Published on March 12th, 2017 | by Graham0
Witch’s Pranks: Frog’s Fortune Review
Summary: A beautifully drawn, easy adventure that doesn't take itself too seriously, and has charm in spades.
Witch’s Pranks: Frog’s Fortune is a light-hearted adventure game for all ages. The eponymous witch’s pranks revolve around a particular witch’s attempt to find a princely husband by capturing them and, er, turning them into a frog, thus ensuring that their current bride will no longer want them. (Though oddly, it doesn’t seem to bother the witch.)
We start the game viewing the prince’s unfortunate amphibian transformation through a window of the witch’s tower. We’re spotted, seized by the witch, and begin the game locked in her tower, from which we need to escape and save two frog princes by leading them to their true brides.
From the start, Witch’s Pranks impresses. The presentation is top-notch, with some lovely video sections, including the well-animated intro. The scenes, which as is common with this genre are generally single screen environments packed with puzzles, are beautifully hand drawn and filled with lovely cartoonish touches. The frog princes, with their expressive yelps and wide eyes, are a particular highlight. And almost every interaction you do with the world is lovingly animated.
It’s charming, with a lot of incidental humour – the witch can be spied through a portal reclining in a beauty salon, replete with cucumbers over her eyes – and a cartoony style that entirely fits in and the story. The plot doesn’t take itself at all seriously, and is just an excuse to lead you through a series of puzzles vaguely oriented around fantasy and fairy tales.
Apart from a rather tricky sliding puzzle near the start – maybe I’m just out of practice on these, but I found the triangular pieces and odd board shape made this challenging – and a section where I couldn’t find a required item and got stuck for half an hour, Witch’s Pranks is pretty plain sailing. It’s a satisfying witch’s brew of puzzles, none of which are easy to the point of being redundant but none of which, apart from the exception I mentioned, are likely to challenge you for long. And this was playing on the highest of the three difficulties.
Part of the issue is that the character gives some text response for pretty much anything you try to do, and these can sometimes give puzzle ‘hints’ that are so on the nose they give the game away. At one point I tried to feed an apple to an angry carnivorous plant, and was told something along the lines of “If I put tar on the apple, it will glue his teeth together”. At this point in the game I hadn’t even come across any tar, and felt like I was being spoon-fed a solution that would have more satisfying if I’d figured it out alone. It’s nice to get some acknowledgement that I’m on the right track, but Witch’s Pranks goes a bit too far.
That said, the low difficulty does make it particularly great for kids, or playing through with them.
The puzzles are pretty standard for the most part – unlock a door with a sliding puzzle, brew a potion by adding ingredients in order, that type of thing – but they’re so beautiful animated and drawn that they feel fresh. There are a smattering of very simple hidden object screens – find 12 beetle backs, that kind of thing – but this is much more in the adventure than hidden object genre.
So, it’s moreish, but on the easy side, and I went through the whole game in 3 hours. Now I’m not going to discuss value much in this blog – what’s pricey for one person is cheap for another – but personally I’d baulk somewhat at paying full price for that, and I’m glad I picked it up in a sale.
But, I loved every moment of Witch’s Pranks: Frog’s Fortune. It’s gorgeous, funny, and a standout of the genre.
Have you played Witch’s Pranks? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!