How many witches does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Well, thanks to Nine Witches: Family Disruption, we finally have the answer: nine.
Developed by Indiesruption and published by Blowfish Studios, Nine Witches takes place in a rural town in Norway called Sundäe. Set during World War II, Nazis have established a secret army division called Okklute-55. Their goal: research and harness occult powers to gain an advantage in the war.
Enter our heroes: Alexei Krakovitz and his plucky, albeit sarcastic, assistant Akiro Kagasawa. Alexei is a professor of occult sciences who, while in need of a wheelchair for mobility, can eject his soul from his body at will.
Switching between characters, you must utilize their special abilities to infiltrate Okkulte-55 and put a stop to their devious plans. The professor can commune with the dead, or scout ahead unseen into dangerous territory. Akiro, having full use of his limbs, can pick things up, open doors, or use firearms.
Puzzle-wise, players will pick up a myriad of items that they will have to find a use for. Move from location to location via the traversable overworld map, revisiting previously inaccessible locations once the correct items or information are discovered.
The puzzles aren’t all that challenging, and as long as you have a moderately good memory you shouldn’t be stuck anywhere for long. They all make logical sense, so solving them will provide a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
It’s not all pure puzzles either, as Nine Witches has a few gun-slinging action scenes where players (as Akiro) must utilize his less than trustworthy pistol in order to keep himself, and the professor, alive. These sections are sparse, but they can be rather demanding, which will keep the more hardcore gamer happy.
If you are more about the casual experience, don’t worry; a quick chat with the devil can have your difficulty settings lowered in a jiffy.
The real joy of Nine Witches: Family Disruption comes from its story and writing. The story is outlandish, but in a joyful idiosyncratic way. From outwitting Nazis, to fooling aliens from the moon, Alexei and Akiro get into, and out of, all kinds of outrageous hijinks.
Toilet humour abounds in this game. Filled to the brim with sexual innuendo, poo, farts, dirty jokes… Akiro uses the washroom so many times one could rightfully fear for his digestive tract. The mascot of Sundäe is the famously delicious three-testicled salmon.
The game is constantly breaking the fourth wall and poking fun at itself. For example, dodging an awkward question from a Nazi, our heroes reply that they were only enjoying the beautiful pixelated landscape.
And beautifully pixelated it is! Nine Witches has that SNES-esque, retro art style that will fondle those nostalgia loving cockles of your heart.
However, the game is rated PEGI12 for a reason: moderate violence. Perhaps it seems moderate because it is happening to 2D pixelated shapes resembling humans, but there are some gruesome and dark scenes in this game. Nazi-zombies don’t discriminate, and they love to disembowel things. Pixelated guts paint the landscape.
All in all, Nine Witches: Family Disruption is an delightfully audacious story full of a kind of low-brow humour that you can’t help but chuckle at. With a side of moderate puzzles, and just a pinch of shoot’em up action, this game is a recipe for fun. If you are a fan of the genre, you won’t go wrong picking this one up.
Nine Witches: Family Disruption £15.99
Nine Witches: Family Disruption is a short little action puzzle game full of toilet humour and pixelated gory goodness. It doesn’t present much of a challenge, but it makes up for it with a fun little story, quirky characters, and delightful dialogue.