The Knight Witch – Review
Follow Genre: Metroidvania
Developer: Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team
Publisher: Team17
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Serie s XIS
Tested on: Switch

The Knight Witch – Review

Site Score
Good: Gorgeous hand-drawn art style
Bad: Minor technical issues
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

We’ve noticed a trend where witches have been cast as protagonists in video game genres that the general public wouldn’t necessarily associate them with. Whether it’s the side-scrolling shmup gameplay of Nata de Cotton, Eirudy’s dungeon-crawling JRPG adventure, or Colette’s top-down twin-stick shooting action, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before there’s a witch game for every genre. Now, we’ve covered a witch-themed Metroidvania before, so while the subject of today’s review, The Knight Witch, isn’t going to win any originality prizes, it still seems like a game worth checking out. Boasting a gorgeous art style and interesting mechanics, at first glance at least, is The Knight Witch a magical experience, or should the game be burned at the stake?


Although the title only hints at a single Knight Witch, specifically our protagonist Rayne, there is actually an entire order of them. The game’s prologue scene explains how the Knight Witches appeared to lead a rebellion against the Daigadai clan, a thinly veiled expy for industrialism. The Knight Witches were successful in their attempt to defeat the Daigadai, or so it seemed for a number of years. As it turned out, the evil clan wasn’t entirely wiped out and they were simply biding their time until the moment was right for revenge. With the original four Knight Witches out of the picture, the fate of the world falls into the hands of Rayne, who was not powerful enough to join her sisters during the original conflict. Can our heroine defeat the Daigadai once and for all?


The hand-drawn visuals were probably the main reason that The Knight Witch piqued our interest. This is an absolutely gorgeous-looking game, with fantastic character designs, and richly detailed environments that feel unique. The muted color palette does wonders as well, as we can’t imagine the game working as well if everything had been presented with bright and saturated tones instead. The art style lends itself particularly well to the Switch, as it looks beautiful without pushing the hardware to its limits, and performance is buttery smooth as a result.


Alternating between fairy tale-esque ethereal music and electric guitar-infused rock tunes, The Knight Witch’s soundtrack covers a wide range of musical styles. Somehow, the musical choices, no matter how outlandish, make sense within the flow of the game. The constant flow of sound effects further completes the game’s audio, infusing the fast-paced gameplay with the necessary sense of action. Unfortunately, that rich soundscape highlights the lack of voice acting, especially during story scenes. Whenever the action stops, so does most of the game’s audio. This is a game where the lack of voice acting really hurts the overall presentation.


We recently looked at Catmaze, which also happens to be a Metroidvania title with a witch theme, so we initially expected to be hit with a sense of déjà-vu when tackling The Knight Witch. As it turned out, however, the two titles delivered very different experiences. Where Catmaze was a solid but unremarkable take on the genre, The Knight Witch takes the standard Metroidvania formula and blends it with bullet-hell shmup elements. The biggest deviation from your typical Metroidvania comes in the form of how you navigate Rayne around the massive maze-like levels. Our protagonist levitates, which means you won’t be bothering with tricky jumps over pitfalls or ricocheting off of walls. The removal of true platforming elements doesn’t mean that The Knight Witch is a walk in the park though, as there are plenty of other obstacles that you need to overcome if you’re going to see the game through to the end.

Those obstacles often are the antithesis of what you’d typically see in a game in the genre. Examples include having to navigate narrow corridors without touching the spike-lined walls, for example, or carefully timing your dashes in between laser beams. Controlling Rayne takes some getting used to, mainly because moving her around feels very floaty and you’re not getting a lot of feedback, but once you’re familiar with the mechanics, the game really starts to open up. Of course, there’s more that makes The Knight Witch feel unique as a Metroidvania than the way you move your character around. While Rayne has an unlimited basic shooting attack, ensuring she never runs out of firepower, her most powerful tool comes in the form of spell cards. There are roughly a dozen different cards, and up to three can be equipped at any given time. These consume mana to use, and offer a variety of benefits, from stunning enemies to conjuring up a protective shield. The issue is that the cards that you can use are randomized, meaning that if there is a specific loadout that you need to make traversing an obstacle easier, you might need to burn through unwanted cards first. This could be a bit frustrating at times and it had us wishing there was a more elegant solution.

Another unique mechanic comes in the form of Rayne’s link level. This ties into the game’s overarching story, as it represents the belief that NPCs have in Rayne’s skill as a Knight Witch. Link level is raised by interacting with and aiding NPCs as well as participating in “interviews” during the story, in order to raise Rayne’s public image. The answers you give during these interviews don’t just have an effect on your link level but also have an influence on the way the story unfolds. This encourages playing through The Knight Witch several times, of course, choosing different answers on subsequent runs. A high link level allows Rayne to level up, but typically involves not answering truthfully, so you need to carefully balance power and honesty. Depending on your level of skill and how well you mesh with the mechanics, a single playthrough of the game should take between 6-9 hours, and a lot of the game’s longevity comes from taking it on in different ways.

The more outlandish mechanics mentioned above give The Knight Witch an identity of its own, but the core gameplay is still recognizable as a Metroidvania. The maze-like levels are a joy to explore, filled with secrets, shortcuts, and upgrades that allow you to chip away at the story campaign. The different boss battles are varied enough to keep things interesting, even if The Knight Witch feels like it plays things a bit too safe in terms of linearity and level design at times. If you’re either a Metroidvania or shmup fan, you’ll probably find that The Knight Witch doesn’t excel at either genre, but the way the two genres are mashed together makes for a game that is worth checking out in its uniqueness.

That said, there were a handful of minor issues we encountered during our time with the game. If you move too close to a wall, for example, Rayne’s basic fire attack simply stops working, presumably because there is a small amount of distance between the character sprite and the sprite of the attack and there isn’t room for the game to place the attack sprite. We also encountered an issue where a boss didn’t spawn when we arrived in his room, forcing us to restart the level. While these occurrences weren’t common, they were frustrating enough to detract from our overall enjoyment of the game. Hopefully, a fix will be applied in the future, because ultimately both Rayne as a character and you as the player deserve better.


By infusing itself with shmup elements, The Knight Witch defines itself as one of the more outlandish Metroidvania games out there. The addition of other unique mechanics, like the link level and spell cards further cements the game’s identity, even if these are more hit-or-miss. The gorgeous audiovisual presentation and compelling storyline complete the package, but the overall experience is held back by a handful of minor technical issues. Those aside, The Knight Witch is a game that doesn’t particularly excel in anything that it offers, but that does remain consistently enjoyable. This isn’t a must-have title but if you do decide to pick it up, you’ll definitely have a good time with it.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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The Knight Witch - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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