Witcheye review | Does it float or sink?

A mobile platformer that’ll have someone’s eye out. Here’s our review of the action-platformer, Witcheye…


There’s a moment in Witcheye that almost perfectly encapsulates the game. At the start of a level, you’ll see a block at the bottom of the screen, and by this time you know smashing blocks gets you goodies. So, you’ll swipe down to hit it and find out what’s inside; it’s at that point a new enemy that you thought was just part of the scenery will shoot you. Inside the block? A heart that will replenish the health you just lost.

That brief section doesn’t just introduce you to something new; it adds a layer of worry to everything you’ll do afterwards. It reshuffles the game’s deck, letting you know that safety is something that can be taken and given at will. Witcheye isn’t just a reimagining of the retro platformer for touchscreen devices; it’s a confident action experience that’s never afraid to throw a spanner in the works it’s just explained to you.

You play as the titular Witcheye, and bounce around the screen by swiping. Move a finger, and you’ll rush off in that direction; tap the screen, and you’ll stop exactly where you are. It’s a decidedly simple core mechanic, echoing the single-finger experiences that have taken over the App Store recently. But there’s so much more here than accessibility – there might not be any complex controls to learn, but the environment you’re navigating through is in constant flux, hurling new challenges at you on a regular basis. To begin with, you’re avoiding podgy little critters that throw fireballs in your direction; a single hit is all you need to take them out, though.

As you play, the enemies you’re facing evolve. They have shields, they fly, they have moments when they’re exposed and moments when they’re invulnerable, and they require multiple hits to take them down. Spikes cover walls; wind blows you back; giant bosses don’t just try and kill you, they smash the scenery you’re trying to hide behind.

Moments of frantic action become just that – facing a tough boss, your swipes will speed up, translating what’s happening on the screen into physical moves more satisfyingly than mashing buttons ever could. Witcheye thrives on that internal and external energy, and it’s paced brilliantly, with tight little levels you can finish in a handful of seconds.

‘Finish’ is probably the wrong word: gems and secrets are in each of the mazes, and it’s unlikely you’ll find them on your first go. It offers a reason to go back to the challenges and play them in a different way. Being conservative might get you through to the end, but putting in the time, and the risk, rewards you even more.

If Flappy Bird was the one-touch genre’s Pong, Witcheye is the birth of its 16-bit era. It’s bright and vibrant, and it flows with a poise that few others on the App Store can match.

Immaculately designed, smart, and massively entertaining, Witcheye is exactly the sort of game that might just convert mobile naysayers to the cause.


Where a lot of retro games fall flat when it comes to bosses, Witcheye manages to make each one unique, challenging, and entertaining. Sure, there are patterns to learn, but those patterns morph and change – there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win here, which makes victory even sweeter.

Verdict: 86%

A slick and wonderfully well-designed mobile experience that, quite simply, wouldn’t work half as well on anything else.

Genre: Action / Platform
Format: iOS (tested) / Android
Developer: Moon Kid
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Price: £2.99
Release: Out now

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