The WonderWitch was a full blown development kit with rewritable cartridge for the WonderSwan. It was produced by Qute Corporation with Bandai's approval, and it was sold via mail order only.
So, it's basically the system's official flash cart. While it won't run commercial ROM dumps, there are hundreds of homebrews up on the official site, owing to the WonderWitch Grand Prix coding compos run yearly from 2001 to 2003. Many are of surprisingly high quality, and two (Judgement Silversword and Dicing Knight) were good enough to receive commercial releases on regular Swan carts. Pages for each year's winners are on the Qute site: 2001, 2002 and 2003.
There was also a cheaper "WonderWitch Player", which omitted the dev stuff but ran all the same software, but you're going to be paying out the ass either way if you buy one now.
The WonderWitch List
|Cardinal Sins||Shoot 'em up||The sequel to WonderWitch-gone-commercial hit Judgement Sword, Sins adds some strategy with its "seven deadly sins" theme, where the goal of each stage is dictated by the current sin, rather than just being to kill things while not dying. Even if you lose all your lives, only the current sin is failed, and you're shuffled off to the next sin, with your final grade being an average of all seven.|
|Charaga||Shoot 'em up||A decent Galaga-style static vertical shooter, where the enemy patterns actually spell out words if you leave them to their own devices for long enough (that's them spelling out "HELLO" in the screenshot). Obviously, it can't hold a candle to the likes of Judgement Silversword or Cardinal Sins, but it's an OK game taken on its own merits.|
|LolitaQueen||Puzzle||A sort of not-quite Tetris Attack clone; all the rising blocks, combos, chains and garbage blocks are here, but instead of sliding pieces around, you're using the X-pad to change blocks to the color of your choice. However, you can only change colors a limited number of times, so you'll need to build up chains and combos to refill your color supplies. Can be hard to get used to if you're used to Tetris Attack, but worth a try.|
|Rave Hunter||Puzzle||Excellent arcade puzzler in which you're a dancer who attracts girls in droves. Each time you do a dance move, the four girls in cardinal directions from your location will come towards you, and once you've lined up a few girls in the same color outfits, you can cheer to make them disappear. The trick is in lining up multiple, long lines of girls before cheering, in order to get bonuses, but if you plan poorly, you'll end up trapped between four girls and unable to move. In these cases, you'll have to start buying girls off with your limited supply of cocktails to make an escape route. Brilliant.|
|Self-Produce||Shoot 'em up||Yet another shooter from M-KAI, the developers of Judgement Silversword and Cardinal Sins. After two abortive attempts to develop the game under the title Project E-Force, the game wasn't finally finished until 2006, long after the WonderSwan had been abandoned as a commercial platform. As a result, the game is by far the most graphically complex of the series, with animated, scrolling backdrops and pseudo-sprite rotation for bosses. This game's approach is more around weapon power-ups ala the Raiden series than were the first two games, so it has quite a different feel. Clearly, though, if you've enjoyed their other games, a must-play.|
|TankQ!||Shoot 'em up||Multidirectional shooter in the vein of Battle City on NES/GB. You're a tank, shoot the other tanks. Uses the vertical orientation and Robotron-style dual-pad controls. A very simple concept, but difficulty ramps up hard after the first couple of stages. Pretty nice graphics for a homebrew title round it out as a solid game.|
|Consoles||Sega Dreamcast - Nintendo Gamecube - VM Labs Nuon - Sony PlayStation 2 - VTech V.Smile - Microsoft Xbox|
|Handhelds||Nintendo Game Boy Advance - Game Park GP32 - Nokia N-Gage - Nintendo Pokémon Mini - Bandai WonderSwan - Tapwave Zodiac|