WitchSpring R is a very cute mix of classic role-playing games plus potion crafting. At a glance, the art style and the gameplay looked interesting. And I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed by my first impression. With this being a demo, the translations were not perfect. I was also unable to fully play with the systems introduced, but the foundation is there.
Cute and Stylistic
One thing I do love about WitchSpring R is the artwork. Everything is adorable, the animals/monsters, the main character and the environment. It all comes together to make an interesting and stylized world, even though I only saw a little of it due to this being a demo. The music fits the game well, and I never got annoyed or bored with it.
The Story So Far is Simplistic and Sometimes Problematic
The way WitchSpring R’s story plays feels like I could have played it with my 9-year-old niece and had a good time. It’s simple and easy to understand the world-building is slow, but it makes you wonder about how the missing pieces are going to be revealed.
All in all a great start. But then the bird character was introduced. He’s abused quite a bit by the main character, and it feels like they are trying for a comedic effect, but it just doesn’t land well. This could be due to translation errors, but it could be how they wanted it. The story is interesting where it is left off, but the handling of the bird makes the game harder to pin to an age group.
Punches Are Not Pulled During the Battles
So what caught me as an RPG veteran is that the game is hard. Honestly, it could use some difficulty settings because I could see the difficulty making some people quit. I had a blast, though. Even if I lost a few fights, the system is forgiving enough to let you retry with everything used in the battle reset to the start of the battle. It never really felt unfair, but it was challenging at points.
The battles play out like any other turned-based RPG. The turn order is based on agility, you select your action, and then the enemies select theirs. It does add its own flair with two systems. One system is the ability to attack again if you finish off an enemy with melee every so often. The second system is after a few turns; you get a guaranteed critical hit for that turn only. This adds to the strategy of when to defend, cast spells, melee or heal yourself, which makes the battle system the highlight of the game for me.
There Is So Much Customization
You train your status points through different mini-games, and you get a bonus if you do well on them. And as a player, you can completely choose what to focus on. Do you want to be faster, stronger, have better magic, be able to take more hits, etc.? Well, that is up to you to decide. It felt like an old-school system, and I can appreciate that.
There is also spell creation, alchemy, pets and weapon evolution to help you fill out abilities to help in battle. The spell creation system and weapon evolution were barely touched upon in the demo, but they look like they will add a ton to the finished game. Evolving my weapon gave me a new skill and some more stats. And I had to create a new spell as part of the story: a more powerful fireball.
During my playthrough, I also saw two pets, a bird and a boar. They are both super useful in the game. The boar allows you to traverse terrain that you normally couldn’t by riding him. He also fights with you doing decent damage and sometimes stunning your enemies. The bird joins you as well as more of a side support. He helps you use items without spending your turn every few turns. He can also carry you up certain cliffs.
Alchemy is just like any other potion-making game. Find the ingredients, combine them and profit. For now, they are mainly either used to increase your stats or help you in battle, but each potion has a price listed on them, so I assume you will be able to sell them later in the game.
WitchSpring R was a fun time. I really enjoyed the difficulty, strategy and customization. The story fell flat for me, but we can attribute this to the fact that this is a demo. I hope the parts with the bird are more localization issues rather than just its script writing. The game has a lot going for it, and I will probably pick it up when the full game releases.
You can find the Steam page for WitchSpring R here.