Time to revisit WWII, only with a paranormal flavour, in Nine Witches Family Disruption, an adventure from Indiesruption and Blowfish Studios, reviewed on the PC via Steam.
A pixel art style presentation, it’s jam-packed with witty dialogue, an excellent story, and plenty of variety. Similar to a point and click, but more ‘arcade-like’ as you take direct control of your chosen character, pressing a corresponding key/button for an action, much like a verb wheel.
It’s suggested to use a controller, and as no police officers were knocking on my door, this advice was ignored, and I played with the keyboard. It’s perfectly fine to do so, but as you’re switching between characters with several commands, a controller is recommended.
Nine Witches Family Disruption PC Review
A bit of exposition. Set during WWII, you play two characters; Professor Alexei Krakovitz and Akiro Kagasawa. The first is a paranormal expert, the second is his muscle, but mostly lackey. Well, that’s playing it down quite a bit, but the gist.
After a visit by the Prime Minister himself, the duo set on a mission to Sundäe, located in Norway where a German division, under the guise of the Okkulte-55, is about to unleash a weapon that could change the direction of the war.
The two must infiltrate the town, gaining access by outsmarting the guards, then work with the locals to uncover what is going on. Krakowitz has paranormal abilities which will gain you access to locations and initiate clues through dialogues with the dead, while Kagasawa is a bit more hands-on.
Humour was evidently going to play a part in this game, and it went the extra mile. The writing in Nine Witches Family Disruption is wickedly witty, like a twisted Indiana Jones arc. With a lot of point and click variants, there’s always the habit of making references to the Monkey Island series.
Is Anybody There?
We’re all fans of the game, but it’s definitely time to move on. The writing here isn’t about in-jokes and rubber chickens with pulleys in it, but creating a completely unique setting. Switching between the two main characters instils a bit of variety in the game, and both protagonists have their strengths.
Krakowitz has that uncanny ability to astral project on command, leaving his wheelchair-bound body to freely mingle with the dead, move through doors, plus highlight some points of interest. Kagasawa, on the other hand, is the dog’s body and muscle. In some respects, the relationship reminded me a little of The Adventures Of Bertram Fiddle.
Returning to the humour, I anticipated that this would carry the game as the presentation wouldn’t be something to give much feedback on. Despite its pixelated display, the visuals in Nine Witches Family Disruption are brilliant.
When limited to such a low resolution, it’s incredible how detailed objects can be, coupled with a bloody brilliant colour palette. It’s not all praise, however, as even though graphics were gorgeous, in context, it was quite difficult to distinguish objects as you either couldn’t see them or perceived them as part of the backdrops.
Here For The Three-Testicled Salmon
We’ve been spoiled with the relatively recent feature of pressing a button to highlight all areas that can be interacted with, and initially, it’s missed in Nine Witches Family Disruption. That said, Krakowitz can expel a sonic wave in astral projection mode, and it will highlight objects you may have missed.
In line with the pixel art visuals, all dialogue is text-based without any voice acting. The ambient sounds are great, but the effects when they speak aren’t my thing, sounding like a binary equivalent on the digestive system. As for the score, it’s fantastic and can transform the scenes.
Considering that a controller is advised, it’s right to assume there are some action sequences. As seems to be the evolution of a point and click, more games are introducing these sequences, a bit like BROK The InvestiGator. In this case, the action scenes rely on Kagasawa and his pistol. Before you panic, expecting you could take it easy with the story, the action isn’t taxing and adds enjoyment.
Some of the puzzles require a bit more attention than the norm, which is a good thing, and I found myself jotting down notes like back in the days of Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. The difference here was I was jotting down on computer rather than physically writing – I’m not from the 1800s.
Very Superstitious Writings On The Wall
There are dialogue trees as can be expected of the genre, where you can fast track the story with a quick question, but you need to exhaust all options as the premise is so good. I’d even go as far as saying some of the exchanges were hilarious, resulting in outward chuckles that got me a few stares (was wearing headphones, so everyone thought I was mental).
Kagasawa, the ever-faithful servant (if you can call him that) is super organised and takes a journal everywhere. Anytime there is something worth noting to the plot, he’ll scribble it down which you can access at any point to gather your bearings. It’s pretty useful as a couple of times I lost the plot.
Despite the somewhat restricted locations, it’s easy to lose your momentum, not necessarily a slump at what to do next. As expected in this sort of game, there are a few backtracking situations and eventual eureka moments until you get it.
WWII titles and the occult have been done to death, yet Nine Witches Family Disruption feels incredibly fresh. It has an old school aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place on a 486, dialogue on par with some of the best comedy-infused titles, and such a diverse soundtrack, that this isn’t a game to be missed if you like this sort of thing.
Nine Witches Family Disruption Review Summary
Once you’re used to not having a cursor to hand, Nine Witches Family Disruption if enjoyable to play with a controller, but that’s not the thing to take away from this review. It’s witty, entertaining, and thoroughly immersive throughout and worthy of adding to your collection.