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Fly around on a broom in cozy adventure Mika and the Witch’s Mountain by Chibig

When the Kickstarter campaign ended, cozy adventure game Mika and the Witch’s Mountain by Spanish indie developer Chibig didn’t just achieve its goal. It pulverised it! The team had asked for a modest €40,000 to complete the game’s development, but managed to raise a whopping €1,300,368. Clearly, people love that little witch that flies around on her broom, delivering packages. 

The success also brought some additional pressure to the project according to Irina Moreno, responsible for PR and Community Management. All of a sudden people were asking for more features, more characters, an extra island, basically a bigger game. “With money suddenly coming in, it’s tempting to make more and more”, she says. “But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be better and sustainable. So, finally, we decided to stick to the original plan and create a short adventure. Of course we are developing the additional content promised on the Kickstarter campaign!” 

Indie developer Chibig started in 2017 as a one-dev studio in Valencia, Spain. The name Chibig is a reflection of the cute Chibi art style which is used in all the games of the studio. Founder Abraham Cózar Riera released his first game Deiland for mobile devices. After that, the team slowly grew with each following project, Summer in Mara, Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara, Mika and the Witch’s Mountain and Elusive People. Now the team consists of 15 people, with 4 currently involved in Mika’s development. 

Magic Broom

Inspiration for Mika and the Witch’s Mountain came after founder Abraham Cózar Riera played the solo-developed game A Short Hike. Combining the looks of a Ghibli movie with the condensed open world of that game, gave birth to the idea of an apprentice witch delivering packages. “What makes this unique are the experiences that enrich the core loop of delivering packages”, says Moreno. “Things like improving your magic broom while working to reach the top of the mountain. Or the satisfaction of exploring the island and finding all its secrets. And all the relationships and life lessons you’ll build and learn by talking to the townspeople of Orilla Town.”

With much of the game involving little witch Mika swooping around the beautiful scenery of  the island, the team is particularly proud of the flying mechanic. “We believe we have managed to create a flying experience that feels very fluid and pleasant”, shares Moreno. “Even with the worst of the brooms with which you start the adventure! This is all integrated in a charming scenery that invites you to check around every corner. The not-so-usual way of moving and the way you advance and progress within it, makes for a very free and satisfying experience.”

A Perfect Fit

As mentioned before, the team over at Chibig is a sucker for cute-looking, cozy games and so Mika had to look the part. “That’s one of the advantages of having launched some games and working with artists and musicians who you know will do an impeccable job. When we told Ernest Sala about Mika’s game idea, it didn’t take him long to create a series of concepts that defined the style of the world and characters. They were inspired by Zelda: The Wind Waker, another favorite of ours, and were a perfect fit with the style of Chibig. Judging from people’s reactions it seems that we hit the nail on the head.”

Mika and the Witch’s Mountain will come out later this year and Moreno and the rest of the team hope that the game will delight the audience. “We believe that this game has something special beyond the art and the flying mechanic, although that’s what really catches the eye. There are some important messages incorporated in the game that we hope will resonate to the people and touch their hearts.”

Mika and the Witch’s Mountain is part of the European Games Showcase during GDC in San Francisco. Check the EGS website for more information.

Eric Bartelson
Eric Bartelson
Editor-in-Chief of PreMortem.Games. Veteran game journalist for over 20 years. Started out in 1999 for game magazines (yes the ones made of paper) such as PC Zone Benelux, PlayNation and GameQuest, before co-founding Dutch industry paper Control Magazine.
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