Nooboo Mary: Witch Hunt
Whether you're going for the gingerbread transmutation or the old fashioned stew, you gotta respect the rights of satanic magick users to extend their lives indefinitely by robbing life from the young. Right? If you're on board with that proposition, you'll like Nooboo Mary: Witch Hunt, a time-based defense game from Nobstudio (remember NOBuzzle Tree?) where you defend a witch's house from an angry mob of villagers.
The game takes place over a long, horizontal field with the witch's house on the far left and the violent commoners marching in from the right. You can pan the camera over this moonlit real estate by dragging the mouse to the left and right extremes of the screen. Your spells are represented by icons on the bottom panel, each one costing a certain number of souls to cast. Try clicking on the frog, you'll see your mouse cursor turn into a targeting reticule. Hover it over an unlucky brownshirt and click to cast the spell. Click repeatedly to blow the frog up like a balloon, a total of six times (but never seven) explodes it into amphibious confetti. Each kill is one more soul in the collection bin, which you can use for casting more powerful spells or save to buy new/upgrade existing ones in-between levels. The first few stages feature only a few slow peasants, but they keep coming faster and in greater numbers. In order to deal with this surge, you need to invest your soul-cash wisely.
Analysis: It's nice to see a game with some attitude and a cohesive aesthetic. The music is moody but not "My Chemical Romance" moody. The writing is coy and sardonic, the graphics are crisp and iconic. The gameplay gets in a sweet zone after level four or so, where simply spamming frog spells won't cut it and you have to start spending those souls more strategically. Unfortunately, the game isn't perfectly balanced, so one particular spell emerges as a dominant strategy. I'd like to see a more even field there, to deepen the strategy, and more levels to that strategy. Untapped potential is always a drag on a reviewer's heart.
This game is a devilish little gem.