LifeisXbox’s Witchcrafty review | Everything you expect from a fairy game, but with a touch of weirdness. That is how the creators of today’s game describe their newest game. Earlier this month, PigeonDev published Witchcrafty, a magical platformer that also holds some Metroidvania elements. This will be the second game I am reviewing by said developer, but the first one on PC! About a year ago I dove into Dungeons & Bombs by PigeonDev, but this game didn’t leave a big impression on me. But a colorful, pixel art game with a twist? I’m definitely willing to give this one a try because it does sound right up my alley!
There is a free demo on Steam available if you want to try out Witchcrafty before purchasing it!
Most Memorable Moment
I’m afraid we’re not off to a great start here. My most memorable moment is, unfortunately, not a good one. When I bumped into the Goblin Twins, I found myself facing quite a challenge. The Goblin Twins are a kind of boss fight that you have to overcome in order to progress in Witchcrafty. After dying more than I’d like to admit, I could finally taste victory! Only two more hits and those damned goblins would’ve both died… it if wasn’t for the biggest bug I encountered in this game. For some reason, the goblin froze and became immune to my attacks. Yeah… I was left no choice but to exit into the menu and restart the battle. And then IT HAPPENED AGAIN. I was close to killing the second goblin, and everything froze again! And then it happened a third time and I just gave up on the game completely. I’m sorry but if I encounter the bug three times, preventing me from continuing, I’m just done. I did watch a YouTube playthrough to see the ending because of course, I wanted to see the ending. But yeah, not a great experience here.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- The art style and soundtrack that this game needs | One of the best things about Witchcrafty is without a doubt its art style. The adorable and colorful pixel art fit in with the witchy and magical aesthetic the game is trying to convey so definitely a job well done here. Both the environments and characters in the kingdom have just enough detail to make you really appreciate the work that was put into the art style. I was absolutely in love with the nameless little witch that you play as in the game. Her pink hair and oversized purple hat combined with her quirky and cute character are guaranteed to make the player adore her. Add to the mix an upbeat and arcade-like soundtrack and you’re in for a treat for sure. I swear the soundtrack will make you feel nostalgic! As for the sound-effects: they were perfectly in place and sound almost exactly like you’d expect them to so no complaints in this area.
- Challenging gameplay | The overall gameplay is fun yet challenging. I found myself enjoying running around the kingdom and faces various treats. Basically, you start out with 4 lives and a simple wand. You can use said wand to beat your opponent’s asses, and it’s what I ended up using most throughout the enitre game, actually. When adventuring through the kingdom, you’ll also run into magical stones. When you activate these stones, you receive the power it holds. Like the first power being a simple fireball to beat enemies or break wooden boxes. There are various magical attacks that you can gather. Of course, you can also dash your way through battes. The Metroidvania part of the game allows you to retrace your steps and find ways you previously couldn’t access. I found myself doing little backtracing, but didn’t mind because advancing was quite fun. Besides running into monsters, you’ll also run into helpful NPCs like a girl with a broom that allows you to fasttravel and a dwarf selling artifacts. He sells shards of the forest heart and shards of the witch soul (these two shards can also be found in the wild). Both serve a purpose, obviously. Collecting forest heart shards will help you gain more health hearts, and witch soul shards increase your magic abilities. Buying these shards from our dwarf friend requires 250 gems per shard. Gathering gems is done throughout your journey, as they are omnipresent in the world. Every gameplay element fits in very well and I did enjoy the concept very much.
- Enemy variety | The lack of enemy variety was a bit disappointing. Sure, Witchcrafty is a rather short game but there definitely was an opportunity for more variation. Most of the time, enemies were recycled troughout the different environments, while I had hoped that every new area would introduce the player to all kinds of new enemies. I mean, there were some extra enemies, of course, like the little ghost in the castle, but often, enemies looked a little different but had the same mechanics and behavior, making them feel not that different, you know.
- A little more magic please | I mentioned bumping into magical stones and harvesting its power. Well, while in theory this sounds good, the various magical powers you gain feel limited. Firebolts, icy attacks, lighting,… I know they sound different but in reality they all felt the same. Hence why I mainly used my wand as a meelee weapon. I feel like a little bit more magic could’ve been put into them. The kingdom itself wasn’t always very magical either. There were a lot of dead ends, which sometimes got annoying, but overall it was ok. It took me a while to figure out that there was a map available in the game as this is not mentioned, but it did come in handy.
- Rushed story | You start the game with a little introductory. And then you set foot in the colorful world of Witchcrafty. A nameless witch wakes up from a long nap but is plagued by the strange dream she just had. You walk outside, and the first chapter called ‘the girl who overslept’ starts. Apparently, you’ve woken up in a world where viscious globlins have attacked your village. It quickly becomes clear that something strange is going on in the kingdom. The forests are filled with murderous plants, the people living in the kingdom are out for war, and goblins were spotted in the mines. After talking with the Highest, you set out on an quest to find out where the root of the corruption haunting the forest is coming from. The story sounds rather basic yet intruiging enough to leave you wondering what is going on. There is also some humor inserted into the dialogue, keeping you interested in reading it. Still, when you progress in the game, you’ll find that you may lose interest in it, despite the fun conversations. It all feels a tad unfinished. And since I couldn’t finish the game due to a returning bug, I ended up watching a gameplay video to see the last part of the game. And in all honesty, the ending and story felt a bit rushed, so I was left feeling a little unsatisfied.
What we Disliked
- Bugs putting a damper on the magic | Ah yes, nothing more magical than a great bug-free gaming experience, am I right? Yeah, scratch that in the case of Witchcrafty. This little game had some annoying bugs showing their faces when you really don’t want them too. As I mentioned in the most memorable moment, I had to redo the Goblin Twin boss fight multiple times and eventually had to quit the game right there because I could not get past them. Quite frustrating, as you can suspect. There were a few similar bugs regarding the game not acting the way it should. And then there were something controller issues. Even though the platforming went smoothly most of the time, I often found myself on the ledge of something, and I clearly shouldn’t have been able to stand that far. And jumping from there out was usually a disaster, but it was a good way to advoid certain attacks (and technically, it’s not cheating but using the bugs to your advantage, right?).
How long to beat the story | 3 to 4 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 4 to 5 hours
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