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The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood Review: A Narrative Tale That’s All About The Vibes

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is a unique narrative journey, across time and space, with a strong dose of arcana.
The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood Review: A Narrative Tale That’s All About The Vibes

There’s few among us who haven’t wished to give up their mortal existence and transcend to a cozy home in the stars, living out our day as a witch with all sorts of powers at our fingertips. Granted that’s a sweeping assumption, but with the alternative being life in the world as it is, it’s a nice dream. In Deconstructeam’s narrative adventure, The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, players learn the story of Fortuna, a witch with a special talent for divination. She lives on an asteroid, in a small but aesthetically pleasing home. The only problem is that she’s been exiled from her coven, forced to live in solitude for a millenia and her tarot cards confiscated. But after 200 years of her ongoing sentence, Fortuna has reached her breaking point. She makes a pact with a Behemoth, a forbidden practice within the witching world, and seeks a way to change her fate. 

Very quickly we’re introduced to the game’s primary mechanic: card creation. Our Behemoth friend, Abramar, provides Fortuna with the ability to create her own divination cards. By combining a background, a main Arcana figure, and some symbols for magical pizzazz, players are able to customize their own cards and deck to be used throughout the adventure. Depending on how the card is crafted, and what elements it relies on: Air, Water, Earth and Fire, the reading that Fortuna can interpret from them varies. And Fortuna will be doing a lot of readings — it’s her primary talent, after all. When performing a reading on a character, Fortuna will often have multiple readings she can choose from based on the card that is drawn. Aside from dictating elements of the story, each reading will generate specific elemental power which can then be used to create more cards. 

Regular tarot won't do. We need wild, bizzare tarot. (Picture: Deconstructeam)

Outside of the narrative choices, card creation is the main way players will have agency in The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood. It’s a very satisfying process, one that will scratch that itch for creatively-inclined players. The pixel art across the card designs is very pleasing, and provides room for a lot of customization — so long as you have the elements to spend. While we’re on the topic of art, the game has a very consistent style.

It’s clear that an immense amount of thought and care has gone into ensuring that every aspect matches the style of arcana, magic, and cosmic witches. The strong, plum color palette carries throughout, occasionally broken by the presence of uniquely designed characters. Jasmine, a gardening witch, appears with bright and earthy tones. Dahlia, the daggersmith, carries a fiery and red palette. The character designs are easy to love, and lend themselves beautifully to the pixel art style. 

The surface of The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is undeniably appealing, but it’s in the story where players will decide how much the game speaks to them. It’s a story about relationships, those between friends, family, or colleagues, delving into how these might function from a primarily feminine perspective. But femininity, and what might define femininity, is a very broad subject. One area in which The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood delves into quite frequently is romantic relationships and sex. Conversations will often start on the topic of sex, or end up there in a strange way. You’ll meet a character called Louise, a Pithweaver. She talks about harvesting energy from groups of people or collectives with a shared view, activity etc. She then makes clothes out of these harvested energies, imbued with that of the group she harvested from. What example could Louise have given? Harvesting athletic energy from athletes competing at the Olympics? Knowledge from a gathering of the greatest living minds? No. Louise says she could imbue an item of clothing with sexual energy, which she would gather at an orgy. Whatever gets the message across, Louise.  

In more complex readings, you'll choose where to assign certain cards - skewing the outcome ever so slightly. (Picture: Deconstructeam)

I’m not saying this isn’t how it should be. Sex and sexuality is something that has been discussed across all forms of art, and deserves an equal space within games. It’s also something that deserves to be approached from an angle of femininity. But as an audience, you will either be attuned to it or you won’t. While I might personally fall into the latter category, I found plenty of other moments to invest in. A particular stand out instance involves Fortuna meeting a new witch, helping her to shape her specialties, her place within the coven, and even creating a brand new name for her. It’s a moment that feels emotionally intimate, delicately balancing the aesthetic of a cosmic witch tale with that of a very current and shared experience for many.

The story itself is well-paced. Split into a number of chapters, each one is wrapped up fairly succinctly, and character's rarely outstay their welcome. It game gets to the point without sacrificing flair, making for a very easy-to-enjoy experience. The amount of choices players get to dicate the outcome of the story feels plentiful and, thanks to its reasonably short runtime, you'll feel inclined to return and try out other paths. 

Interactive fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s no secret. But I truly believe that those who deeply enjoy the genre will resonate with The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood. It’s a very modern take on a mythical witching world, and covers emotions and situations that a modern audience will very much subscribe to. The game can also take roughly 6 to 10 hours to complete, depending on how much time you spend on your card creations. If you’re after something casual to engage with that respects your time, offers you an intriguing story and lets you flex some creative muscles, then The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is a narrative journey worth embarking on. 

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is available on Steam and Nintendo Switch. A PC review copy was provided by Indigo Pearl PR