Ever found yourself wishing that games like The Legend of Zelda featured a boatload of badass guns in addition to its staple Master Sword? Well, no, neither have we, if we’re being honest. But there’s clearly a market for such a game, as eastasiasoft’s Trigger Witch proves. Part adventure RPG, part twin-stick shooter, this juxtaposition of genres proves successful, resulting in a likeable and funny experience, but one that falls short of excellent shooting contemporaries like Enter the Gungeon.
You take on the role of Colette, an aspiring witch who must pass the ‘Gauntlet’ – a series of tests that essentially make up the game’s tutorial section – in order to join The Clip, a revered group of gun-wielding witches who protect the realm. Following this, a mysterious Man in Black enters the world via a rift, thus launching Colette on an adventure to save her family and friends. The setup, overall, is intriguing, and the characters are well written for the most part, building up a story that has genuine weight.
As you explore the land the map itself will start to reveal itself, introducing new biomes with varying weather patterns. Enemies and obstacles litter the environment, and you’ll need to utilise a growing arsenal of guns to wipe them out. Starting off with a standard handgun, you’ll add to this with an automatic rifle, a grenade launcher, and more. It’s pretty exciting when you discover a new gun, but the frequency at which this occurs could be improved; it just feels a bit slow when compared to games within the ‘roguelike’ genre.
The twin-stick mechanics feel fairly standard for the most part. The handgun can be reloaded at will and contains unlimited ammunition. The other weapons require a bit more work: once you’ve run out of bullets you’ll need to swap over to a different weapon, allowing your spent ammo to build back up over time. It’s a neat way of encouraging you to try out your various weapons, but can certainly feel a bit fiddly when you’re just starting out.
Ultimately, the gameplay starts off strong, but quickly feels a tad ‘samey’ after a while. Exploration is encouraged, but the game’s ‘dungeons’ normally require you to wipe out all enemies within one area before allowing you to progress to the next, leading to some lengthy and repetitive sessions of scouring every inch of a dungeon to find the boss. The game also often shifts into a scrolling ‘shmup’, with Colette riding on the back of a broomstick, but even these sections can lack variety at times.
What is impressive, however, is the game’s accessibility options. By default, Trigger Witch is a gorey affair, with blood coating the ground as you gun down your enemies; if you wish, though, you can turn this off entirely, making the game more or less suitable for a younger audience. Not only that, but you can completely customise how much damage Colette gives and receives, opening up a good amount of difficulty options.