Witchcrafty Review: When the Magic Is Missing (Switch)

Sometimes You and Pigeon Dev Games recently released a bite-sized adventure called Witchcrafty! Although this action-adventure game oozes charm and potential, the developers must adjust several things to make the game a better experience.

Witchcrafty Review When the Magic Is Missing (Switch)Witchcrafty is a 2-D platformer that boasts impressive graphics, an intriguing story, and fantastic music. Unfortunately, its gameplay is subpar in comparison. The bug overload also makes the game more complicated and annoying.  

You can purchase Witchcrafty on the PS4 and PS5, Nintendo Switch, or Steam for $9.99.

Witchcrafty - Launch Trailer | PS Vita

Story – A Spellbinding Tale

An unnamed witch finds her hometown attacked by goblins after she wakes from her nap. Several residents were wounded, but they managed to fend off the villains. The green-skinned aggressors may strike again the same night. The town won’t stand a chance if that happens! Nobody understands why the goblins attacked in the first place. It has been ten years since goblins wreaked havoc on the fairy village, and they’ve isolated themselves from other forest dwellers. 

The pink-haired witch must race against time to solve this problem. She learns of the corruption causing creatures to act violently, but who is behind the chaos? Travel with this bubbly character to discover what evil lurks in the Kingdom.

The plot was more enjoyable than I thought it would be because of the mystery. The story unfolds as you read oversized books sprinkled throughout the levels and encounter characters.

Contrary to popular opinion, I find the dialogue okay. Many players love its quirkiness, but I think the writers tried too hard to be funny, making the comedic moments seem forced. The dialogue choices feel robotic sometimes too. Witchcrafty got a few chuckles from me, but many of the “funny” parts weren’t amusing, in my opinion. 

Okay, the talking cat is pretty funny.

Okay, the talking cat is pretty funny.

Gameplay – Not Enchanting Enough

The flow of Witchcrafty is straightforward since it’s a brief playthrough. I had a blast initially, but the gameplay quickly got repetitive. There isn’t enough variation to make exploration engaging in the gorgeous world.

Become a Better Witch!

Look for Forest Heart Shards, Witch Soul Shards, and Gems to grow more powerful. Collecting three Forest Heart Shards increases your health, and gathering three Witch Soul Shards increases your mana. These fragments are in enchanted chests and at the elf’s shop selling for 250 Gems. You can find the currency by defeating enemies, opening chests, and destroying giant crystals.

Objects, like flowers and fountains, are scattered across rooms to replenish your health and mana. I like picking up items to refill my health and mana because it’s more convenient than traveling to save points.

Curse the Controls! 

The witch begins with basic movements, like jumping and dodging. Jumping is a delight since the character is spry. She can even double jump, which adds to the fun! The dodge animation differs depending on whether the character is airborne. The witch will do a tumble-roll dodge while grounded and a lightning dash in mid-air. Nothing is more satisfying than swiftly dodging a goblin’s projectiles!

I guess I'm just too fast for him.

I guess I’m just too fast for him.

Overall, I love the game’s platforming elements—when they work correctly. Sometimes double jump doesn’t work, ruining the flow of gameplay. It’s frustrating when controls are unresponsive, especially in platformers where precision and timing are essential.

Lackluster Sorcery

As far as weapons go, there’s the witch’s wand. The witch’s most basic spell is the fireball. Other forms of elemental magic are unlocked as you progress. Certain elements also open specific areas and chests. For example, you’ll need to burn wooden barriers and electrify rock barriers. 

Once you gain a new elemental ability, you can fast travel to previous levels to unlock chests. I generally enjoy backtracking because I like seeing how strong I’ve gotten over time. Backtracking in Witchcrafty doesn’t give the same gratification since the main character’s strength hardly improves throughout the game.

Even though the magical theme is interesting, I wish the creators had fleshed out the magical components of the game. The spell limitations are simply disappointing. For example, you don’t deal extra damage to fire goblins by hitting them with ice arrows. Projectiles are primarily for destroying obstacles and opening chests rather than strategizing against elemental monsters. 

