Combining the addictive nature of match-three puzzlers with role-playing, spell-casting and fierce online competition, Witch Wars is a game with powerful mojo, but there's always a price to pay for dark magics.
Don't let the adorable anime art fool you, Com2uS' mobile puzzle battler requires lightning-fast reflexes and a keen eye if you want to compete in the big leagues. Players take on the role of one of seven different witches in one-on-one match-three battles against online competitors.
Matching swords damages your opponent. Matching skill books powers up magic spells specific to each character. Coins grant money, used to power up skills. Potions heal your character, while handcuffs lock the other players' pieces in place. Deplete your enemy's health and you win, but every second counts.
And every dollar spent in the game counts as well. Spending cash on in-game coins gives players endless opportunity to advance their witches beyond those of more patient players. Three of seven witches require cash to unlock (three can be unlocked with in-game gold), and removing the in-game ads costs an additional $0.99. There are singleplayer survival and endless modes, but you can only play them with unlocked characters.
There's plenty to enjoy in Witch Wars without paying a cent, however. You can still compete, earn coins and fool about in singleplayer, honing your skills until you're ready to take the battle online, where casual gamers that have been practising this sort of thing for years will show you how hardcore they really can be.
Witch Wars [iTunes]