Version Reviewed: 1.0
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The Witcher: Versus is a simple title that, while marketed under the Witcher name, has very little to do with the RPG other than borrowing some names and graphics. But that's okay, because The Witcher: Versus is nevertheless an entertaining, if simple, rock-paper-scissors style dueling game.
The game requires an always-on Internet connection, because it revolves entirely around competing against other players in one-on-one matchups. First, you must select your class: Sorceress, Witcher, or Frightener. Sorceresses wield magic, Witchers use swords and "signs," and Frighteners...well, Frighteners are giant insect-like monsters that stab at things. Regardless of class, each character has access to three types of attacks (Strong, Magic, and Fast). As you play the game and gain experience, you unlock new skills in all three categories.
To start a battle, head to the Arena and accept or initiate a challenge. Then, you queue up a number of offensive and defensive moves, one for each turn. (How many turns there are depends on your level.) What type do you think this mysterious Witcher will use? Is it too risky to queue up too many Strong moves, in case your opponent suspects you favor that type? This is where all the strategy, such as it is, comes in. Finally, you submit this move queue. Once your opponent does the same, you watch the battle. Each turn, each character carries out their offensive and defensive instruction, and whoever has the most health at the end wins.
This requires some strategy, but mostly depends on luck. As you increase your level, however, your skills become more complex, so strategy plays a larger role, but in the beginning it feels like the victor is determined by a dice-roll.
As a whole, the game works well. Since you can play users of the browser-based version too, there are plenty of people online. Also, in-app purchases are an option. I won't comment on the cost, but I don't think they significantly unbalance the game. (You can buy experience boosters, for example.) You don't need to buy them to enjoy the game or advance. On another note, one annoying thing is that the in-game text always refers to your character as "him." Not only am I most decidedly not male, but neither was my Sorceress, thank you very much. And I think Frighteners are its.
The Witcher: Versus is a fun game that uses the Witcher IP mostly for recognition and theme. There's no story, and the duels are rather simple; even so, that simplicity makes it an easy way to get a few minutes' entertainment. As a Witcher fan, I would have liked a more significant tie-in with the game world, but even so The Witcher: Versus is, if not a must-have, certainly a fun way to spend some time.