Another disappointing factor is the magic’s upgradability. You can upgrade your mana, increasing the number of times you can cast spells, but you can’t make your magic stronger. The magical powers lack substance, so I rarely used them against enemies. Instead, I used the wand primarily as a melee weapon, which isn’t nearly as enchanting. 

Take that evildoer!

Take that, evildoer!

The Witch That Glitched

Glitches dominate Witchcrafty’s gameplay, and they range from minor to game-breaking. I can’t mention every bug in this article, so I’ll share those that are most significant. 

The Shard glitch is one of the most bothersome. If you die after finding a Shard in a chest, you can’t go to the same chest to get it again. This bug is immensely frustrating because it’s already challenging to increase your health, and enemies deal much damage. My maximum health was six hearts, but some enemies dealt two damage with each hit. One ghostly foe even took four out of six hearts, dealing more damage than any of the final bosses!   

Other glitches were equally ridiculous. When I spawned at a checkpoint, the little witch was nowhere to be found. I’d like to think she discovered an invisibility spell, but I’m pretty sure it was a bug. The witch also freezes as enemies attack her until she dies. The worst part is when this bug happens in boss fights. Restarting when you’ve gotten the hang of an attack pattern is a bummer.

Graphics and Sound – Bewitching… for the Most Part 

The graphics drew me to Witchcrafty. I’m biased because I’m a sucker for pixelated art styles, but the 8-bit graphics are truly incredible! The colors are vibrant and full of life in each level, varying from rich hues of purple to icy shades of blue. The details of such places are magnificent too! I appreciate how fireflies softly glow in the forest and how lava shimmers as it cascades down the volcano.

The character designs capture the artists’ creativity. For instance, the main character’s defining features are her bubble-gum-pink hair and her purple hat with eyes. The witch’s design is simple, yet strange enough to make her special. 

Speaking of odd characters, did I mention the intoxicated octopus? I didn’t realize I needed a game with a drunk cephalopod until I played Witchcrafty.

Here's Jim. He's my favorite drunk octopus.

Jim is my favorite drunk octopus.

I also worship the buttery-smooth animations in this game! Their fluidity makes Witchcrafty fascinating to watch. For example, when the witch gains a new spell, she’ll absorb it while floating and then strike a pose. 

The pause menu and map are my only complaints about the graphics. Since the pause menu is the witch’s journal, you can view her handwritten notes, which are much funnier than the game’s dialogue. While this pause menu display is a clever idea, some fonts are hard to read because they’re small, and the color is too similar to the journal’s background.

There’s an identical problem with the game’s map. Icons mark your location along with other valuable findings, such as chests, shops, save points, etc. These icons are hard to read, especially in handheld mode. I have to squint to differentiate each icon because they’re so tiny.  

The soundtrack is another great quality since it features 8-bit music reminiscent of retro games. The tunes are always upbeat, reflecting the whimsical world that is Witchcrafty. Each area also has a distinct song, which adds a unique atmosphere to every environment.

I’d like to praise the sound effects as much as the music and graphics, but the sound design is mediocre. Moreover, the dialogue was the worst part of it. The sound effect of the dialogue is loud, but you can turn it down or skip it while the characters are talking. I did both actions because the sound was unbearable. Volume control is a godsend!

On the contrary, the zapping noises of the different elements are satisfying. For example, shooting ice arrows creates a sparkling sound that represents the delicacy of ice. Meanwhile, lightning zaps produce a loud boom as they pierce an object or enemy.

Witchcrafty was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.

I can’t recommend Witchcrafty because the bugs and mediocre gameplay make it almost unplayable. In fact, it’s one of the most bug-ridden games I’ve played all year. I can tell the game is filled with passion, but it misses the mark on too many occasions to be enjoyable. I could have fallen in love with Witchcrafty, but I wish there were more to it instead.
  • Beautiful art style
  • Cheap price
  • Great soundtrack
  • Controls are unresponsive sometimes
  • Too many glitches
  • Repetitive and mediocre gameplay