Title: Sweet Witches
Developer: Lumen Section
Publisher: Drageus Games
Genre: Action, Platformer, Arcade, Party
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 27/07/19
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title. *£4.49(-50%) Offer until: 19/08/2019*
After enjoying and reviewing Dead Dungeon by Drageus Games, I jumped at the chance to review their next game Sweet Witches! I’d seen some clips on Twitter and what caught my eye was the cutesy, cartoon style which excels in-game. A fast-paced, challenging platformer, this game will have you on the edge of your seat and testing your coordination.
In a quest to claim their sweets, you play as the witches Praline and Vanille, spreading flowers across the world and dodging enemies to cover every square. Each themed world has around ten levels, and you must fill the designated platforms with flowers to move onto the next. It sounds simple and certainly looks it, but it’s not so easy. You can’t jump, your abilities being to stun, build magical ladders, use power-ups, and if you plant enough flowers, use your ultimate ability.
While you run around and climb the platforms, various enemies will follow you and try to kill you. Lizards wielding cutlery will sprint after you, not stopping until you stun them or kill them with a power-up. Dozens of bunnies will jump along the platforms, eating your flowers and destroying your progress. Pogo hopping penguins will jump from above to land on top of you. To make things worse, the environment can also hinder you, ice blocks causing you to slide and spiky snowflakes falling from the sky and killing you.
It would be a lie if I said I didn’t struggle! I started playing on the normal setting, as this is my usual choice of difficulty on any game. You have five hearts to get through all ten levels (six, including the life you have on zero), and if you lose them, all you have to go to the beginning of the world. Especially playing the game for the first time, you can quickly deplete your hearts just by getting used to it. It’s a stretch to complete all the levels without getting a game over, and it took me many tries to do each world. At first, it’s hard to remember all of your abilities and get used to stunning or strategically climbing up a ladder, instead of desperately trying to escape enemies. Once you get that down, it’s a lot easier.
However, I decided to try out the custom difficulty setting to see if that could help me. From here, you can change the speed of the enemies and have your hearts on five, ten, and fifteen. I changed the speed to 75% and put myself on ten lives. This made it significantly easier, combined with me getting a better grasp on the controls. I’d recommend having a play around with the settings if you’re struggling to learn the game, then maybe turning them up again later.
The visuals of this game are certainly my favourite feature. The character designs are adorable, from Vanille with her chicken perched on her hat, to the shaggy puppies filling up the map, and my personal favourite enemy which I mentioned earlier, the penguins on pogo sticks. I think this cute style balanced well with how hard the game was, as who can stay mad at being killed by a fluffy bunny? This was then partnered with vibrant colours, and the different environments from the themed worlds gave a variety of settings. One moment you were surrounded by bright orange pumpkins and the next, there were Christmas trees with pretty fairy lights. I also loved the animation and the movement of the characters, such as disappearing in a cloud of smoke when killed, adding to the cartoon effect.
Partnered with each world is a unique soundtrack that fits with the theme. The Halloween one has spooky music, and the Christmas one has festive music for example. However what they have in common is being tense, the songs getting faster at times and making your heart pump just a little faster as you try to escape bats or sludge monsters.
There’s an opportunity to replay this game in the versus mode, where you play with friends to see who can cover the map with the most flowers. You can do the story on co-op too, and though you have the advantage of having twice the people to cover the map, it also means double the chance of losing your lives. You can also try the hardest difficulty which challenges you to complete the whole game without losing all your lives, allowing you to speed run it. I’d love to see someone do this as I think this is near impossible for me to do!
Overall, this is a challenging but fun platformer with an adorable art style! The ability to play around with difficulty makes the game more enjoyable despite the time taken to master the abilities. I do think the game has an opportunity to be a bit longer with more levels as there are a lot of possibilities, but I enjoyed the time I spent learning about the game and may perhaps return to try on a harder setting!
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Sweet Witches from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Sweet-Witches-1602620.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.