Publisher Devolver Digital have brought a wide array of weird and wacky titles to consoles over the years, with Witcheye the latest release to do something a bit… kooky. Imagine a 16-bit adventure that sees you working through an array of colourful and wacky environments. Got it? Well, imagine doing all of that as a floating eyeball. Yep, that’s the strange concept of Witcheye, which has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch following a successful launch on mobile devices last year.
Witcheye puts players in the role of the wicked witch Mabel… well… in the role of her eye, at least. See, Mabel was unfortunate enough to find her treasured belongings stolen by the evil, vicious, and definitely non-heroic duo of a Knight and Wizard, so she does the most reasonable thing possible to get them back: transforming into an eye ball and hunting them down.
This means gliding across over fifty levels that are spread between six different environments, with each bringing their own array of platforming-style hazards, enemies to vanquish, and boss battles to face off against that’ll really test your… um… ‘eyeball’ skills. Sounds pretty weird, right?
Well, it actually makes for a fun little adventure and one that feels pretty unique in design. The eyeball will automatically move by itself, with the player only having to apply the direction – from there, you’ve got to react quickly to avoid enemies’ attacks that might be coming your way, bounce between all directions to get through any obstacles in your path, and ensure you hit the weak spots on the foes around you to take them out. It’s a really simple setup that worked well on mobile devices, but that has also made a smooth transition to the Nintendo Switch.
Now I’ll admit, I had a bit of a rough time getting used to Witcheye’s controls initially. Neither flicking the analogue stick or the screen felt particularly intuitive at first and I felt like I didn’t really have full control of my movement, which is a bit of a nightmare in a game like this. Then, a few levels in, it all clicked into place: Witcheye’s controls are very simple in design, with the only thing that players really have to get to grips with being the timing and precision of their actions. Once you do? You’ll be gliding that floating eye around with ease across each of the game’s cleverly designed levels.
The mechanics of the game won’t push players’ skills too much and there were rarely any moments where I felt overly challenged in Witcheye, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some level of depth to the gameplay for players to add a bit of strategy to their actions. You’re able to halt your movement completely for example, which can be vital when trying to line up accurate hits on the weak spots of enemies. Actually making sure you hit the right spot of enemies can be important too, especially since you’ll bounce right off them when you attack and potentially into the path of anything that might be behind you. It shows that it does take a bit of forward-thinking to succeed in Witcheye, even IF your skills won’t necessarily be pushed to their limit.
That’s not to say that there isn’t some form of difficulty curve in the game though, with each different world bringing with them unique gameplay mechanics to add a spanner into the works. The simplistic structure of each level means you won’t come across anything too complicated, but there will be times where you’ll have to react a bit differently or prepare for unexpected adversity in your surroundings. Add to that a genuinely challenging final few levels that really test everything you’ve learned on your journey and you’ll quickly find that Witcheye ends with a satisfyingly testing bang.
It really does make for an enjoyable experience though and one that will keep gamers coming back for more, especially if they want to make sure they collect all of the jewels hidden across levels. There’s even a harder difficulty to play through if you want a sterner test of your skills, though I do have to admit it wasn’t all that challenging after beating the game once already.
Witcheye is a uniquely fun (and undeniable kooky) adventure that has made the move from mobile devices to the Nintendo Switch smoothly. Sure, it’s not particularly testing and its gameplay mechanics are fairly simple in design, but it does more than enough to entertain across its fifty-plus levels.
Admittedly, Witcheye probably won’t blow players way due to its simplicity and it can take a bit of tinkering to get used to its control scheme, but anyone who fancies a quick and quirky romp on their Nintendo Switch will certainly enjoy Mabel’s escapade.
Developer: Moon Kid Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch