Son of a Witch for the Nintendo Switch
“Aw, what a cute game!” was my immediate thought as I saw Son of a Witch from Bigosaur. The cute graphics of this rogue-like action game spoke out to me, so I had to try it. Originally released on Steam back on May 16th 2018, this Action rogue-like keeps you busy all by yourself or with three other players on your Nintendo Switch. Was I able to beat the hell out of my enemies?
Your mother, a witch, once was happily living in a forest together with other nice archers, mages, knights and other folks. She had you and your brother by her side until she was taken away by the king’s mighty knights. Nobody is really sure why… And besides her being held hostage, some other evil-doers unsettled the goblins that once lived far away on the other side of the forest. If that isn’t enough to go on a rescue mission, I don’t know what is!
Son of a Witch has a lot to offer to the player. You got five modes: Regular Game, Casual/Party Mode, Barbarian Challenges, Hard Mode and Player vs Player. All except Hard and the Barbarian Challenges Mode are available from the beginning. Once you beat the final boss of the main game with all seven unlockable heroes, you can try to amp it up a notch in these modes.
When playing the Regular Mode, you receive a short tutorial before you pick your job. In the beginning, the player can either pick between a wizard or a knight. You go on a journey through a randomly generated map. Every time you die, you explore the same areas, but they will be placed differently. You will receive magic scrolls, golden keys for treasure chests that are bursting full with potions, and other loot. You can upgrade your weapons with runestones in this mode too; it is packed with possibilities. You have several item slots (4 to begin with) and you even can buy various pets. My favourite is the lion, by the way! On my first play-through, I hit the pet shop owner, but you should not do it again in another play-through. Look out for the other guy on the screen too. If he is gone, you will have a rather unpleasant surprise when you hit the shop owner to get her sold pets for free…
In Casual/Party Mode, you will not get as many options as in the regular run, but it is a lot of fun either way. You will find various weapons, can buy pets, and even find various animals to ride into furious and bloody battles. The player is only provided with one item slot, but that is not necessarily a bad thing since you won’t find as much as in the other mode.
If you get bored playing as a wizard or a knight, you can always unlock other jobs. You can be a fiercely looking archer or an axe-wielding barbarian for example. All you have to do to unlock them is complete certain quests. What you require to do to get your desired character is always displayed in the selection screen. Thanks to this, you will not spare any time thinking about what to do to get them.
The Barbarian Mode is basically a bunch of challenges for you to fulfil to get a character. You might have guessed it but the Barbarian will be unlocked after this. There are 12 challenges in total. One of them is called “I am the King”. In it, you start with a certain weapon and are not able to switch that one out; it has to remain your main. It is a fun mode to try in between if you ask me.
As for Hard Mode being obvious, Player vs Player is the local Coop Mode. Up to four players can fight each other while weapons will be dropped randomly on the screen.
Besides the adorable graphics, I loved the simple and uncomplicated theme of Son of a Witch. I mean, you have a light tutorial teaching you the information and controls you need in a very charming manner. The humour in the game was always fun and in between beating up the bad guys, you can even play some light mini-games like throwing an axe back at the brother of an NPC to get some items. Spoiler, he didn’t die! … Or did he?
The music is fantastic. My favourite song was the theme of the second set of stages, as you break into the castle. With amazing sound effects, the whole musical package is complete and compliments the visual goodness of this game perfectly.
One little flaw of Son of a Witch is the very challenging single player. I found myself repeating the same stages over and over because when your health bar hits 0, that’s it. Your death resets everything. That is, of course, part of the challenge, but barely being able to beat the second boss after countless attempts made me lose motivation and I would have stepped away from the game if not for the sake of the review. Thankfully, everything is easier when playing co-op… But it will get more challenging as deeper as you go into the castle.
The second thing I did not like was the lack of explanation of various status effects. I got poisoned and did not know how long that will last without finding out the hard way.
Since I had so much fun playing Son of a Witch with another person, an online co-op mode would be fantastic! With proper voice chat assistance, you could take on the world and teach those goblins and the King’s army a lesson or two!
Despite pulling my hair sometimes when playing single player mode, I loved the whole style of Son of a Witch a lot. Action rogue-likes can be easily addicting and this title was no exception. You have a ton to discover and the possibilities are endless. The enemies are fun and challenging, the character and their various professions a pleasure to discover in battle. The title ran smoothly in TV and handheld mode, controls always responded well and the character design is unique and adorable.
Son of a Witch is a blast, alone or with others. If possible, grab a few fellow gamers (or the girl-/boyfriend) to enjoy both the humour and the challenge here. Even if the ones you want to play with are not too much into video games (yes, people like that exist), the visuals paired up with the fun of beating enemies up will be enough to lure them into a battle.
On the go or at home, you can pick it up to play a quick round whenever you feel like it. I certainly will even after I had written this review to play it with a couple of friends.
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Reviewed by Jennifer on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Bigosaur.