Release Date: June 3, 2021
Reviewed On: Switch
Wicce is an indie action platforming centering around the witch Wicce and her daughter. It was initially released on PC in 2016 and now comes to Switch for a new audience to discover.
Wicce begins as a witch named Wicce sends her daughter and cat on delivery to meet with an old woman. It isn’t long, however, until the cat returns, stating that something is wrong and that the daughter is in danger. It’s now up to the player to help Wicce through three stages with increasing difficulty.
The story is presented uniquely as you will never need to read a single text box. Wicce boasts about having a story that will be easy to understand and enjoy no matter what language you speak. This is accomplished by having the story mostly told through small scenes where dialogue is replaced by small pictures representing what characters would have said.
This added to the overall charm and didn’t hinder my experience in any way. Still, some moments cause confusion, especially when this green giant bacteria made this old woman float then transform into a spider monster. What I can gather is that this is a virus that is turning people into monsters and the daughter is trapped trying to run for her life. However, the story never gets much deeper than that.
Gameplay comes with a bit of a learning curve. You have basic movement, attack, charge attack, and an air dash. These essential tools are all you get to navigate the levels, and honestly, this is all you really need.
The enemies weren’t as much of an issue, but the stage itself was. The collision and hitboxes are all over the place where I’d seemingly bang Wicce’s head on invisible objects that make her stand still or cut a jump short. It’s really irritating at times as you need to have more precision for jumps than you would think.
A weird aspect about combat has enemies disappearing at half-life or just get stuck on some object. The enemy designs are pretty basic between eyeballs, worms, skeleton hands, and lung lamps. I admit I was bored with the design a little, especially as you will see these enemies through every stage. There are more that join the roster as you progress, but they only ever add on top of what was already there.
The most annoying is the fish, as they just jump out of the water and spawn infinitely. I consider these to be stage hazards but seeing them the entire game became old quickly. Generally, the air dash is all you need to clear them; however, I died a few times trying to time a jump getting hit and then dropping into some instant death water.
The other enemies, however, are no real threat. You just use your charge attack that kills everything in one hit. Although the bosses are a different story, The first boss I could cheese through, but the rest offer some fun challenge. The gimmick to the bosses is that each of them has two stages. The first stage is a tutorial for the more challenging final phase. This can be fun until you realize you have to go through more of the stage to actually reach the second phase.
If you get a game over after you beat the first phase, you get sent back to the beginning. When I first received a game over after beating the first half of the boss, I was confused as I thought I had beaten the stage. It wasn’t made clear that I had only got through a mini-boss or that this was a phase change.
This roughness found in the game’s design extends into the bosses, the most trouble being the final boss as it will sometimes not die once its life has been depleted. On two different occasions, this boss wouldn’t die, forcing me to kill myself to restart the fight, only for it to happen again. From what I can tell, each time it didn’t die, it was in the middle of an attack animation, so it canceled out the death animation and froze it in place.
Luckily restarting the boss fight isn’t so bad cause every time you continue, you get all the resources you had used for the fight. This encourages you to try everything you can until you get near a game over. If you game over, any resources used will stay gone, but this is extremely fair for a game that is as reasonably difficult as this one.
Wicce can be really rough in places, but you can find a short and sweet gem that shows love for the platforming and action genres in it. Still, some issues hinder the charm of this experience with needed quality-of-life improvements and additional playtesting. Regardless, I wouldn’t mind seeing going on more Wicce adventures in the future.
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