Review: Little Witch Nobeta is a Fun Bite Sized Souls-Like Experience
Little Witch Nobeta is an action-packed, anime-style game developed by Pupuya Games, which is set in a magical world. The game follows the story of Nobeta, a young witch who is in possession of magical powers and no knowledge of who she is. The answers to all of her questions lay dormant inside a decrepit and ever expanding castle
Pupuya Games is a Japanese independent game developer who has been working on Little Witch Nobeta for around three years now. The studio is primarily funded by a Patreon so a lot of the development of this game was worked on in tandem with their community, it’s something that is very nice to see in gaming. Especially in this day and age where it seems a lot of developers just don’t care about their fans.
A Bit of Souls
Little Witch Nobeta is an aesthetically pleasing with vibrant and colorful anime-style visuals that bring the magical world to life. The character design is detailed and unique, with each character having their own distinct look and feel.
The game plays similarly to what you’d expect from a Souls-Like game. You have a lot of rolling and dodge windows to master. But what sets the game apart is the fact that you’re a small magical witch who has amazingly powerful spells to use. These powerful spells take a bit of time for Nobeta to charge them up so mid-fight you’re charging up a blast that will kill the enemy, but you have to simultaneously dodge attacks.
Due to this, Little Witch Nobeta has a fairly innovative combat system that sets it apart from other games in the genre. Players can use a combination of melee attacks, magic spells, and dodges to defeat enemies. The game is difficult, but that’s to be expected. Nobeta operates with a minimal mana, health and stamina pool. She’s very squishy! Any hits she takes will almost surely take her health down 50%. But thankfully she’s nimble and can dodge attacks.
Little Witch Nobeta Review Biggest Takeaways:
- Exciting and challenging combat with a cute and funny main character.
- It’s a short and sweet open world exploration game. Could be a positive or negative!
- Little Witch Nobeta manages to be a simple souls-like but doesn’t come across as having shallow gameplay.
- The character designs are wonderful.
- Nobeta being a glass canon by default could take away from some player’s enjoyment with the lack of build diversity.
A Bit of Mystery and The Familliar
The game features an open-world environment inside a castle, where players can explore the magical world and discover hidden treasures. There is a good balance of action and exploration, making it enjoyable for players who may not enjoy combat too much. While there is a lot to explore most of it feels hollow and empty. Sure, the exploration serves the simple purpose of discovering items and upgrades that are important but the act of getting to them most of the time is fairly simple. It scratches that itch of exploration well enough.
There are a handful of huge towering bosses that Nobeta encounters across the four distinct biomes of the game. Each boss is a fun fight to learn just due to how different you have to think about the encounter because Nobeta is so small, weak and even slow when she’s charging her spell.
Nobeta will eventually learn four types of magic that she can use to defeat enemies, Arcane, Ice, Fire and Thunder. Each element has a very different way that they are played and used in combat. Eventually I was swapping between them on the fly according to what I needed in battle. Fire and Thunder both do incredible amounts of damage. Thunder is quicker and acts like a sniper rifle. Fire is close range and takes up a ton of mana when used.
As you kill enemies you will gain experience that you can cash in at the goddess statues that are mysteriously placed around the Castle. Exchanging experience for items or a stat increase as usual with the genre. Thankfully though, unlike other Souls-likes, Nobeta doesn’t lean into trying to make an already complex system more difficult to manage. Instead, Little Witch Nobeta goes for a simplification of systems.
The controls are not intuitive and easy to learn though. You will have to go into the game’s settings and move buttons around to make it feel more comfortable and less awkward. It’s a good thing that this option is here, or otherwise it would be a bit of a mess especially on the Nintendo Switch.
The story in Little Witch Nobeta isn’t anything to write home about. The set-up is something we’ve all come to know since RPGs of old. There’s nothing wrong per-say about having a story that is just “fine” but in a game like this where exploration and discovery is a huge part, it’s disappointing that the story wasn’t used to elevate the game in some way.
The Explosive Conclusion
Little Witch Nobeta is a very short game, clocking in at around 6 hours for the first play through. Beating the game unlocks a New Game + mode and a new difficulty level. Playing the game on New Game + will increase the damage to all the enemies in the castle, layering that with the harder difficulty mode will make for a tough experience that fans will enjoy.
Overall, Little Witch Nobeta is a fun action game that offers a unique and innovative combat system, cute graphics, and an okay storyline. It’s a tight package of a game with enough to keep someone interested in its full play length. But the shallow systems and story may not keep most people around for the entire game. If any of what we touched on in the review seems interesting then we highly recommend it for a comfy weekend game. The game is available on multiple platforms, including PC and Nintendo Switch, and is worth picking up in that case!
Thanks for reading this review of Little Witch Nobeta! Now that you know how we feel about it, why not take a look at some of our other content, such as Review: Meg’s Monster is a Brilliant, Albeit Short, Tale of Found Family and Loss and Review: Pharaoh A New Era is a Pleasant Return to the Past! Also, be sure to check out Gamer Journalist on Facebook to stay in the conversation!