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Wishmere Impressions—Wholesome Button Mashing

Game: Wishmere

Developer: Crayder Studios

Publisher: Crayder Studios

Reviewed: PC

It turns out that teenage angst, pixel art, and supernatural forces are a winning combination for a good modern brawler. Wishmere is a beat ’em up that’s got a Double Dragon soul, Kung-Fu Master‘s sidescrolling chaos, and a bizarre, metaphorical tale of unexpected depth. It takes a risk by choosing the overworked high school setting, although Crayder Studios cleverly dodges the bullet of potential banality with characters who poke fun at each other, a rip-roaring blast of an electro-rock OST, plus the most essential piece of the puzzle: enjoyable fighting.

There’s a surprising amount of content behind Hazelwood High’s walls. As ordinary as they might seem, things quickly detour into atypical territory when criminals break into the corridors and a group of kids is teleported to another dimension called “The Nexus”. There they meet Elreed, God of Dreams, a benevolent guardian who imbues the gang (Duu Shen, Earle, Dove, Sabson, Spritz and Pandy) with special, mystical energy that transforms them into wishmere.

Super-powered and ready for battle, they’re called upon to defeat ancient spirit demon Doubt, a man who’s hellbent on world destruction and true to his name, tempts you into believing you’ll fail. All these cutscenes are completely optional since you can avoid them in free mode, but the script writing is thoughtful, intelligent and funny, so I definitely recommend story mode here. Of course, Wishmere accounts for fans of the fighting-only template too, offering practice, two-player versus and base of darkness modes, the last of which is a ten round brawlathon with waves of Doubt’s cronies to pummel.

By virtue of an extremely user-friendly tutorial, Wishmere