Farming and witches have had a good run recently in the indie scene. So, mixing them together in a bubbling cauldron seems like a no-brainer. Today, players can taste the resulting brew in the form of Homestead Arcana. I spent a little time with the magical pioneering title to give you a sense of what to expect.
Miasma is the enemy. The introduction paints a gloomy picture of a world, once bustling and expansive, hemmed in by ever-expanding deadly clouds. However, the next generation of spell casters are encouraged to take up residence boarding the Miasma to grow greenery that doesn’t thrive in humanity’s last urban bastions.
Cue my entrance. I play as a young witch taking up this challenge initially being guided by a talking cat. The game’s opening character creator offers a handful of hair, body type, and skin tone options to help me customize the title’s intrepid hero. And though I try my best, the NPCs seem to exude more personality.
The world, though filled with toxic smoke is beautifully stylized, featuring vibrant, lively colors. In this landscape kaleidoscope sits my would-be farm. My dark familiar tests me on my preparedness to take on the task.
I have to place a tent for shelter, which I’ll eventually upgrade to a more sturdy structure when I have the tools and materials. Then I focus on growing an ear of corn. This has me reaching into my bag of tricks for the first time. I can click a button to summon a raincloud over a seed or gather up magic lights with my cursor and move them towards the plant via a Channel spell. Both methods feel successfully enchanting to use.
Next up, I need a cauldron to mix up a witch’s bread and and butter, potions. Not having a big metal container on me, I turn to crafting a workbench and making the needed bowl from there. I get a glimpse of various reciepes which will surely compell me to go out exploring and foraging in the future. For now, my fuzzy teacher just happens to have every ingrediant needed for everything.
That includes my first elixer. He warns me that after this first day, I’ll have to search for my ingredients in the dangerous wilderness. Today’s ripple potion is on the house, though. It takes only a few seconds to cook up in my well-made cauldron and promises to highlight whatever it’s poured on.
Glancing around my new plot of land, furnished with shelter, a workspace, and a budding field, I can see Homestead Arcana‘s loop unfold. Traversing the land, finding ingredients, and building up my magically-maintained plot looks like it will be rewarding for players interested in taking up the challenge. I’m unsure how the narrative will measure up but farming should keep players occupied.