It’s time to defend against hordes of weird aliens! Have your magic at the ready to fulfill this task, since that’s about all you’re going to be doing.
Withering Kingdom: Arcane War is one of five new games from developer Digital Homicide that were released on May 27, 2016. I decided to grab this one out of the batch of five games just to see what awaited me within. While I am fully aware of their history of games, I tried to go into this game as impartially as I could.
Withering Kingdom is a wave-based shooter defense game in which you need to shoot down strange alien looking things with your magic. Putting aside the fact that this is an exact clone of Wyatt Derp (another title in their group of May 27th games), the game plays, to put it simply, like garbage. Let’s see if I can try and cover everything that is wrong with this game…
After the basic Unity configuration screen, you are immediately thrown into the game. No, there’s main menu screen. There’s no options screen. You are immediately thrown into the game and will have to try and find out what controls do what. If, for some reason, you decide to play this, I suggest immediately hitting Escape to find the keys listed there. This key will also bring up the “upgrades” screen which I will talk about later.
All of the controls are based on mouse + keyboard. There is partial controller support, but it’s so partial that it shouldn’t even really be called “support”. All you can do with the controller is move back and forth and open up the Upgrades menu. You can move with WASD, use two of your attacks with the Left and Right mouse buttons, use your third attack with the space bar, and there’s also a dodge which I never found a use for.
If you’re hoping to find reliable movement in this game you should simply forget about it. Moving with WASD presents a small delay on when you stop from when you stop pressing the key. It’s not even really WASD, it’s actually just A and D. The W and S keys don’t actually do anything since you can’t move in any direction besides left and right, but they ARE listed in the control list as being for movement!
The hitboxes for the enemies, and for your character, are a bit odd. Sometimes I can shoot at an enemy just fine but the shot passes right through him. It doesn’t even seem to be a matter of how much HP they have or not, since almost every enemy except for the “Overlords” all seemed to just take one hit to actually die (when the hit actually lands). Your second and third attack are limited by how many are in stock, but these attacks can help try to hit a wider area to take down the enemies.
These secondary attacks can also help with bugging out the game. While mainly limited to the attack on the space bar, depending on how you use the attacks, the enemy models can start completely flipping out. They can simply go from a small stretch out from the spot they had died at to trying to completely take over the screen. These models can also just go completely rubbery and flop all over the place as the models around them vanish. Other glitches in the game include enemies getting stuck in walls, the shop menu not actually pausing the game, and drops not moving towards your character.
As you kill the enemies, you will obtain ammo for your secondary attacks and gold. This gold can be used to purchase things in the upgrade store. First thing I noticed in the store is that the image of gold on the purchase buttons likes to just vanish as you mouse over them and then not reappear. The movement speed upgrade seemed to do absolutely nothing – I purchased it a few times and never saw my movement speed stat increase. There’s also an attack upgrade you can buy, as well as casting speeds, but I’m still not even sure what the cast speed upgrade even does. The “Extra Life” purchase also does not actually seem to, visually, grant you another life.
You have absolutely no way (that I can find, at least) of being able to tell how much health you have remaining. The hearts indicated in the top left are how many lives you have, and after certain amounts of hits these hearts will disappear. The “blood” animation for getting hit will always appear the same no matter what and looks like some sort of stock thing. Why is there even blood appear from getting hit by magic? Edit: It appears the little X’s next to your character indicate your health. This was unclear to me initially.
Even though I went into this Digital Homicide game with an open mind, Withering Kingdom did not do very much at all to try and make me interested in it. I cannot recommend the title at all, even with ignoring who the developer is. The characters models are buggy, the controls are a bit delayed (mainly in movement), some parts of the upgrade shop don’t seem to even work or even have a point, and the game doesn’t even have a main menu. Avoid this game like the plague.
Withering Kingdom: Arcane Wars Review Score
At least it was only .59 I guess.