Mika and the Witch’s Mountain Made Me the Worst Witch – Preview

Mika and the Witchs Mountain preview Steam Next Fest demo worst witch yeet parcels mail Chibig Nukefist Kiki's Delivery Service

Ever wondered what Kiki’s Delivery Service, Studio Ghibli’s fantasy film, would be like if Kiki were just the worst? Me neither, but thanks to the Steam Next Fest demo of Mika and the Witch’s Mountain, I’ve discovered the joys of ruining any parcel that’s handed to me.

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Don’t get me wrong — played properly, it’s a lot of fun and absolutely charming with it. It casts you as the titular Mika, a budding witch who seeks the tutelage of the Great Witch Olagari. But in an act that even crap headmaster Albus Dumbledore would frown on, she shoves you off a mountain. Yes, her version of sink-or-swim involves a long drop and, potentially, catastrophic internal injuries.

Unsurprisingly, your broomstick breaks, although a shoddy repair gives you a degree of flight back. But you’re not getting back up that mountain until you can afford a Bumfluff 6000 or whatever the game ends up calling its ultimate broomstick. And so to raise the necessary funds, you take up parcel delivery.

Forget Kiki and her sky-based shenanigans, though. Your basic broomstick is so underpowered you’re in danger of slamming into a bollard. Sometimes you’ll walk, just to get a little more control over Mika’s movements. But it’s still such an entertaining, wholesome experience that the demo really put a smile on my face.

At least, it did until it finished, a mere three deliveries in. That, combined with the discovery that I could drop parcels from on high, set me on a darker but equally entertaining path. Sure, I could be Discount Kiki, but what if I chose Disgruntled Delivery Driver as my role model?

And so, Mika and the Witch’s Parcel Yeeting began. I wasn’t sure what was inside the first parcel; I just knew it had to be delivered to a retired sea captain sitting in his beachfront cabin. And as it turns out, his location was a real blessing — he got to watch as I took his precious parcel and skimmed along the water, ensuring it got nice and soggy.

Mika and the Witchs Mountain preview Steam Next Fest demo worst witch yeet parcels mail Chibig Nukefist Kiki's Delivery Service

But was that enough? Not by half. Taking to the air as best I could, I looked down at this kindly old man and dropped the package right in front of him. Twice. And he thanked me for it. Why? Because while the final game will mark you on parcel condition, the captain is just too nice to give you anything but an A++.

Did I feel a faint twinge of guilt? Yes. Was it enough to stop me from taking the parcel he gave me, his son’s lunch, and cackling as I repeatedly flung it into the ocean? Absolutely not. His son was every bit as relentlessly pleasant, even though his sandwich was soaked in saltwater. Enjoy.

Your clients’ almost supernatural degree of tolerance isn’t exactly an oversight on developer Chibig’s part, nor is it a bug. In order to get your hands on the next broom, which in turn brings the demo to a close, you need three coins. And you only get a coin if each of your three deliveries is at least satisfactory, so the demo has to let you get away with parcel abuse.

Who knows, maybe in the full game you’ll get clients stamping on their hats in fury? At the very least, a better broom should allow me to hurl parcels from even greater heights. Let’s just hope it doesn’t include a working train because I may have delivered a very puzzled fish to the tracks.

Mika and the Witch’s Mountain is set for a PC and console release later this year. You can download the Next Fest demo via Steam and back it via Kickstarter.

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Author
Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.