Witch & Hero is a an action RPG released in April 2013, and is available for download from the Nintendo 3DS store. You control the titular characters, although you play mostly as the Hero. The Witch had been turned to stone in a battle with Medusa, and now the Hero has to take her across the countryside with the hope that he can find a cure for his friend.
This is a very simple game, but that’s part of its charm. Witch & Hero uses NES-style graphics. They’re fairly primitive by today’s standards, but quite effective. The entire game takes place on one of three single-screen locations: the map, the store, and the battlefield.
The map serves as a level select screen, and there are a few hidden locations along the way. You can revisit a level any time you’d like. The store is where you can spend your gold on 5 different upgrades: attack power, defense, speed, fireball, and tornado. The first three are upgrades for the Hero, the other two are for the Witch.
The battlefield is where all the action takes place. The Witch is placed at the center of the screen, and the Hero has to defend her as waves of enemies advance on you. To attack an enemy, simply run into it. If you hit an enemy from behind, you have less chance of taking damage as well. Both the Hero and Witch have their own health bar. When the Hero’s health runs out, he’s knocked down for a few seconds. After that he can get back up and rejoin the fight. The Witch’s health does not refill until you begin a new battle, so you lose if the enemies manage to defeat her. On the plus side, even if the Witch is defeated, you still get to keep half of the gold and experience points you earned in that battle. When you get to the fourth stage, you will be able to pick up “monster blood” as well as gold and XP. When you collect monster blood, it fills in a bar below the Hero and Witch’s life bars. Touching the Witch will give any blood you’ve collected to her. When her bar has filled, the Witch will to come to life for a few seconds and cast either the fireball or tornado spell. This adds a strategic element to the game, as bringing the Witch to life can really help when the screen is filled with enemies.
Overall, Witch & Hero is a really fun, very simple game with a few neat touches that almost anyone could pick up and play. This is great for short sessions, or for keeping you up all night with its “just one more game” style. Also, there is a demo on the 3DS Shop if you’re not sure if this game is right for you.