No prizes for guessing what this game is all about.
Little Witch in the Woods, from up-and-coming Korean indie developer Sunny Side Up, is a cutesy retro RPG that sees you playing as a young witch in a woodland setting. It’s available on Steam right now in Early Access.
Story-wise, Little Witch in the Woods casts you as a trainee witch called Ellie. Your goal is to help Ellie visit the Witch’s House to learn all the witchy arts.
That means alchemy, drawing, manufacturing drugs, and so on. Then, you have to take your learning and apply it in the real world by helping the local villagers and making friends with animals.
But that’s not all. You’ll also get to explore your arboreal surroundings, hacking your way through the mysterious forest, making magical potions, fishing, meeting new species, and, er, “teasing kittens”.
A glance at the trailer below will give you a good idea of the vibe Little Witch in the Woods is going for. This is a pixel-art RPG in the Zelda tradition, with puzzles to solve, quests to complete, and a vibrant little world of blocks to explore.
There’s a clever night and day system, too. As you play the sun will set, turning all to darkness, and then rise, bringing light. The creatures of the forest will look and act differently from day to night, adding a layer to the exploration.
At midnight, meanwhile, Ellie will go to bed. That means you need to manage her time, adding a dash of Stardew Valley to the gameplay.
According to Sunny Side Up, Little Witch in the Woods is in a state of “continuous update”. As the Early Access period continues, the team will keep revealing more about the Witch’s House and the Ramshackle Village.
Plus, more maps will be added and the gameplay will be continually tweaked and expanded. Eventually, Ellie may even complete her apprenticeship before the full version of the game lands in 2023.
For now, you’ll be able to experience the prologue, meet the main character, and get to grips with the story and gameplay. That all adds up to about five hours, while the more expensive finished version is set to provide about 20 hours of gameplay.
The Early Access build of Little Witch in the Woods is available on Steam right now for $14.39.