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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Wytchwood Review: How Much Wood Could a Wytchwood Witch?


I’ll start this one plain and simple. “Wytchwood” is an adventure crafting game where you, the Witch, must craft and collect items to put in your book of potions and ingredients, to complete your main objective. It’s that simple, you travel between the different worlds of the game, which I’ll talk about in a minute, collect things like twigs and bird feathers, and create magical things that help you move the quest forward. Now I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but you may either find the gameplay of Wytchwood either super relaxing and fun or tedious and frustrating. I for one, who adores this game, even found the constant back and forward annoying at times. But overall, the general tone and pace of Wytchwood is one that is calming, charming, and incredible.


Story.


You play the Witch. She’s an old, cantankerous hermit who lives in a swamp, but wakes up without all of her memories. Seeking answers she leaves her hut to investigate and finds the black Goat, who apparently she has made a dangerous deal with. There is a fair maiden who has gone into a deep sleep, and it’s your job to wake her up, or so the Goat says, you have no memory of making this deal. To wake the maiden you must claim the twelve souls of wicked beings who have each done the maiden wrong. These include incredibly villainous cretins such as the bloodsucking Leech, the wrathful Bear, and the greedy

Hawk.


Each of these no-good dirty scoundrels deserves to be destroyed, believe me, once you see the Bear smack his subjects, or the Leech steals blood from her medical patients, you will understand why these characters deserve to be, essentially, blood sacrificed.


Although the witch is cranky, vengeful and stubborn, her role is one that is inherently good, even though her methods are less than ethical.


The World.


The game takes place in a world with sectioned off themed areas. You start in the forest and the swamp, then the field, then you move to the areas of civilisation like the village, the market, and the docks. Each area is beautifully created, they look like something straight out of a gothic fairy-tale picture book for children. It sort of looks like a popup book the way it’s stylized.


Within each world lives one or two horrible beings, and usually the regular townspeople have been terrified, beaten or bullied by them. This adds to the feel of the worlds and the game at large, everyone on edge. It’s sort of a nightmare framed as a children’s fable.


Gameplay


I’ve explained this at the top but I will try and do my best to describe why the gameplay of Wytchwood is so calming. Say you start in the forest, you gather flowers, fireflies and twigs, and with these things you can craft the most basic of items. Once you have your first crafted item it can either be used to do something, like trap an animal or revive your health. Then, with these beginner items, you begin to put them together to craft second or third tier items. These are your big items that help you along with the quest. So basically, to sustain this and keep building big things, you need to go back and forward, to collect a twig from the forest, bug slime from the swamp, and some clay or bones from the graveyard, then you build again.


Now as I said before this might seem tedious. The game is pretty one-note in this respect. There’s no combat or side quests, and all character conversations are planned out and linear. So if you like RPGs or more complex adventure games, Wytchwood probably wouldn’t be for you. But if you find things like the above description interesting or calming and relaxing, Wychwood is DEFINITELY up your alley.


Sound.


A short note on sound and music, they very much add to the gothic or romantic aspects of the game. Every area has a different theme song, the forest starts slow, muted, calm. The docks have a sea shanty like jig that is very fun, and the graveyard has a slow dirge that is added to by the moaning of the ghosts. From the dripping inside the well to the creaking of some floorboards, every noise adds to the atmosphere.


Overview


This crafting, gothic, amusing game is perfect for those who like to go at their own pace, explore beautiful, fairy-tale landscapes, and a game with a bit of an edgier, dark story with a fair bit of grim humour, Wytchwood is the perfect game for you. While the constant back and forth between worlds to gather minor ingredients or talk to people can be very tiresome at times, you don’t have to do it all at once.


I highly recommend this one, enter the Witch’s world, fight against a cast of dastardly deplorable, and craft. Craft a lot. Wytchwood is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and the Xbox Series.


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