The opening cutscene to Witcheye was exasperating. A “brave” knight breaks into a witch’s shack, before proceeding to steal valuable items from her. It sounds familiar, no? Yet another game following a hero that’s kind of the worst? Thankfully, I judged the game too soon, as it flips the narrative on its head.
Instead you play as the witch, who turns herself into a bouncing eyeball to exact revenge. Thankfully the knight is incredibly clumsy, and drops his treasures across the worlds, travelling back to the castle, allowing us to follow the trail he leaves and reclaim our items.
Instead of the traditional gameplay of a walking and jumping through levels, the Witcheye is endlessly bouncing around. You have lot of control though, whether using the analog stick or swiping the touchscreen to direct the eye, while movement can be stopped by tapping the ‘A’ button or the screen.
I love this kind of innovation in gameplay, and it’s certainly the first platformer I’ve played that doesn’t use jumping to get around. This unique take on gameplay creates a fresh feeling to the narrative that could have been just another 2D platformer, and makes itself feel entirely unique.
Admittedly, this gameplay was difficult to master. Even with several hours of gameplay under my belt, I was still getting used to the flying movements. At times it felt almost clunky, the way the Witcheye would suddenly stop, even if it was my doing. Of course, this frustration is mostly with myself, rather than the game, but it did detract from the experience of enjoying the game
Travelling through a 2D platformerr landscape, the Witcheye collects jewels and hunts down her stolen possessions. The jewels appear from defeated enemies and destroyed blocks, however speed is of the essence here, as they will float off at an alarming rate. If you want to 100% this game, prepare for a lot of replaying levels. Of course, this will get highly repetitive and edges on the side of annoying, but thankfully, it isn’t essential to the progressing through the game. You don’t need to collect every jewel to carry on, you need only not die. Yet there’s another source of repetition that Witcheye still falls prey to, as the level design themselves make for a repetitive narrative, even if you don’t go for the 100%.
Even so, the levels are short and sweet, and there’s some beautiful pixel art landscapes to look at. Each follows a theme, such as forests level and water levels, that create a seamless journey that you follow. Not only are the world’s great eye-candy, but the monsters and bosses are varied in their designs and ways to kill you. They aren’t just pretty faces, they’re original and eye-catching, and create constant new challenges for you to fight and overcome as you progress.