Publisher: Blowfish Studios
Release: December 4th, 2020
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Nine Witches: Family Disruption is an adventure game that channels adventure games of the 90s. The game is set in the 1940s and has you control two different characters, Alexei Krakovitz, a parapsychologist and his assistant, Akiro Kagasawa. You are asked by the British government to investigate a strange phenomenon in the Norweign city of Sundae. Unfortunately, the rude humor mars this otherwise worthy entry into the genre.
Let’s start with what the game does well. First off, the graphical call back to early games in the adventure game genre is done quite well. The pixelated look not only is a nod to the games that came before it, but the graphics are done really well. The artwork in the game is beautifully done and is one of the highlights of the game.
And the game plays well on modern day consoles, incorporating current game play mechanics. Unlike previous adventure games, you aren’t hunting and clicking around trying to figure out what to do next. Instead the game incorporates the characters abilities to search for clues. For example, Krakovitz has the ability to astral project his spirit and search for clues with his “sense” ability while in this state. He also has the ability to walk through doors and speak with ghosts in the area. You also trigger clues by interacting with other characters. Much like other games in the genre, there are scenarios you need to set in motion to get certain objects you’ll need to complete your goals. None of it is too difficult, rather the game offers just enough challenge to keep you going without feeling frustrated.
Another aspect that is unique to this game and not of other adventure games is the fact that there is action incorporated in the game. For instance, there is a scene where you play as Akiro, and you have to shoot your gun to take out the enemy, while moving around to avoid getting shot. This was unexpected and because of that, I died. The next scene was in hell, where the devil offered to make the game a bit easier if I so desired. Accepting the devil’s help made the game a bit easier and an interesting twist on changing the difficulty settings.
However, at the heart of every adventure game is the story and the writing behind the story telling. And while the overall story is intriguing, the amount of childish, teenage humor made it, bemoaning at best, unplayable at its worst. It’s one thing to drop a silly joke here and there, but it seems like every other scene is riddled with crude humor. For instance, you are in a bar when you talk to a drunk German office, who asks “Is my penis inside or outside of my pants?” And then proceeds to pee all over the floor. Another bit is where Akiro uses the outhouse bathroom and farts - not only do you hear the sound, but the controller rumbles as well. If this happened a few times in the game, fine. But it’s a constant barrage of immature jokes that just miss their mark after a while, and becomes a turn off during the game play. I became distracted by the terrible jokes rather than enjoy an interesting twist on the adventure genre.
Final Grade: C-
For all that Nine Witches: Family Disruption does well in terms of game play, the vulgar and uninspiring writing undoes. It’s ok to have a few crude jokes scattered throughout the game, but to have them constantly shoved in your face just made for an unbearable experience. If you can plug your nose and get through the childish writing, well, you might be able to enjoy this game.
Review code provided by Stride PR