Tiny Witch Review
You’re lucky I’m cursed and can’t leave this shop.
Available on: Steam
Genre: Time Management
Publisher: Creative Hand
Another game where you play as a witch? Hold my soda, I’m going in.
Tiny Witch has a bit of a story to help frame the game and give an explanation for what’s going to happen. You play as a young witch named Sophie in a world where magic exists. Sophie, in particular, loves to craft minions and she always dreamed of owning her own little shop to sell them. She hasn’t exactly made any progress in her dream, but one day she is approached by a talking cat. This cat, Whisker Hermes, offered Sophie a deal that would allow her to have her minion shop. All she needs to do is sign the contract…which Sophie doesn’t end up reading due to being so excited.
Well, that was a horrible idea. Right as Sophie enters her new minion shop, the door is sealed with magical chains. It turns out that the contract detailed how Whisker’s shops are cursed. The owner, in this case Sophie, can’t leave until they work 10 days and achieve the sales goal for each day. Not only that, but there are four stores. Sophie needs to endure this for over a month and I’m just hoping these shops have a secret bedroom so Sophie can at least sleep comfortably.
Anyway, as said before, you’ll be visiting four shops each having 10 days you need to meet the sales goal for. For the most part, the amount of money you need to earn changes, but there are some added elements here and there.
A day is separated into two sections, preparation and being open. During preparation, you can’t exactly prep any ingredients ahead of time as it’s more used for you to buy needed items for your shop. At first, you’ll have no money or barely any, but you’ll soon get enough to buy items you need or want. You do have to at least buy the pestles that creates a needed ingredient for most recipes. With any money left over, you can then buy another chest so you can store an ingredient or minion over to the next day or to the night shift; more cauldrons; decorations that give a certain effect to customers standing by it (like increasing tips or patience); and pets that will throw an item that will temporary buff you once you pick it up (ranging from making you faster to a shield to block a customer’s attack). Once you’re ready to start your shift, you just need to hit the owl bell.
Making the minions is easy, but it’s the customers that make it stressful. Every day you’ll see what minions are on the menu and what’s needed to make it. It all starts with your basic stardust that you throw in a cauldron to make into a soul fragment. Some recipes do take pure soul fragments, but a lot will call for other ingredients. For these other ingredients you need a pestle that allows you to create it and a soul fragment to put in so it can be made into that ingredient. It mainly is just waiting for the ingredient to be finished, quickly transfer it to a pestle or to the worktable, and then deliver it to a customer.
However, the customers have a patience meter. They won’t wait all day for the minion they ordered. Every second they don’t have an order, their patience meter ticks down. Once it’s half empty they will tip less and will throw out an attack, which if you get hit will stun you and cause you to drop some money, and they’ll leave (and maybe send out another attack) when they completely run out of patience. Serving the more complicated recipes will bring in more money and those customers do have a bit more patience. You can apologize for the wait to raise their patience bar, but you have to do it before it reaches the halfway point or else it’s practically useless as they won’t hear it. There are also three types of customers, the regular customers, rich customers that will tip more so you probably should keep their meter high, and impatient customers that come in upset and refuses to hear any excuses as to why you don’t have their order the second they come in. They all do just throw their tip in your shop though, almost like they know if you don’t pick it up by the end of the shift it’ll just disappear along with any lingering ingredients.
That’s not all, as there are some more annoyances. Aside from the attacks the customers throw at you, some shifts will have leaky pipes that will cause puddles to appear. These puddles can be caused by some other means, but if you step on them you’ll be slowed down. It’s really annoying as you can quickly get a lot of them on the floor, and even in front of the stations, and sometimes you don’t have the time to clean it up. There’s also customer attacks which range from being a simple attack to being a spell that will slow you down or cause confusion (which can be cleaned up too). You do get buffs for yourself, but you’ll need to pay for it. You can buy decorations, pets, or by a catalyst boost potion to make one station faster for the day.
Once you get to the other shops, you’ll not only get a change of scenery, but also new minions, new skin for the soul fragment, and some new decorations and pets. There’s also some new hazards or gimmicks like the desert one having quicksand or the forest having mushrooms that will occasionally release spores that will stun you. I did also like the inclusion of ashes (which you get if you leave a soul fragment in a cauldron for too long) in some ingredients. It’s annoying sometimes, but it’s cool and makes getting four cauldrons worth it.
You actually have two shifts per day, a day and night shift, with a break in the middle. I don’t really see a point in the break in the middle, as you only get the money you earned transfered to your pockets at the end of the day, but it seems it’s due to the boost potions originally lasting half a day. I’m glad it was changed to lasting a whole day as it’s not worth 100 coins for half a day no matter how useful it is when you apply it to pestles.
However, there is a gameplay con and it’s an input delay that you’ll sometimes notice and sometimes won’t. There were a lot of moments where I went to one of the stations to pick up the item, walk away, and then find out I actually didn’t pick anything up. This can be pretty annoying, especially when the shop is about to close and you want to either serve a customer at the last second or put it in a chest. I actually thought I was going crazy, or maybe it was somehow my controller’s fault, but I noticed others mentioned it so it wasn’t just me.
Once you get through all four stores, Sophie will finally be free. At least she has experience now and can open her own shop without having a curse placed on her. This also unlocked a Challenge Mode, which is basically a new shop, but with cruel twists to ruin your (in-game) day. You get a new minion ingredient, but each day will have a challenge and a sales goal that will be challenging to achieve. Like there’s one day where all the customers are impatient and even one day where they have low patience and just throw attacks at you constantly.
In addition to Challenge Mode opening up, you can replay any of the shops if you want. The game does keep track of how much money you made and uses that as that shop’s high score. If you want to try for a higher score, you can, but the store will completely reset along with its section in your minion book.
Overall, Tiny Witch is okay. I definitely flipped flopped between being so annoyed with the game and finding it enjoyable enough throughout my playthrough. Though, I will say that I did end up enjoying the game more when I stopped stressing about serving every customer. I’d say if you’re someone that likes these time management games and want a bit of a challenge, while also keeping in mind to not stress out about serving everyone, give it a try.