Chucklefish games have been at the core of a list of games I return to almost annually. In fact, if you just count their wildly popular indie publication, Stardew Valley, you would find that it’s one of my most played games ever, full stop. It’s no wonder their upcoming title Witchbrook is surrounded with almost as much hype as it is shrouded in mystery. Described as a single-player school sim and action RPG, Witchbrook presents a richly detailed isometric world full of magic and delight. As you work your way through magic school, you will navigate the scholastic and interpersonal life of a magically gifted person, complete with the triumphs and treacheries of youth.
The tight-lipped publisher released a series of teaser screenshots recently that have provided fuel for the fan fire that threatened to overtake Twitter. It appears that Witchbrook boasts a colorful autumnal palette with cute 32-bit graphics that Chucklefish games so often do. But will it be a Harry Potter-style magic school simulator or will it include a full-fledged magical post-grad life as a witch or warlock charming their way through the day-to-day?
5 Witchbrook Game Features We Hope To See
As the rumor mill begins to churn, I can only speculate on things I hope will end up in the final product. Based on these screenshots, it appears that the lush environment will likely have much to offer in the way of entertainment. If you, like me, are waiting anxiously to get your hands on this title, come along as we list what we hope is in store for us in Witchbrook.
Call to Adventure
One of the most notable features of a coming-of-age magical teen novel is the narrative conflict central to the plot. A secret the lovable characters must grapple with, or impending catastrophe that won’t be apparent to the world at large until it’s too late. Every hero has a villain and every villain has a faulty plan ready to be dismantled. Though the Witchbrook pictures so far haven’t revealed any meaningful narrative information, I’m hoping that there’s some underlying peril to give an occasional sense of urgency to the world. Not, say, an evil wizard and his dastardly gang of ne’er-do-wells threatening the whole world, but maybe a moral or existential threat that could harm the simple, idyllic life of a budding witch.
Brooms Are For Flying, Not Sweeping
Clearly featured in a number of these pictures, as well as classical witchy lore is broomsticks aplenty. From The Wicked Witch of the West to the Sanderson Sisters, witches and warlocks everywhere push aside the Fords and Ferraris and opt instead for a nice wicker broom. I personally hope I can watch my character hold on to their hat for dear life as they zoom across school grounds on a broomstick, eager to make it in time for the beginning of class. It’s not unreasonable to assume that this may be a significant method of transportation in this game, but to what degree will remain a mystery!
Eye of Newt? No, Mandrake Root!
A crafting system is always a fun feature that gives depth to simulators like this, and nothing is quite as tantalizing as mixing herbs and reagents to create new discoveries. There’s magic (no pun intended) in getting to concoct and test your own mixtures, hoping nervously that it won’t explode in your character’s face, or turn you into a frog. Something tells me that the art style and tone set in these preliminary looks will lend itself aptly to hijinks and mischief when it comes to making and using potions.
Trollin’ the Dungeon
What good are spells and potions without some poor flunky to try them out on? Our next wish for Witchbrook is a place to flex our wands and put all the hard studying into practice by whomping some baddies. Perhaps a dungeon, or an enchanted forest full of creepy crawlies, or a corridor of dark magic users bent on eliminating an upstart student destined to upend their master. Either way, it’s fair to assume there will be target practice for your latest concussive blast or tricksy charm.
Swish and Flick, It’s All in the Wrist
There’s no question as to whether or not magic will be in the game, but will it be a series of gestures to be performed on a controller, or simply a selection made by the player based on need? The depth of the magic system will no doubt be a fundamental part of the experience in Witchbrook. After all, you are ostensibly attending a magic school wherein you will learn the ins and outs of being a successful magic-user. As a fan of talent trees and customizable character traits, I hope to see individual choice play a role in the development and growth of each student. For example, if you’re a fan of illusory magic, you could take classes specifically geared towards that and develop skills that align with those ideals. There’s potential for endless replay value depending on the depth of this variety.
Following the development of Witchbrook has been exciting, and speculation around the title is always a good time for fans. With the richness and depth they so often put into their games, Chucklefish is the perfect developer to handle something with such potential. I’m personally looking forward to watching the seasons pass from within and without the halls of a great gothic castle as I learn the intricacies of incantations and the arcane arts, and I really hope this breakdown has energized a few of you, too!