The concept of witchcraft and wizardry is steeped in traditions, intricate spells, and complex arrangements. A powerful witch with powerful spells is a formidable foe indeed, as in theory the witch can do almost anything with the power of magic. However, as the great smuggler Han Solo once said, “hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side,” and that’s the exact mantra for Rainbite’s Trigger Witch.
Trigger Witch is a brutally hectic twin stick shooter with a sugary sweet coat of paint reminiscent of classic 16 bit games such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In the magical world of Trigger Witch you play the role of Colette, a young witch in the academy for witchcraft and triggery, who builds her arsenal as she sets out across the land after mysterious events surround her home. In Colette’s world, magic is still prevalent and used occasionally, but has given way to the vastly more effective firepower of handguns and rifles.
Colette’s adventure sees her blasting her way through dwarven dungeons, across snowy mountaintops, and everything in between. Over the course of the game you will collect a variety of weapons that allow you to approach each room differently as you juggle through your arsenal. Each weapon can also be upgraded in a variety of ways, giving you more control over how effective you can be in your style of play.
The twin stick shooting of Trigger Witch is silky smooth, giving the player masterful control over placing shots, quick swapping weapons and reloading, healing, as well as an incredibly useful dash move. As the game progresses the enemies and their tactics become tougher and swarm Colette easier, making every input vital to success. When you scrape past a particularly intense kill room by the skin of your teeth it does bring with it a solid feeling of accomplishment.
Despite the beat-to-beat action being engaging and challenging with a wide variety of enemies, the game can become repetitive on the whole. You’ll find Colette shooting her way through wave after wave of enemy and not too much else in the game. Luckily, the addition of drop-in co-op gaming does break up some of the feeling of monotony that can come with the string of battles.
Outside of combat, Trigger Witch can feel lacking. The puzzles don’t really stand out as being anything other than functional, the dungeon map designs are serviceable, and the story is sparse and ultimately pretty nonsensical. The concept of a witch abandoning spells and picking up a handgun is novel in and of itself, but the story doesn’t really move on that idea in a way that feels as ridiculous as it sounds. The act of witches using guns is in fact treated as incredibly normal in the world of the game, which makes the majority of the story feel like a normal character being normal in their world until the final dungeon finally twists the story in an absurdist direction.
Ultimately Trigger Witch is a crisp, solid twin stick shooter with some light progression elements. Building and utilizing the arsenal is satisfying and adds a level of customization to the adventure. The very concept of Trigger Witch would make it seem like a very zany and over the top narrative, that ended up mostly being bland and falling flat. However, the moment to moment gameplay as well as the charming visual style carries Trigger Witch to the finish line.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
The concept should be more engaging and utilized more, but it’s mostly left alone in favor of tight controlling twin stick shooting that is the real MVP of the game.