Witchtastic: Not quite Hogwarts

Disclosure: Witchtastic was provided to us for free by Flemming Visual Effects UG for the purpose of review.

Imagine Overcooked. Frantic running around. Screaming at your friends to chop the damn lettuce so you can get just one more order out in time. Simple fun with a cutesy design. Now take Witchtastic. A game so unafraid of its roots that I’m left constantly wondering why I don’t just play Overcooked in the first place.

The aim of the game is to gather ingredients and brew potions to gain a high enough score to progress to the next level. As you progress, the recipes for potions get more complicated and the ingredients you need become more difficult to get your hands on. More obstacles such as werewolves and ghosts will occasionally pop out and chase you for a minute. They can either stun you or make the already cramped maps harder to navigate.

Multiplayer was clearly in mind for the design of Witchtastic, despite having a solo campaign. Unfortunately, I could not convince any of my friends to splash the £11.39 to play the game with me; so I ventured on alone. Let me tell you, a single-player experience in Witchtastic is far from enjoyable. There is just too much going on at one time to be able to play effectively on your own.

For one of the most basic potions, you need to go through the ordeal of chopping a tree, putting a log under the cauldron, taking an ingredient out of a chest, chopping it, putting that in the cauldron and then repeating the same with a different ingredient. You then must wait for the potion to brew, bottle it up and hand it to an owl to then move onto the next one. The more complicated potions require you to wait for the ingredients to grow, which isn’t a fun challenge boost. It just adds another waiting time to brew the potion.

Witchtastic! Credit: Flemming Visual Effects UG

So far, I don’t think I’ve achieved a max score on any level. There is simply too much for one person to do.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of the game for me is how “floaty” the movement controls feel. You seem to drift around aimlessly whenever you want to turn which is less than helpful in a game where speed and precision is key. I tried to fix this by using a controller but the game would not work with mine at all. I’m sure my controller is not the issue. Other games had no issue connecting to it. Honestly, I don’t think it would have made any difference. I’m now doomed to float around for all eternity.

Witchtastic is a simple-looking game with visuals. To me, it looks and feels more like a port of a mobile game as opposed to something developed for PCs and consoles.

Witchtastic! Credit: Flemming Visual Effects UG

 I was quite disappointed that a game almost overtly advertised as “Overcooked– but witches!” decided to stick so firmly to Overcooked and completely ignore the potential of magic. The closest thing to “magic” is being able to fly on a broom, but with the awful floaty controls, this is more of a hindrance than a benefit.  Instead of being able to boost your speed with a speed potion, you just make a cup of coffee. Small additions of magical items could really improve the overall experience of the game. Some streamlining would make gameplay it more enjoyable as opposed to a chore. For now, the most magical feeling is being able to Alt+F4 the game and wait for any signs of improvement.

Witchtastic is available now on Steam for £11.39.

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