Hello friends!! Welcome to today’s video game review of Little Witch in the Woods!!
I don’t normally review games that are ‘early access’, but I have played this game for over 40 hours, so I thought I’d make an exception. Because I tried, I really tried to like this game. I wanted to love this game. I thought maybe it was because it’s still in development I’d be able to look past its flaws. But, it turns out that I cannot.
If you aren’t aware, I’ve been reviewing a bunch of COZY GAMES that I play. Cozy Games are low-stress games that have little to no combat, and really don’t require any gaming expertise or knowledge. Button mash all you like. The games themselves are predominantly story driven, and are just generally cute.
If you’re interested in other cozy games I have reviewed, please click here for the Gaming reviews section on my blog.
So, let’s go take a look at the game, Little Witch in the Woods!!
Little Witch in the Woods game review
Title: Little Witch in the Woods
Developer: Sunny Side Up
Release date: Currently in Early Release (since May 2022)
Players: 1 (single player only)
Platforms: Xbox One, Windows, MacOS
Genre: Role-playing, Adventure, Indie
Little Witch in the Woods:
Little Witch in the Woods tells the story of Ellie, an apprentice witch. Explore the mystical forest, help the charming residents, and experience the daily life of the witch.
There is a warning about playing early access games on Steam. It says: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. But the thing is, I was SO excited to play this. I’ve been waiting over a year for this game to release.
So it is with a heavy heart I say, I not only didn’t like it, I was so disappointed that by the end I actually hated it.
It’s not the graphics ― I play a lot of pixelated art games (though this is definitely the worst). It’s not the needlessly clunky controls ― which reminds me why I mostly wait until games are on Switch or only play PC games that use a mouse. And although the gameplay itself is, again, needlessly annoying, that wasn’t what killed it for me. The worst part is the story.
I don’t know that after all of the amazingly bittersweet games I have played lately, I can talk about this in any positive light. The main character, Ellie, has this tokenistic, manic-pixie-dream-girl, laissez-faire attitude about everything. There is nothing empathetic about her. Not a single thing that would endear me to her or her story. In fact, the only likeable thing about Ellie is her hat, Virgil, who at least has a modicum of intelligence.
Considering the early access version only has about 5-8 hours of gameplay, you might wonder how I spent over 40 hours on it. It’s because it didn’t have a save function. (I say didn’t, because the developers have now added ONE manual save spot, but still no autosave.) Which meant every time I opened it, I was back to the beginning. *genuine crying*
The start is allegedly the prologue, but feels like you’ve come in halfway through a game. The context is doled out in an odd ‘you get clues, but have to figure it out yourself’ way. Maybe I’m just not meant for dialogue-driven games, but this was SLOOOOW before seeing actual gameplay. And there’s no way to skip through dialogue, so you have A LOT of conversation before even getting to the woods.
The full game is coming in 2023, and while work has been done so far, I would recommend waiting. I *might* even get the full copy myself on Switch, but at the moment, Little Witch in the Woods is not a game I would recommend.