Witch It – Review

Title card for Witch It. It features a green witch wearing purple robes in a cutesy art style, riding a broom next to the title Witch It!

Developer: Barrel Roll Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Music: Barrel Roll Games
Platforms: Steam (PC)
Released: 22 October 2020
Genre: Multiplayer, Hide and Seek

You’re walking down a seemingly empty street, on edge. Mundane objects catch your attention, a candle, those barrels, maybe even that broken teapot. They’re not doing anything, but that doesn’t ease your nerves. Instead, you launch a chicken at a pile of crates. The chicken starts to crow.

One of the crates moves.

The hunt begins.

Witch It is a fast paced game of hide or seek, where the hiders are witches who can turn into any object within the world, and the seekers are hunters who are determined to save their village from dangerous magics. With an array of abilities, features, maps, hundreds of objects strewn across each map, and a fair amount of chaos, combined with a chunky and colourful art style, Witch It is a bit intense, a bit funny, and a lot of fun.

Witch It is a pretty simple concept. If you are a witch, you’ll have a bit of time to find a hiding spot. But not only that, you can also transform into any object you find. A painting? Book? Rock? Rose? A boat? No problem! You’ll just want to make sure you blend in.

If you’re a hunter, you must use potatoes to find and defeat witches.

But the game throws in a few mechanics that makes this game of hide and seek a bit more… hectic.

As a witch, your health bar changes depending on what you transform into. The bigger the object, the more health, but bigger objects are more difficult to hide naturally. Witches can of course fly on broomsticks, allowing them to reach high areas. But they are also capable of casting spells, one of which is to create a decoy object to fool the chicken.

Hunters also have a range of abilities. I’ve mentioned the chicken. If you find yourself in a library full of books and you don’t have enough time to throw a potato at each one of them, you can throw a chicken, and it will hone in on a disguised witch within a certain distance. It’s funny when you’re a hunter, it’s infuriating if you’re a witch.

In addition, you can utilise a ground pound attack that will damage any witches within a short range. If you’re facing a pile of identical jewels, it’s pretty handy. And of course you can unlock a grappling hook to allow you to reach those hard-to-reach places.

With these mechanics, a very cluttered map, half a dozen players, and a limited amount of time, a match can get pretty intense. As a witch, not only do you have to find the perfect object and the perfect spot, and place yourself perfectly to look as mundane as possible, you’ll need to time the use of your abilities to keep hunters away from you. And if you get caught, you need to think quickly. You might just be able to escape and hide again.

As a hunter, you only have so much time to find all the witches, and the maps you play in are very cluttered. You can run around hoping to spot something that looks out of place, or maybe even move just in the corner of your vision, or use your abilities to hone in on the witches. When there’s only a few seconds left, and the witches are taunting you, well, I ended up throwing a lot of potatoes.

The games are quick and engaging, whether I’m a hunter or a witch. It can be intense, stressful, exciting even. And with a variety of maps, including the ability to create custom maps using their in-game engine, it’s hard to get bored. And there are multiple game modes as well, as variations of the hide-and-seek premise, like trying to collect specific objects before the time runs out, or if you’re found as a witch you join the hunters to find the other witches. And you unlock cosmetic items to make your witch and hunter your own.

It’s not a perfect game, but the flaws aren’t stopping me. I would prefer a more immersive tutorial that wasn’t just video clips and an explanation. And it took me a bit of poking around to figure out how servers work. But these were things I ended up figuring on my own anyway with a bit of trial and error.

The music is a bit goofy, with sort of silly, spooky music that just adds to the fact that this is just hide and seek. And the sound of chickens clucking, witches cackling, hunters body slamming, it’s a lot, but it also becomes a bit scary when you’re hiding and you hear that chaos get closer and closer. But if I’m entirely honest, I wasn’t paying that much to what I was hearing. I was too busy holding my breath because I can see a hunter passing the shelf I’m hiding on.

Look, I enjoyed Witch It. I wish I could play it with friends because I just know that the banter, the good-natured teasing, and the outbursts would be just so much fun to listen to and experience. It is definitely a game with a lot of game night potential, with it being easy to learn, and creative ways to hide and keep yourself hidden, or coordinate your hunts. But even on my own, braving those servers by myself, it was still a lot of fun. I got to play some custom maps with no problem, join servers with a dozen players and servers with just a few.

It has a fun art style and satisfying graphics that scales well when I needed to adjust the graphics, with each game I got just a bit better as both witch and hunter, and I never found myself waiting around for ages for other players.

Witch It is a lot of fun!