Witch Spring, a series that originated on Android and iOS, has finally made its way to Nintendo Switch. It’s a tale of witches, souls, and becoming the person you want to be. In a fantasy setting, you travel areas with different monsters, and fight them with different abilities.
Predictably, you play as a witch, called Eirudy for her red eyes, who is alone in the woods. Similar games like Rune Factory and Atelier are a close comparison, but are superior to this version of Witch Spring.
Witch Spring 3 Re:Fine
Publisher: ININ Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: August 13th, 2021
Price: $39.99 USD
Eirudy the Marionette Witch lives alone in the Misty Forest, hiding from warriors who wish her harm. In her home, Eirudy uses vitality to bring dolls to life, all in an attempt to make friends. Additionally, she also crafts tools, learns more magic, and does physical training.
The main goal of Eirudy is to turn her dolls into friends capable of speech. One day, when chasing an animal into a cave, Eirudy runs into a young boy who gives the lonely witch her name. Adrian, the son of the lord of Shubeth, is on a mission to find “The Stone of Life” to save his ill mother.
After their fateful encounter, Eirudy and Adrian meet more characters on their way to find the stone, and learn from villagers in Shubeth. The beginning moments through the tutorial were slow, but packed with tons of information you’ll likely forget. On the other hand, everything learned appears in the Journal and can be referred back to.
Gathering items and vitality for dolls are the main goal, so defeating monsters and animals are essential. Furthermore, gaining more dolls for use in battle become more helpful in success. There is also a party system for companions that join you on your journey to help.
Defeating enemies gives vitality, recharges the Soul Stone, and restores Eirudy’s HP. Likewise, using vitality will animate dolls or make them stronger for battle. Dolls will inflict damage or heal you during fights, making for useful sidekicks.
The combat menu in game allows for selecting summoning dolls, item use, and more. Other gameplay mechanics include using weapons, and magic adding to the “witch” element. Doing physical training at home will increase stats like HP and MP. Uniquely, this is where this game shines through, and is engaging to say the least.
Visual novel style CGs are present to give context to conversations, but don’t change for emotions. However, character sprites are cute, and have a great art style. Each character gives off their own personality, and it’s great to see energy where it’s mostly devoid.
Noticeable looping music ruins the small level of immersiveness in the game world. Music is very cheerful and relaxing in the Misty Forest, whereas in the cave or other areas become different. They aren’t elaborate scores, but simple instrumentals.
Sound is also samey, with no variation whatsoever. There wasn’t any noticeable cuts or distortion, which is always good, and nothing stood out as being “too bad;” it was simply regular. Voice acting for characters is fitting, and is standout if nothing else pleases the ears.
The ultimate downfall is that it is a port from a mobile game. Visuals are upgraded from the original Google Play counterpart, offering more textures and detail. On the flipside, this causes frame rate issues throughout.
Witch Spring 3 targets 60 framer per second, but in open areas like the Misty Forest it falls to 30 with some occasional dips. Additionally, in the cave and less populated areas, it goes up to 60, but still suffers from drops.
Some character animations are very stiff and robotic, showing “mobile game port” signs of fatigue. It has a bit of charm, but that doesn’t go far when trying to break out of it’s past. Care was put into making the presentation better, and while it suffers from performance issues it’s still polished.
Disappointingly, this game is for the hardcore niche audience that’s aware of it’s existence. Price is a huge factor, since the game itself is touted for containing no in-app purchases on the mobile version, but lesser graphics.
In spite of the decent things Witch Spring 3 Re:Fine does right, it falls short everywhere else. Obviously, this focuses on the die-hard fanbase of the franchise, and could be boring to new players. Playing for the hours I did left me bored, even when enjoying the smallest charms but never held up.
Witch Spring 3 Re:Fine was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a review code provided by ININ Games. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.