Not sure if you've noticed it or not, but Black Friday is upon us once again. It's a great time to discover new products and find sweet deals on the things you love — and that includes premium games from the Google Play Store. I've rounded up the best Google Play Black Friday deals, which is conveniently where I discovered our featured game of the week. But before I get to that, I just wanted to shout out a couple great deals on games I'll definitely be playing this holiday season.
First up is Death Road to Canada, which is one of my favorite Android games of all time. It's a rogue-like action game that's all about odd pairings of characters trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse. It offers endless gameplay so you can keep coming back to it months later and fall in love all over again. It's usually $10 but you can snag it for $1. Do yourself a favor and go check it out.
Another game worth mentioning is NBA2K20. It brings the best aspects of 2K's vaunted brand of video game basketball to mobile without the free-to-play distractions. This is what games used to be like before microtransactions and greed took over, and even though I'm not a huge basketball fan I still have a ton of fun playing 2K20, especially so with a Bluetooth controller. You can save $5 and get it for just $1 for a limited time.
But I'm not here to talk about basketball or microtransactions. I want to talk about Witcheye, a game that was released way back in August but only popped onto my radar this week because it's on sale for Black Friday. Its a game that I feel has been perfectly designed for modern smartphones, with intuitive touch-based controls that blend oh-so nicely with the game's otherwise old-school graphics and sound.
It feels like a Sega Genesis game developed for smartphones in 2019 and I love it.
There's so much to love about Witcheye that I'm really not sure where to start. It takes me back to the simpler gaming days of my childhood, and anyone who grew up playing classic arcade machines or early 90s home consoles will surely find a soft place in their heart for Witcheye. For me, it all starts with the soundtrack, which is just perfect. You know those earworm tunes from classic games that just stick with you — this game is chocked full of 'em. Check out the developer Peter Malamud Smith's BandCamp if you want to have a listen in the meanwhile.
The game itself is really well designed with a nice reversal of expectations. You play a witch who must recollect all her magic gems and ingredients which were stolen by a clumsy knight working with a wily wizard. Using magical powers, the witch transforms into a floating eyeball which I guess makes it harder to hit, plus it's faster than walking? Either way, this is where Witcheye separates itself from other platformers, because the floating eye is controlled all through swipes and taps. You swipe anywhere on the screen to launch the eye in that direction and tap to stop on a dime. It's one of the more ingenious touch controls that's simple and intuitive. Combined with the rest of Witcheye's polished presentation, it really helps the game stand out in a Play Store with no shortage of retro-style platformers.
Witcheye includes over 50 levels spread across six vibrant and colorful worlds. Each level features a variety of enemies including mini-bosses and other challenges that help keep things feeling fresh. There's also a hard mode to unlock which shuffles up the enemies and ups the difficulty for an extra challenge. All that, combined with no ads or microtransactions, makes Witcheye just one of those great mobile games that are trying to do something new and worth spending money, and one of the best deals you'll find this Black Friday.
Game of the week
Witcheye is a wonderfully retro game that looks and sounds like it's ripped from the 90s era, but also happens to be a near-perfect mobile platformer that makes excellent use of touch controls. There are over 50 levels to enjoy that each features amazingly colorful graphics and a memorable soundtrack.