Last Updated on February 4, 2024
Cute 90s-style shooter Witch Rise is a refreshing change from pig guards and Martian hell demons.
When I first heard about this game I kind of had to take a moment to just think about what was actually on offer. This is ostensibly, a 90s-style first-person shooter – these days known as a “Boomer shooter” – with the cutest set of 2D pixel graphics in a 3D realm that you can imagine.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One/Series S|X, PlayStation 4/5, PC (Steam)
- Developer: lightUP
Also released on Steam back in January 2023, Witch Rise is now out on the Nintendo Switch. Gameplay, which relies on both thumsticks and the right trigger button is straightforward, challenging you to dispose of the strange cute creatures whilst searching for keys to unlock new zones of the map.
Living piggy lives
Witch Rise puts you in the
shoes trotters of a young girl who has been cursed with a porcine spell.
In short, she is now a piglet.
Thus she must traverse the magical kingdom to complete her quest and revert to being a human girl once again.
Described as “a first-person shooter in a magical kingdom,” Witch Rise rakes place across 4 different biomes, with its 3D world reminiscent of games like DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D.
Only far cuter.
WIth plenty of paths to explore and zones to unlock, success in the game means finding everything and leveling up. Upgrading to a magical staff (these are colour coded and can be used to unlock specific routes) makes combat a little easier. While the blobs are relatively straightforward to dispatch, the bats you encounter later are trickier, requiring a different slashing tactic. Shooting orbs from the staff from distance is easier, but your magic points reduce and take time to replenish.
For adults or kids?
Now I’ll be honest, when I saw the Witch Rise announcement I was slightly dubious that I would enjouy it. As it turns out, I ended up fighting Daisy (my youngest daughter) for the Nintendo Switch to play the game. Slashing at the green blobby beasties with sword (other weapons are available) was strangely satisfying, as was trying to work out the correct patch and find the keys to unlock new areas.
The big question, of course, is whether this game is for children or adults. My daughter is 7 and loves it. She doesn’t quite identify as a piglet, but she gets right into the game. Meanwhile, I’m 48, and to be honest, I really enjoyed it too. Now, while I suspect Daisy feels that this game is actually for her, and I can see this isn’t a game aimed at GenXers, I have a feeling I’ll be playing it more than her in the short term, just to see if I can complete Witch Rise.
Witch Rise: I've never played a cute FPS before and I don't think I will again, but my 7 year old daughter absolutely loves this. It has all the combat and mystery you'll find in more mature games of the genre, but with a gentler sensibility and sense of adventure. – atomickarma75
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.