Last Level Press

Review: Witch and Hero

Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo

Medusa, the evil monster that has destroyed towns and plagues the world with her minions, must be defeated to save the world. It’s up to you, the mighty hero, and your comrade the witch to stop her. However, you failed with the witch being turned to stone and you having to escape with your life. Now you must defeat monsters, protect your powerless friend, and try once again to defeat the wicked Medusa to not only cure your friend but also save the world! So yeah, good luck with that.

Witch and Hero is an 8-bit game made by CIRCLE Entertainment, a small indie company based in Hong Kong that made its name most known for its DSi games and continues to publish fun and affordable games for the 3DS; this game, unfortunately, is not one of its best.

To start off, let me say that the game is honestly not bad in how it looks. The 8-bit sprites are actually pretty cute to look at and pop off the screen without the need for the 3D function. This is because the 3D function is completely absent, so nothing of significant value was lost. The bright and vivid enemies stand out against the more toned down field that you find yourself in. While it is pretty, there’s also not a whole lot that makes it stand out. Early on in the game the enemies have pallete swaps, and most of the bosses you encounter are just larger versions of the monsters you face. Understandably you can’t have a great level of diversity, especially with how the game was made, but it still feels like they could have gone with a greater sense of variety, or at least hold off on the pallete swaps until the half-way point as opposed to the first five levels.

“Soon, my poring minions, soon…”

The music is repetitive and uninspired. While other games that have their roots in 8-bit and 16-bit era, namely franchises like Mario, Zelda, or even Sonic, did have songs that would loop and repeat they also had some variety or, if they didn’t, there was a diversity of environment and action going on to have the music be enjoyable. The music doesn’t drone on, but it certainly doesn’t get any better.

The controls are about as simple as you could get before you head back to the old Atari days with a joystick and a single button. You use the control pad or the D-pad to move around the field and run into enemies to attack them. It’s a similar battle mechanic to an old NES game called Hydlide. The saving grace that keeps it from being similar is that you don’t die but faint and you need to shake the control pad quickly to bring you back lest the witch is destroyed. Eventually you reach a point where the witch can be revived for a moment by you giving her the blood of monsters and she casts one of two spells: a wind spell that is weak but hits more enemies or a fire spell that is strong but only goes in one direction. While you don’t have hit points, the witch does and if she dies then it’s game over. It becomes so unbelievably annoying when you discover how much of a grind fest this is.

Pictured: The Path of 8-Bit Genocide.

Your play field is a square with patches of different colors with the witch in the middle and the monsters make your stone friend their primary target. You have to attack enemies quickly to keep them at bay but if you take too many hits you’re immobilized and the witch is attacked. There comes a point where sometimes you are no longer a hero but a human pinball because you can be flung across the field and bump into another enemy. Your experience and money is collected from defeating enemies and you need a lot of experience and money so you can level up not only yourself but also your items and spells, which is the only use for money. Want to not faint as often? Upgrade the shield with gold! Want to cause more damage? Upgrade the sword with gold! Want to move faster to keep up with monsters? Upgrade your boots with gold! Want better spells? Hey, guess what? Get a crap load of gold! There will be stages so swamped with monsters that you need to grind over and over and over to make a dent in their number. If the witch is destroyed then any amount of gold or experience you collected in that stage is cut in half as you start again, so at least it’s forgiving.

This game is maybe fun for the first several stages, but after a while it stops being fun. It becomes a chore. There’s not any real reason to go and continue to the end other than to get the Trail and Infinity modes. A demo is available, and that’s honestly all you need to get a feel for the game, but if you dig what you experienced in the demo and have $5 burning in your Nintendo eShop account then go for it. For anyone else, Witch and Hero is a definite pass.

Rating: 3.8

Visuals: 5
Audio: 4
Controls & Mechanics: 4
Atmosphere & Experience: 3
Entertainment Value: 3

  Consoles: Nintendo 3DS

  Developer: Circle Entertainment

  Publisher: Circle Entertainment

  Release Date (U.S.): Apr 18, 2013

  Release Date (U.K.): Apr 18,2013

  Release Date (JP): Apr 18,2013

Final Verdict:


Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport  Est. 2013.  Links | Legal Notices

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