Chronicles of the Witches and Warlocks
Year Published: 2014
Publisher: 8Floor Games
Developer: Wellore

Chronicles of the Witches and Warlocks is a hidden object game that seems to have been thrown together with random parts. Right from the start the title makes no sense, as there are no witches or warlocks in the game. Instead, you're in the role of a modern-day lawyer named Kathleen who goes hopping through time via magical totems on a quest to prove her boyfriend Danny is innocent of murder.

The first time portal is in a wardrobe, but it won't take you to Narnia.

It seems the real murderer is a guy named Frank who had previously used the totems to go time-tripping, causing havoc everywhere, for no apparent reason! At some point, he visited an ancient Indian burial ground seeking a way to revive his dead daughter and instead gained psychic powers, which he used to make a scientist lose his memory, a pilot afraid to leave his house, and to murder a cabaret dancer and her husband. What any of that has to do with resurrecting his daughter is anyone's guess.

Danny ruined Kathleen's perfect day of lawyering.

The totems are presumably Indian artifacts, but it's clear nobody who worked on this game did any actual research into native tribes, lore, or legends. What Indians they come from and where they were originally located is never explained, and perhaps we should be grateful for that. Every five totems unlocks a compartment of their storage box, usually revealing the item you need for your next time jump, but the last one contains...a locket with a photo of Frank's daughter. Why and how would Indians have had that???

Oh, it gets even better when you learn the man Danny was supposed to have killed isn't actually dead. So, how was he arrested for the murder of a man whose body could not have been found since he was never dead? And how is he still sent to trial for it???

Frank's not exactly the most popular guy at parties.

Hidden object games frequently feature modern female protagonists, stories inspired by ancient cultures, murder mysteries, world traveling, and little girls that need to be rescued. It's like developer Wellore took all these things and threw them in with no rhyme nor reason and used the time travel aspect to explain the randomness of the game's locations.

To make matters worse, some puzzles can potentially glitch and some have blatantly false directions (such as an infamous door lock that tells you to press four buttons on each knob when you only need to press three). If, for some reason, you're inclined to play this game, you might want to consider checking the Steam guide that outlines the bugged areas so you can avoid being affected by them.

I admit I have a soft spot for ski resort settings. Just wish I could find a good HOG that uses one.

I see a lot of reviews for Chronicles of the Witches and Warlocks complaining about the ending. Strangely, the final puzzle is a floor ritual, which are common in HOGs, but here (like everything else), it's thrown in so randomly that you have no idea why you're performing a ritual and nor are you told how. You just kinda throw stuff into place and solve a puzzle and then it's over. I don't know if the cutscene that follows is bad, but it's kind of hard to have a good ending when there isn't anything good, or even coherent, leading up to it.

SCORE: 2/5



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