We'll try to have a more thorough review up soon, but we wanted to tell you right away about a cool new action game from Nigoro, the authors of Death Village and Rose & Camellia. This is Miracle Witch, the story of cute little witch Polfe and her quest to defeat the evil king Yeah Walusa, which is the best name for an evil king ever. A stunning and ambitious game from this always entertaining Japanese developer.
It plays a little like Merlin's Revenge, or perhaps a really fast-paced, mouse-controlled Legend of Zelda. There's a huge island to explore, rife with secrets and hostile monsters. Certain objects, when found, can open up caves and other parts of the island, leading to even more powerful treasures, and so on.
Control Polfe by just moving the mouse on-screen wherever you'd like her to go, and let forth a stream of deadly magic power by holding the mouse button. Try not to blunder right into the monsters—that's a good way to die quickly. Instead, approach them cautiously and start shooting well before they get within head-cracking range. Also, it's probably best to just avoid the sea serpents entirely, at least at first. You'll see what I mean.
There is another control scheme as well, which lets you move only when you click the mouse button. Your spells are then activated by double-clicking. Less frantic that way, but more clicking required. Switch to this control method by pressing the [space] bar.
Switch between your attack magic spells (once you've found them) by clicking on them from the display at the bottom of the screen. Do the same for more benign items like keys and magic stones. This can be counter-intuitive, since your hero also moves whenever you try to point at anything, but just whip the pointer right down to the menu, and Polfe will stop in her tracks and wait. Other icons in the lower right control the visual quality, sound, and volume. The little purple orb restarts the game.
Fair warning: this game is hard, and it will punish you mercilessly at the slightest mis-step. Here are a few basic tips for survival:
- Save all the time. Any time you find a treasure, just save the game right away. It's the icon in the lower-right that says "SAVE". You'll want to make a practice of clicking on that. It is your new best friend. If you don't save, and some nasty thing kills you, which will happen lots, you'll go right back to the title screen with all the progress you've made missing utterly from your life.
- Heal. Any time you are outside, you can heal your wounds by standing still for a few seconds. This doesn't work in caves or buildings, and it can't save you if something kills you in one hit, but it's extremely helpful at all other times.
- Destroy everything. Many secret chests and locations are revealed (indicated by a musical tone) if you blow up the right bad guy or piece of the environment. If you hear a metallic tinging sound when you attack something, it means you'll probably need to come back later with a different weapon and blast it to pieces. Also, enemies will randomly drop gems that power up your magical strength, so it pays to make slaughter a part of your regular routine.
This is a pretty involved game, and it can be difficult to find where to go next sometimes, so help each other in the comments (using spoiler tags, of course). Have fun!