You might remember Stacklands, a joyful survival village builder in which you stack and combine cards to craft and advance your society. WitchHand, which released this week, takes the same concept and applies it to developing your own witches coven.

Here’s a release date trailer which seems to give the measure of the thing:

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Cover image for YouTube videoWitchHand – Release Date Trailer
WitchHand release date trailer.

In WitchHand, everything is a card. You stack cards on top of each other to perform actions, placing workers to explore for resources, or research new spells, and so on. The product of any progress bar completing is: more cards. The presentation is an abstraction that makes the often complex 4X genre much more graspable, by making all the mechanisms of your growing civilisation a visible item on the board.

WitchHand, naturally, has some witchy twists versus something more survival-based like Stacklands. Each evening brings the witching hour, during which your witch’s powers are at their strongest, but enemies likewise “work against you.” There are also different kinds of witches with distinct powers, such as a Celestial Witch primed for production, a Chaos Witch best at combating foes, a Chef Witch who can prepare stat-boosting meals, and so on.

If you’re looking for something more cosy, less about conquest, then there’s a peaceful mode, too. I find this particularly appealing.

WithHand is out now and currently £9/$10.79/€10.61 from Steam. If you’re anything like me, reading the word “coven” will require that you immediately go look up clips from American Movie on YouTube again.

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