The Shadow Witch

by Healy

Comic Fantasy
2019

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A cute and wicked RPGmaker game about a bad witch, with multiple endings, October 7, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

Is this Healy's first full-length game? I know Healy best for the many years of starting IFComp prediction threads, so it's fun to see them in action.

This game is in stark contrast to Turandot, the last IFComp game I played. That game was very self-aware, while this game just oozes sincerity. Turandot overturned tropes and cliches, while this game leans on them somewhat.

This game uses RPG maker, so it's very graphic heavy, but that doesn't take away the 'interactive fiction' aspect for me. RPG maker is fairly generic, so the grpahics melt into the background and let the choices and text take front stage.

Basically, you're trying to be bad. So you do bad things. If you get enough bad things, hopefully you can impress your boss. There is one strong profanity in the game (fitting for a bad, bad witch). There are nice little knowledge puzzles.

And there are choices. This game is short (which is the biggest reason for 3 stars out of 5, I don't think it explored its themes enough), but even in that short time, you have true agency. You can have two walkthroughs to two different endings that share almost no text between the two of them and which represent diametrically opposed choices. And that's pretty rare in a text game!

I like this kind of game. Papillon made a game like this decades ago, but it was buggier. If only RPG maker had been there back then! Hopefully, Healy will continue to write. I look forward to more!