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WitchBlaster PC World extended DVD review

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) I don't have any terrible unfinished games for release this week, my main project for the week was to port WitchBlaster to XNA and see if I can get it running in a browser via SilverSprite. It's about 80% of the way there.

Anyway, PC World reviews editor Harley Ogier generously gave permission to post the entire extended review that appeared only on the April 2010 coverdisc. Here it is here.


PC World's DVD-Exclusive Review

I grew up playing platform games and side–scrollers, shareware titles I picked up from friends on floppy disk. In those days, shareware games were generally a respectable length: far better than the half-hour demos of today (that often take half a day to download).

Witch Blaster reminds me of those days: though it consists of only four levels, I’ve already spent two or three hours flying around on a broomstick. My side–scroller skills aren’t what they used to be, and the game provides a considerable challenge.

Were Witch Blaster a full–length title, I’d criticise the difficulty level as being too high. However, the difficulty stretches out the game’s four levels by preventing you from sailing right through on your first attempt. If you’re incredibly skilled and finished the game in four minutes flat, I expect you’re an exception to the rule.

The enemies are varied and challenging, from swarms of bees to snakes with jetpacks. Jetpacks. The power–ups are worth attaining, turning your basic Fireball attack into an unstoppable 180–degree barrage of flame. There’s an element of strategy involved, as it’s easy to lose your power–ups: sometimes it’s better to cloak yourself and avoid further conflict once you’ve fully upgraded your fireballs, as they can be invaluable in the level–end boss fights. However, stop taking out enemies too early and your score is sure to suffer.

The graphics have a pixelated charm, and would look completely at home on a 386. Witch Blaster has a very professional, polished feel. While it looks antiquated, it really does look like something that you would find on an old floppy disk stuck down the back of a drawer.

If it were a shareware game, Witch Blaster would be impressive. As a game put together in 48–hours, it’s even more so. If you play one game from the PC World DVD this month, it should be this one.

— Harley Ogier

A retro classic with a good layer of polish.





Stephen Knightly (not verified)

Yay! My/our snake is famous.

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

Don't forget your Kiwi, as of this upcoming Monday ;)