Evercade Cartridge Preview: Goodboy Galaxy/Witch n’ Wiz Dual Cart

Written by Pete Davison

Tags EVERCADE, Goodboy Galaxy, Witch n' Wiz

Today we’re going to take a closer look at one of our upcoming dual carts, featuring the 32-bit exploration platformer Goodboy Galaxy and the challenging 8-bit puzzler Witch n’ Wiz. These are two absolutely top-quality games that we’re thrilled to be giving a home on Evercade, as it not only opens them up to a whole new audience, it also provides them with an easily accessible physical release for everyone to add to their collections.

So let’s take a closer look at each game!

Goodboy Galaxy

Like many of today’s great indie games, Goodboy Galaxy has its origins in a “game jam” — an event where programmers from all over the world challenge one another to make something, usually under tight time constraints.

Many game jams, including the popular and famous Ludum Dare event where Goodboy Galaxy first appeared, have a competitive element to them, but more than anything they are designed as opportunities for creators to just sit down and create. The combination of pressure and support from the community is often a good means of getting past creative block — and in a world that seems to be suffering more and more from attention deficit as we’re constantly bombarded with mindless short-form content and ads, any opportunity to focus oneself on an in-depth, detailed project is something many folks consider worth celebrating.

The end product of a game jam doesn’t necessarily have to be “good” or “marketable” — it just has to exist. More often than not, the creation of that little project under those tight time constraints ends up sparking inspiration for something bigger. This was certainly the case for Goodboy Galaxy; its initial incarnation was nothing more than a couple of maps featuring spikes and destructible blocks, but creators Rik Nicol and Jeremy Clarke saw the potential to build things out into something much, much greater.

The result is what you see before now: a beautifully presented, brilliantly designed platform adventure designed with the capabilities of a 32-bit handheld in mind — and one which fits right into Evercade’s lineup of excellent indie titles.

In Goodboy Galaxy, you take on the role of a spacefaring dog who, after being pursued by otherworldly aggressors, has found himself crash-landed far from home. It’s up to you to help our good boy find his way home — but it won’t be a simple task.

Each of the planets in Goodboy Galaxy has a large map to explore, with a variety of challenges to overcome. In some areas you’ll need to deal with tricky platforming sequences; in others you’ll need to fend off enemies; in others still, you’ll have to solve puzzles or interact with characters.

One of the most notable aspects of Goodboy Galaxy is how each planet features sequences that task you with proceeding without one of your core abilities: jumping high with a jetpack, firing a gun or protecting yourself with a shield. You’ll always get these abilities back eventually, but while you’re lacking one of them, you’ll need to take great care and perhaps come up with some creative solutions.

Goodboy Galaxy is a top-notch spacefaring adventure sure to thrill fans of exploration platformers, and we can’t wait to set you loose in its cartoony universe!

Witch n’ Wiz

Witch n’ Wiz was a year-long project led by Matt Hughson. The intent was to work together and create a new game for classic 8-bit hardware that would have felt at home among the games of the creators’ youth — a title that didn’t so much feel “modern retro” as it did “rediscovered retro”.

In Witch n’ Wiz, you take on the role of a character known only as The Girl as she attempts to retrace the steps she made with her friend and companion, The Boy, in their shared youth. The Boy, you see, was spirited away by an evil Outcaster — one of the few remaining people able to use magic.

While its initial interactive introduction sequence, in which you control The Boy as he heads for his unfortunate doom, may make Witch n’ Wiz appear like a platform adventure, in actual fact it’s more of a puzzle game that uses some of the conventions of platform games along the way.

Your aim in each stage is simple: eliminate all the enemies so you can proceed deeper into the Outcaster’s dungeons. In order to defeat an enemy, all you need to do is move into them — no tricky combat here — but actually getting to the various enemies is the challenging bit, since they’re often arranged in such a way that you’ll carefully need to plan out your steps, lest you block off access to one of your foes.

Thankfully, at any point during gameplay in Witch n’ Wiz, you can either step back a single move at a time, or restart the entire stage without penalty. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself having to make use of these abilities; while the first couple of stages in the game are very simple indeed, the difficulty ramps up very quickly after that!

While Witch n’ Wiz is designed to be an authentic-feeling retro experience, Hughson and his colleagues have taken great pains to ensure it has more accessibility features available than pretty much any other 8-bit game out there.

Music and sound effects can be disabled independently, a high-contrast mode with limited background visuals can be enabled if desired, camera shake can be disabled, and it’s even possible to turn off the time limits in the latter section of the game. There are no penalties for making use of any of these features; they’re all about allowing the broadest possible audience to enjoy the game.

And you will enjoy it! There’s a stiff challenge to enjoy in Witch n’ Wiz, but a very rewarding one; it’s one of those games in which solving just a single level makes you feel on top of the world.

Goodboy Galaxy/Witch n’ Wiz was originally set for release on December 15, but is now coming a little earlier on November 28, 2023. Find out more here.


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