Having thoroughly exhausted several picross games (shoutouts to Eyes, Two Eyes, and Nonogram Life), I was lucky enough to catch Melissa planning out her Ranking the Babes of Switchcraft piece right as I realized I really needed a new game that would prevent me from ever being truly alone with my thoughts. I picked up the game, then picked up the piece, and dear reader: Missy is right, everybody sure does have different taste. So now I come to you to set the record straight and offer a different ranking of the babes of Switchcraft: not one of hotness, but one of violence. That’s right, I’ve rated each character by how much I would like to fight them in a 7-Eleven parking lot.
For the uninitiated, Switchcraft is a surprisingly (for me, a notorious mobile game Grinch) delightful match-3 story game in which players take the role of Bailey, a college student at a secret witch college who is trying very hard to find her missing friend, Lydia. Gameplay is mostly made up of progressing through pretty satisfying match-3 levels to generate “Magika,” which players can then spend to unlock bits of story with occasional interactive or choice elements. It has its issues (why is this game so horny for cops), but the artwork is pleasing most of the time and excellent at others, and the characters are interesting enough to have me hooked.
Now, it’s important to note that interesting does not necessarily correlate with likable, and boy do I not like a whole lot of these people. Corrupt academics, needy boys, extremely unpleasant authority figures… Switchcraft has it all. I quickly became frustrated with several weirdos, and then was shocked to learn how highly they ranked on Missy’s dateability scale. Balance must be restored!
To be sure Missy and I were working from the same data, I played up to the end of Book 1, Chapter 13 of Switchcraft and no further. To set the scene, I chose the only possible location for an extrajudicial throwdown in rural New England: the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven doesn’t come up explicitly in the game, but I know it’s there!
And now, without further ado: here’s how much I want to fight the babes of Switchcraft, and also how I would do it.
Dylan: 7/10, but decreasing as he gets more pathetic
This counterculture poser MF told me to call the cops and then did it himself. To a secret campus, where people would be put in extra danger if gun-wagging randos rolled through. Buddy, come on.
Plan of attack: Steal his shoes.
Deena Harrison: 2/10
The fact that Deena’s a secret society cop, which I hate, is actively warring against the fact that she is extremely cool and mean, which I love. Also, she would destroy me.
Plan of attack: Sycophantic betrayal of my antiestablishment values.
Listen, Lydia seems like she’s already going through it.
Plan of attack: Buy her a Slurpee and an awful pizza and tuck her into bed.
Atrocious energy. Bizarrely needy with regards to student appreciation. Jacob from Abbott Elementary vibes but instead of becoming more endearing over time he’s just become more unsettling (…and unsettlingly tokenized). Also, why does he keep trying to take stuff from me?
Plan of attack: Buy him a Slurpee too, but pour it down his awful vest. Autocorrect changed “vest” to “chest” three times while I was trying to write this.
Plan of attack: No!!!!
Ruby Blue: 12/10
She came on to a clearly intoxicated and emotionally distressed student. I will destroy her.
Plan of attack: Tarred and feathered.
I had a psychology professor who looked almost exactly like Shirazi (though with curlier hair) who I once watched tell one of his female research assistants that “love [had] made you prettier,” and, frankly, I still have some anger to work out about that. Also, this guy is such a weenie that he tries to use students to do his petty academic political manipulation. He’s clearly got some stuff going on behind the scenes and I respect that, but I’m still pretty sure I could kill him with my pinkie.
Plan of attack: Total emotional devastation.
Coffee Joe or whatever: 18/10
Plan of attack: I’m just gonna punch him.
Listen, Shumi’s kind of an atrocious person and she’s definitely a Richter 7 on the mess index, but I feel like wherever she’s going will at least be interesting and I’m not gonna get in the way of that.
Plan of attack: Become invaluable.
Janis please make me your apprentice I’ll do anything.
Plan of attack: I’ll do anything. Side note: why won’t this game let me kiss Janis?
Chancellor Swan: 8/10
Even if I didn’t have specific beef with her, I’ve met enough high-level academics that I’d fight Swan on principle (or… principal, hyuck hyuck hyuck) alone. Unfortunately, she’s transparently corrupt and is perhaps actively impeding investigations into my missing friend, who is her missing student. Academic administrators… are bad.
Plan of attack: Rhetorical disarmament. I’ve had dinner with people like her and they don’t last five minutes when you point out all the reasons they think they’re better than you and why those reasons are wrong.
I feel like I’m not making a great case for myself, ranking all the academics higher than all the cops in fightability, but here’s the thing about Naomi: I just don’t want to be around her. I don’t want to see her. I don’t want to talk to her. I don’t want to engage with this game trying to make me feel sympathy for her bizarrely mild daddy issues. She adds nothing! Go away! Don’t touch my phone!
Plan of attack: Make like it’s Shut the Fuck Up Friday and leave, just. Leave.
Janitor Hank: 1/10
I don’t really trust Janitor Hank, but he gets points for being the kind of dude who simply does not give enough of a shit about authority to stop a bunch of kids from scaring the shit out of his boss. Unfortunately, I also have many questions, the foremost of which are: What are his motivations? Why is he British?
Plan of attack: God, no, never mind, I feel so bad thinking about making the custodial staff’s day worse that I’m taking this down to 0/10.
Gilmore is kind of frustrating but like, in a way that a lot of my friends were frustrating at nineteen. Listen, sometimes it takes a minute to go from shitty, sheltered teen to slightly-less-shitty, mildly traumatized adult, and Gilmore seems to be weathering it with at least some grace.
Plan of attack: I think it would be funny to talk about MCR and blink-182 within earshot of him just to see how he reacts. A little experiment.
Eve also seems like she’s going through it! I know there’s a lot of stigma around incarceration and whatnot, but literally how are people so catty about her parents in college? Do y’all not have enough to do?
Plan of attack: Much like Bailey, I would watch Eve do community theater if it would brighten her day. Wait, hang on, why doesn’t this game let me kiss Eve?
Mocha Mike: 8/10
Mike is mostly characterized by being a palette swap of Joe—he’s had practically no independent development, good or bad, in the story itself. This means that how much I’ll actually throw down with him depends entirely on how he reacts to me socking his brother (cousin? I don’t care) in the jaw. If he steps up, it’s on. If not, we’re cool. We’re cool.
Plan of attack: Old fashioned fisticuffs, baby.
Full disclosure: I forgot Bailey was a character until I was literally loading this article onto the website, which is why she’s dead last. I guess I want to fight her the same amount I would fight any other nineteen-year-old? Though I would probably lose due to her powerful case of main character syndrome.
Plan of attack: Clams.
Zora Gilbert cares a whole lot about words, kids, and comics. Find them at @zhgilbert on twitter, and find the comics they edit at datesanthology.com.