Witch Rise – Review
Follow Genre: FPS game
Developer: Ratalaika Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Tested on: Switch

Witch Rise – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun gameplay
Bad: Way too short
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Indie games like to take inspiration from what came before, delivering pixelated rogue-likes or Metroidvanias left and right. But it is not very often that we see classical FPS games that want to reenact the feeling of fast-paced action that the original DOOM delivered 30 years ago. That is until now, when Witch Rise delivers a pixelated first-person adventure, infused with fantasy elements that will scratch that nostalgic itch.


The story of Witch Rise is a simple one. The opening cutscene introduces the main antagonist, the Fallen Witch, who has become so powerful and obsessed with magic that she wants to keep it all for herself. When she discovers that a young girl in the woods is dipping her toes in the magical world of witchcraft, the Fallen Witch takes great offense and turns this girl into a pig person. Now we take on the role of this piggy witch to collect four magical wands to defeat the Fallen Witch and return to our former self.

And that is everything there is to the story. After this opening cutscene, there are no other developments until the credits roll. No dialogue, no characters to encounter aside from merchants, and no hidden lore to find. Just like with the games it is inspired by, the clear focus of the game is on the gameplay, only delivering the narrative to give a bit of context towards the action that you will partake in. It is nice that the game doesn’t waste your time since it is only around an hour long, delivering a bite-sized experience with no extra padding in the narrative department. Some smart interaction or information, on the other hand, would have been nice with the bosses.


When a game takes inspiration from a specific period, it is crucial to recreate the art style to fully awaken a feeling of nostalgia, and this is where Witch Rise hits the nail right on the head. The pixelated 3D world looks great and brings you back to the age of pixelated monsters. Although the enemies you face and places you visit are pretty unoriginal, featuring the classics like bats and ice levels, they all have a distinctive look. The only element that could have used a bit more care is the designs of the bosses, these feel pretty indistinct from each other. Aside from this, it is pretty impressive how much variety the visual side of the game offers in its short runtime.


While the graphical side of Witch Rise is pretty great, the same can’t be said of its audio. It is not bad in any way, but there just isn’t anything memorable about it. The game features a handful of cliché fantasy tracks and all the sound effects blend into the background without leaving any impact. This is a bit of a shame since a ton of care was put into the visuals.


Witch Rise is an old-school-inspired first-person shooter that has a big focus on dungeon crawling and fantasy. During the short runtime of the game, you will be collecting different magic wands to take down monsters and get stronger along the way.

The combat of the game is pretty simple. You start your adventure with just a sword that can deliver melee attacks. This is a perfect weapon for the early-game bats and slimes you will face in the first region. Fighting does get a bit more engaging once you get your first wand, delivering ranged damage in exchange for magic points. These magic points are a limited resource that regenerates over time, meaning you can’t blast your way through the game and that you’ll have to manage your resources. Especially once you start encountering enemies that can attack from afar as well. While there aren’t that many wands to unlock, each has a unique element that makes all of them worth checking out. This combat gameplay is very simple but fun and engaging. It feels fast and ever-changing thanks to the frequent unlock of new weapons. The only weapon that can be a bit frustrating is the sword thanks to some clunky hitboxes.

While there is a big focus on combat, the labyrinth you find yourself in demands a ton of exploration. You will move from room to room, often with differing paths leading to keys to progress or secrets to find. Most of these secrets are chests that include coins that can be used at different shops. Merchants mostly offer upgrades to health and magic points, but each of them also has a unique item like a map or gloves to move around boxes to unlock hidden spots. These items make it worth grinding every now and then to collect coins from monsters, which also earns you experience points that upgrade your health or magic points with each level. These are pretty important since the bosses can offer quite a challenge.

While all of this sounds pretty expansive, the game itself is a fairly straightforward experience. You will explore a collection of rooms, upgrading your stats along the way, until you reach a boss and do it all over again. Due to the game’s length, there isn’t any room for more depth to the experience, but it also doesn’t overstay its welcome. Witch Rise offers a fun experience with not really any replay value. The game does prompt you to collect all the chests once you beat the final boss, but this doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen before.


Witch Rise is a fun short indie game that delivers a pretty unique dungeon-crawling experience in this day and age. The pixelated world looks great and the game progresses at a breakneck speed that won’t give you the chance to be bored at all. There isn’t anything too deep about the almost nonexistent story or gameplay, offering a bite-sized experience between bigger titles instead.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Witch Rise - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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