While it can be fun to go a little darker in your gaming tastes this time of year, sometimes you just need to get cozy. But Halloween and comfy aren’t necessarily opposed thanks to one increasingly popular indie hero: the witch. So, in the snuggliest spirit of All Hollow’s Eve, I explored two titles that mix wholesome indie’s love of farming sims, starting a new life, and bewitching main characters.
Playing as a young witch (which you conjure in a option-heavy character creator), you’re pushed away from your comfy-but-demanding life as part of a major magical family for some last-straw indiscretions. And, to be honest, it seems like you kinda deserve it. Arrogant, over it, and a little self-absorbed, you head to a small village to help ready the town for it’s upcoming festival.
The story isn’t interested in delving too deeply into what happened before the village, and the initial introductions are a whirlwind of names, faces, and requests. Though it’s hard to catch everything, I couldn’t miss how endearing the art style is. And good thing, because the action and dialogues don’t play out in a 3D space, leaving the visuals to do a lot of the heavy lifting. If the plight of the heroine or the tiny town don’t grab you immediately, then the game has some relaxing gardening and potion brewing to offer, both of which are easy on the eyes.
Though the Sims-meets-Miis art style doesn’t hit me in the way a hand-drawn aesthetic does, it’s wide array of activities easily made up for it. Our would-be witch for this adventure is Tara, who leaves behind city life to help with grandma’s farm, roam the countryside, and pick up spellcasting.
The world is open, giving players a chance to pick wild mushrooms for your favorite soup, explore a possibly goblin-infested cave, or go shopping in the nearby town by day. At night, it’s time to get some powers under your belt.
The gameplay and narrative don’t promise to be overly complicated, and that may not be for everyone. However, it makes for a stress-free experience with just a dash of spooky thrown in.