My first encounter with the recently released 3DS eShop title called Witch and Hero (or Witch & Hero, if you get off on ampersands)--which basically involved me stumbling across its fabulously retro logo and a small handful of screenshots--was so positive I was sure it was my cup of tea.
My second run-in with this Circle Entertainment-published game--a write-up that made it seem like little more than an overly simplistic tower-defense title, although in this case you're actually defending a petrified witch, rather a tower, from swarms of enemies--wasn't so favorable, unfortunately, and pretty much convinced me to give it a pass.
Unsurprisingly (given my history as a gaming flip-flopper), the third time I rubbed eyeballs with Witch and Hero--thanks to the second video below--I was pushed to consider it once again.
Even then, though, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about its asking price. I know $3.99 isn't much, especially in the world of video games, but considering I spent just $4.99 on Crimson Shroud last week, forking over a dollar less for a digital title that at the time appeared to have a lot less content didn't much appeal to me.
So, with that in mind, I contacted the folks at Circle Entertainment and asked if they'd be willing to give me a free (review) copy of the game. Shockingly, they were.
I've since spent about five hours protecting the titular witch (while in the shoes of the pixelated hero also seen in the video above), and let me tell you: I've enjoyed pretty much every second of those five hours. Sure, I've had my ass handed to me once or twice (maybe more) in that time, but that's never frustrated me--mainly because the game barely punishes you for dying.
That's not to suggest Witch and Hero, developed in tandem by Flyhigh Works and FK Digital, is a pushover. On the contrary, although the game sports just 20 stages, I've only made it to the 16th one so far. You see, you don't play this title as you do most others--play a stage, beat it on your first try, move on to the next, beat it on your first try, rinse and repeat. Instead, you may beat a particular stage, move on to the next, find you're overmatched, head back to the previous one, beat it a few more times, earn enough dough to improve your weaponry (or magic) and then return to the previously troublesome one to wreak havoc.
Sound boring and repetitive? Maybe so, but in practice it's anything but--or at least that's been the case for me so far.
It helps, of course, that the game's graphics--which bring to mind those of Half-Minute Hero or even What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord?--are as charming as can be, as is its Final Fantasy-esque soundtrack.
There's much more to Witch and Hero than what I've shared here, but I'll save my chatter about them for the "somewhat gay review" that I'm planning to publish next week. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend checking out the videos above if you're at all curious as to what this eShop gem has to offer.