Mika and the Witch's Mountain (opens in new tab) has an immediately arresting look, an aesthetic and premise practically lab-grown to immediately pierce your average millennial's lizard brain nostalgia cortex. It's Wind Waker and Kiki's Delivery Service (opens in new tab), together at least to melt your heart in 3D platformer form.
You take the role of a little chibi Witch named Mika who's come to a faraway island to apprentice with an elder witch. That elder witch turns out to be kind of a jerk, and she kicks you all the way back down the mountain, your wax-on, wax-off witch training demanding that you clamber back on up to the top.
To that end, Mika takes on a delivery job, hoping to earn enough scratch to buy progressively better brooms and fly closer to the top of the mountain. The game's demo only contains a brief quest sequence, and locks you into a small portion of the island, but I can already see how developer Abraham Cozar could create a varied, exciting platformer out of these mechanics.
One of the demo deliveries has you take a fisherman his lunch, but if you fall in the water on your way, it'll get all soggy and you'll fail the delivery! Mika has to fly from the dock and make a precision landing on the fisherman's boat, a fairly fun and exciting platforming challenge that makes clever use of Mika's unique flying broomstick mechanic.
The next delivery demands you scoop some fish out of the ocean and deliver them to a kindly old man for his aquarium, flying low over the water to catch your prize before flying back to the client. And then the demo ends—pretty light, but it does a good job of pitching the full game. Mika's also already runs decently well on Steam Deck—its animated cutscenes don't work yet on the platform, but the game itself can keep a stable 30 or even 40fps. With the game also targeting a Switch release, Deck playable status seems a pretty sure bet.
Mika and the Witch's Mountain is currently live on Kickstarter (opens in new tab) where it has blown past its initial $40,000 goal with over $225,000 at the time of writing—Cozar already has to come up with some new stretch goals! Otherwise, you can wishlist Mika and the Witch's Mountain on Steam (opens in new tab), as well as check out its demo yourself starting tomorrow with the Steam Next Fest.