Nine Witches: Family Disruption – Review
29 Dec, 2020
In Nine Witches: Family Disruption, we discover occult Nazi plans and try to stop them. How disruptive is it? Here’s what we think.
There’s a certain measured inventiveness in Nine Witches: Family Disruption that is key to making a funny point-and-click adventure game. It’s got witches, idiotic and evil Nazis, a dark moon, an eccentric fish vendor, a mime resistance fighter, a creepy nun, and a lot of other hijinks I’m not mentioning for fear of spoilers.
Nine Witches: Family Disruption is a point-and-clicker about rescuing the world from occult Nazi experiments. You control a comedic duo which one half quadriplegic occult professor, and one half assistant of said professor. The two are strategically inserted into the Norwegian town of Sundäe, where they are to uncover a dark conspiracy and stop it.
Nine Witches isn’t just a humorous game—it’s an out-and-out comedy in the vein of films like Airplane! and Blazing Saddles. The jokes are relentless, surprising, and charmingly corny. Its range extends from wordplay to breaking the fourth wall (the game developers themselves make an appearance once point) to plain out slapstick and gross-out humour.
The game also has a particular attraction to testicles, such as the three-testicled salmon that makes a common appearance in the game. It’s uh… something.
As a point-and-click adventure game, Nine Witches controls with a modern alacrity that kept me engaged. The game encourages playing with a gamepad, and you control characters directly, instead of via a cursor. The controls are mapped to the face buttons, and once you get used to them, it does feel like the game has gotten rid of the more tedious aspects of point-and-click gameplay.
This is also reflected in the puzzles. By and large, NIne Witches is not a difficult game. I was able to intuit most solutions without much trouble, although the game did ramp up its puzzles in the final act.
The trickiest aspect of Nine Witches’ puzzles was that I repeatedly forgot to use the professor as a character. As Dr Krakovitz is quadriplegic, he is bound to his wheelchair and cannot interact with objects, which meant that I ended up playing as Akiro most of the time for convenience’s sake.
However, Dr Krakovitz’s out-of-body psychic ability is key to solving many puzzles in the game. He can pass through locked doors, which lets him see things Akiro can’t.
It’s a mechanic unique to the game, but outside of a tutorial screen, it’s never hinted to the player. This could be on purpose, given how gratifying it is when you do remember you can do this, but it comes across as odd that neither character actually provides this ability as a hint.
The largely slick design of Nine Witches features an unusual bump in the form of silly action sequences. In these, Akiro mows down Nazis with his frequently-jamming pistol while the professor hangs back. The combat isn’t awful, and the developers have thankfully added an easy mode to the combat that effectively lets you skip it, so in the end, it’s a non-issue.
What is particularly odd about the game is the racist caricature it uses to depict Akiro in its art, replacing his eyes with line slits to depict his Japanese features. For a game that otherwise does not employ racism in its writing, this was a baffling thing to see.
With its fresh humour and intuitive puzzle-solving gameplay, Nine Witches is a compact and entertaining adventure game that will do nicely for fans of puzzle adventures and comedic games (the two audiences overlap heavily, after all).
Country of Origin: Argentina
Publisher: Blowfish Studios
Release Date: 4th December 2020 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch; Backwards compatible on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S)
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the developer. The PC version of the game was played for this review of Nine Witches: Family Disruption.
Check out more reviews from Into Indie Games!
Nine Witches: Family Disruption
WHAT DID Into Indie Games THINK?
With its fresh humour and intuitive puzzle-solving gameplay, Nine Witches is a compact and entertaining adventure game that will do nicely for fans of puzzle adventures and comedic games.