Game: Witch Spring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy
Genre: RPG, Adventure, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: Kiwi Walks, Ikina Games | ININ Games
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £34.99 | EU € 39,99 | USA $39.99
Release Date: August 13th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks PR Hound
Remastered from Mobile
The Witch Spring series is a series of RPG titles from Korea that has been quite the hit on mobile. Witch Spring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy is a remaster of a mobile port of the game which offers remade 3D graphics and extra content.
The title of this console port seems a tad over the top much like a Street Fighter 2 re-release. Especially since it’s likely a lot of gamers in the West won’t be familiar with this series. But if you prefer to play on console over mobile like I do, this is a good place to start on this intriguing turn based RPG where you play as a witch.
Alone in the Wilderness
You play as Eirudy a Witch who hides away in the Misty Forest secluded from the rest of the world. She is happily crafting potions in her home, going out to gather supplies and creating weird dolls all by herself. Then one day chasing a boar she stumbles across a young chap named Adrian who seeks your assistance in helping his mother.
From this, friendship blossoms and Eirudy starts to warm more to humans. However, humans are not so kind to witches in this world. As Eirudy you get to decide to go down the path of light or darkness. There are certain key decisions you can make during the course of the story which will set the stage for the outcome. Standard affair really. Will you be a trustworthy, forgiving Witch? Or will you say stuff it to the humans and go all in on darkness.
It’s a straightforward fantasy story with some quirky characters to meet along the way. The graphics are cute 3D models with some hand drawn sprites presented when dialogue happens. It’s a soft and innocent design. The game is fully voice acted in Japanese or Korean. So you have to make use of the English subtitles.
Turn Based Battles with Choice
This is a turn-based RPG that mostly focuses on Eirudy as the only playable character. Every now and then you may enter a battle where NPCs might join you but you have no control over their actions. When you are out in the field you can see enemies on the map and you can choose to engage them in battle or avoid them.
Of course, some encounters cannot be avoided. Before you decide some statics pop up like the enemies health, strength and defence against attacks. This gives you a small insight into how the battle will go so you can choose whether you want to engage or not. Early on in the game, you will encounter big enemies you clearly can’t defeat but there is the incentive to take them down later to gain useful items.
Combat itself is very flexible for the player. You can choose to use physical attacks with your sword or magic. You can also summon a doll companion to aid you in the battle. More on these later. The choice is yours and the game provides you plenty of options to tailor to your preferred gameplay style.
Base of Operations
Your house in the misty forest is your base of operations. You don’t level up in this game via the simple number based system. Instead you can spend days training. You select from 5 exercises that could increase your strength, magic ability, sword skills etc. Then you get to watch a humorous Witch training montage as stats gradually increase. Sadly it doesn’t feature awesome montage music, which seems like quite the missed opportunity. You gain new training days by completing various objectives in the game.
Additionally, you can use your home to craft new spells, tools and potions, provided you have the right ingredients. You gain more recipes by upgrading your stats. If you go into the basement you have your various dolls which lie dormant. By infusing them with vitality you collect from battles you can summon them to help you in battle, like a doll that will heal you between turns. A knight that adds extra damage to your sword attacks and a bore that increases your agility, you can also ride on it in the field which automatically makes this game just brilliant. Lastly you can rest to restore your health and mana and of course save the game. I kinda liked that the game lets you name your save. A feature you don’t see a lot anymore.
Takes Time to Click
To start with I found all the features like crafting, combat and training a bit overwhelming. The game does briefly describe all of these features but I think it took me over three hours of playing around before I really started to click with all the various features on offer. I initially just made my Witch more adept with the sword.
But I soon found the benefit of creating spells to take down some of the more difficult enemies. I also found you can upgrade your Witches stats by crafting various potions from the various things I collected through the game. It’s a game that doesn’t punish you for getting things wrong, offering plenty of room to experiment with things until they finally click. If you are silly like I was an attempt to take on enemies too strong it’s not the end of the world. You either restart at the last checkpoint or you get warped back to your house without losing any progress.
One of my main niggles with the game is I struggled to figure out where to go. You are given a journal which gives you an idea of your next objective but for some reason this is not marked on your map. It was a bit tedious looking at the objective then pulling up the map to locate the area I thought I was supposed to go to. It created a lot of tedious and unnecessary backtracking. For a lot of the game it does feel like you are going through the same areas over and over, picking up the same items and fighting the same enemies until you have enough resources or vitality to craft.
It can feel repetitive during long gameplay sessions. So I mostly preferred enjoying this in small bursts which I guess makes sense considering its mobile origins. The game may also come across as a tad easy for veteran RPG fans. Once you find a combat style that works for you the battles are a breeze. There is a challenge to be found with challenging monsters dotted around the areas. But this mostly feels designed for the casual audience.
I guess the biggest niggle in the room is the price comparison to mobile. Now I haven’t played the mobile title but the cost in the UK on IOS for this entry of the series is only £3.49. For a mobile game with no microtransactions which is incredible value for money.
Compared to the Switch port that is quite different. Of course it’s unreasonable to expect the developer to offer the same cost considering games are much more expensive to develop for consoles. I certainly prefer to play this game on Switch compared to mobile but if you are on a budget you can consider trying the mobile port first. You can also enjoy the prior two games in the series which cost even less than this one.
Conclusion – Cast a Spell on You
Witch Spring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy was a nice little surprise. While I struggled initially with all the options available it soon cast its spell on me and I really enjoyed it. The flexibility on offer allows the player to really play this in their own way and at their own pace.
This is a very rare example of a game where I am kinda keen to look at the previous entries on mobile. A great introduction to the series and hopefully we’ll see more entries in the future on Switch.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot