Witch strandings is a strand style game that tasks players with the job of healing a forest from a witch by carrying items to creatures in the forest to help heal both the creatures and eventually confront the witch that is responsible for the current state of the forest. This is a game that has a very simple control scheme since it is controlled with mostly the mouse. For those looking for a short but different experience, this might be the game for you.

Review Witch Strandings

Witch strandings sets players off on a simple tutorial that explains how the gameplay functions. The player controls a little light with their mouse and can move items around the world by clicking and dragging them to either other locations or to creatures to help heal them. Movement felt extremely slow but after toying around in the settings for a bit, there was an option that helps up the sensitivity of the mouse. I could hardly tell a difference between the 10 setting and the 15 setting but that might just be user error.  The game shows players multiple different types of tiles that impact the movement of the little dot with some even causing damage. There are Hex tiles that both slow the dot down and drain health rapidly as well as rivers that might drown the player character. 

Review Witch Strandings

As players move the spirit of the forest around, they can pick up a multitude of items and bring them to the creatures of the forest. By doing this, they can expand their starting tiles and are rewarded with a message telling them that the heart of the forest has healed a little. Without much information to really go off of, these small milestones give the player something to do as they traverse the world around them. Utilizing items can impact the tiles around the spirit and can even allow players to clear a path through hex tiles so that they can safely move around.  

Review Witch Strandings

One of the interesting aspects of Witch Strandings is that players are able to kill the characters they come across and these characters will be gone for the remainder of the game. This offers players two paths and since some of the characters are extremely needy, players might opt into this system for some sweet revenge.

The atmosphere for Witch Strandings is one that leans heavily into the creepy side. There are places like a flooded bend as well as one named the Killing Fields, which even has corpses lying around to help the name ring true. Even though these are simple tiles with minor pixel art to demonstrate what they are, it makes the world feel darker and emptier than most.   

Review Witch Strandings

Witch Strandings is a game that really wanted to emphasize the importance of connections as well as nurturing the relationships between characters, but the control scheme made it hard for me to really get into it. While there were story details to be found around the world, it felt like there wasn’t enough guidance to help a player get the ball rolling. I understand that exploration should be the driving force but something like this could really use a guiding hand for the first few minutes outside of the tutorial to help bring the player along.

SUMMARY

+ Interesting gameplay + Atmospheric music really brings the creepy feeling alive -A lot of mechanics going on can push some players away – Mouse-only control scheme takes while to get used to if players don’t have a lot of space
(Reviewed on PC)

3 Overall Score

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