Reviews

Nine Witches: Family Disruption

Do you ever wonder how different would your life be if you had made different choices. How the littlest of change might have totally rewritten history. Nine Witches: Family Disruption tackles an alternate history of World War II. Indiesruption partnered with Blowfish Studios to develop this classic point & click adventure game. You can play it on the PC via Steam or on consoles. Unlike the classics which are played using the keyboard and mouse combo, Nine Witches: Family Disruption can be played using a controller. If you want to delve deeper into the underground and occult faction behind the second world war without getting too serious follow the professor and his loyal assistant while they infiltrate the Third Reich.

The game takes place in Sundäe, a small rustic Norwegian village. It is set in the middle of World War II at a time when members of the Third Reich’s Okkulte-SS division have come together to strike back against the Allied Forces by harnessing an occult force. In Nine Witches you play as two characters, switching from one to the other. Initially you play as a character named Akiro Kagasawa. Akiro is the professor’s loyal assistant. The professor is the second character you will be utilizing. His name is Alexei Krakovitz and he is a Russian professor. Alexei is an expert in the field of occult science & research. One day, the duo receive the fateful visit of the UK’s prime minister. The prime minister tasked them with infiltrating the occult division of the Third Reich. You have to stop this division’s evil plan or it could spell doom for the all of mankind. This evil plan lead by the Okkulte-SS leader’s Friedrich Von Darka requires the help of a witch he and his henchmen kidnapped. She is reluctant to help them knowing what will come of her action, but the evil Friedrich ensures her help by sacrificing someone dear to her. This ritual they plan to perform is supposed to create a second moon, a dark moon that would cover the current moon and submerge the world in a darkness like none has ever known.

Nine Witches artwork is made of retro pixel-art and inspired by some classics such as Monkey Island. It is a perfect choice of graphics for a point & click that tries to stay conventional. The quality of the pixel-art is great. I know that not everyone is a fan of pixel-art, most will either love it or hate it. However those that like the style like I do, will notice that despite being heavily pixelated, the attention to details involved in creating those graphics is impressive. Too often pixel-art ends up being very vague. Nine Witches even finds way to make fun of itself and the pixel-art.

Like I have previously stated, you have to frequently switch between the two characters. You start with Akiro, the professor’s Japenese assistant. You will be using this character often throughout the game. The professor is a quadriplegic and of course confined to a wheelchair. Understandably every time you need to pick something up, open a door, etc, you will need to switch to Akiro. I have personally mostly used Akiro and switched to the professor when his skills were required. It is not to say that the professor is not an interesting character with his own neat features and mechanics. He can leave his body at will to visit the psychic realm. This mechanics enables you to talk to ghosts and learn information only they would know. Since he goes out of his physical body, closed doors are not an issue for him. This comes in handy when coming across locked doors. He cannot pick up objects but he can still look around to have an idea of what is inside. Another interesting mechanic the professor uses, is a radar of sorts he can utilize while out of his body. This radar lets him locate objects or even corpses in this other realm so that Akiro can locate them subsequently in the real world.

Akiro is obviously the one that participates in all of the shooting scenes. Those scenes are few and far in between. They are not overly hard, but it is an interesting addition. I do feel however that they have not utilized the feature in the best way. It can feel a bit out of place, almost like an after-thought. With a little more work, these scenes could have added more to the story. The biggest problem with them is that they are not well integrated. When you reach one of them, you feel thrown in and that might be the intent for all I know, but it felt fractured. It is as if the scenes are not quite part of the story. Also those gun battles do not require much skills, they are mostly resolved by luck.
You have to try as much as you can to stay out of the line of fire. At the same time, you do your best to target the enemy. The problem is the enemy also moves so that when you shoot your gun, you never know if it will hit the target and there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily there are very few of these scenes.

The story is engaging and fun. It does get a bit dark at times as you can guess by the subject matter. However do not go into Nine Witches expecting a morbid and heavy narrative. When you read the description, you could be thinking that it is a grisly story when in fact it is much more of a light and funny story. Do not expect an intricately woven narrative, it is a lighthearted game. Nine Witches is a nice combination of some macabre event interspersed with some funny moments and clever puns. The dialogues are short, but to the point. It is interesting to note that when you switch characters and go through the same motions, each character has some original writing. Some interactions stay the same, but many will change.

The puzzles are never too complicated so it is easily accessible for all kinds of gamers from the newest to the most seasoned. You might have to search a bit or look around, but the game is achievable through simple logic and natural progression. It is challenging enough to need some reasoning, but still light enough to be fun. One of the aspect I liked is that the developer have implemented the controller which is not always the case for the point & click genre. The game was easy to navigate and intuitive. The UI has a minimalist look and is unobtrusive. It gives Nine Witches a nice clean look. It was a real pleasure to play and even the map is made with navigation in mind. The map is a top-down view of all the locations that you can go to, but instead of simply clicking on it you can walk around the map.

Despite its heavy subject matter, Nine Witches: Family Disruption manages to stay light and enjoyable. It is very humorous and will surely keep you engaged until the end. The beautiful pixel-art graphics create a perfect backdrop for this classic point & click game that is reminiscent of Lucas Art’s best classics. It does not have a deep story, but still manages to leave a lasting impression. Veteran and brand new players alike will enjoy this amusing and well rounded adventure. Nine Witches: Family Disruption is definitely worth your time.

Written by Vee