly addictive Witcheye. Developed by Moon Kid, the game uses pixel art, a whimsical soundtrack and the perfect blend of puzzles and action.
Players control a witch’s eyeball across several lush environments including a forest, a sunken ship, and a medieval palace. Each area is broken up into several stages where the player defeats enemies, solves puzzles and collects gems culminating in a battle with the area’s guardian.
The game plays easily enough using either the analog stick or the touch screen to alter the direction of the eyeball. It would have been nice to have the option of using the d-pad, but it’s fun nonetheless. The eyeball bounces and rebounds off obstacles and enemies as it progresses through each stage. The controls can sometimes make it feel as if the eyeball is bouncing out of control, but that feels more like part of the challenge than a flaw. Pressing the B button stops the ball in place, allowing the player to easily change course or avoid an enemy. This is especially useful in boss fights.
Speaking of boss fights, this game does not disappoint! Each boss is designed well, looks good and has particular quirks that require some strategy to overcome. They each match the area’s theme (a plant monster in the forest, a giant octopus in the sunken ship, and so on), making for a unique experience from level to level.
The graphics and animations look crystal clear and make good use of pixel art on modern hardware. Some animations (like the losing animation for the eyeball) are cute and funny.
The levels seem to invoke aspects of On the Ball, Kirby and Adventures of Lolo while maintaining a design style all its own. The music is fun and appropriate to each stage. The composition is spot-on and would feel right at home on a Super NES or other 16-bit generation game. The sound effects are thoughtfully placed and never overtake the game’s delightful music.
Witcheye is tremendously fun and I found myself continuing to play for a long time just so I could see what came next. Some of the enemies can be tough at times, especially the knights brandishing their swords and the hidden flower pods that come out of nowhere to attack. Despite that, they possess a quaint charm that really makes this game shine. Combined with the puzzles and how easy it is to simply pick up and play, you’ll find yourself returning to the game again and again.
Gorgeous levels, excellent music, and addictive enchanting gameplay (as well as a charming story) really make Witcheye stand out as one of the best retro-style independent games to come out this year. The $4.99 price tag only sweetens the deal.
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 7/107/10
- Lasting Appeal - 9/109/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Witcheye is a fun platform puzzler with an overall unique Super NES style aesthetic, making it well worth adding to your Nintendo Switch library today.