Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time Review
For those that don’t know, Little Witch Academia is a Japanese franchise spanning anime, manga, films, and now its own game. With the anime and films being produced by the renowned Studio Trigger, you can be sure that the franchise garnered adequate attention. For those wondering, Studio Trigger also provided work on the game’s cutscene animation production. Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is a no-brainer for fans of the franchise, but how does it fare for those unfamiliar with its works?
The plot of Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is that on the first day of summer vacation, series protagonist Akko is forced to relive the same day over and over after finding a mysterious room in the library. With the help of familiar characters such as Lotte, Sucy, Amanda, Diana, and more, players are tasked with discovering the seven wonders, solving mysteries, and getting time moving again. If you are a bit lost jumping right into the narrative, the game allows players to reminisce about the overall story as well as individual characters, which is a clever way to quickly catch players up. While the story is not ground-breaking, it gives players some greater insight into some characters, and the overall feel of the game compares well to the anime.
Witch is Which
The gameplay of the title is split into two distinct portions: exploration and side-scrolling beat-em-up. The exploration portion of the game allows players to navigate the school as Akko, interacting with NPCs and receiving side-quests in a time-sensitive setting. As Akko and friends are reliving the first day of summer over and over, certain events can only be triggered at certain times, which can be a bit frustrating at times. Also, navigating the map can be a bit annoying as the maps do not indicate the player’s exact location and the areas also rotate with the character rather than remaining static a la the map.
The dungeon crawling aspect of the title occurs down in the secret room which is connected to the Groundhog Day-like events. This portion is easily the better half of the title, allowing players to bring three of the witches into dungeons in a side-scrolling beat-em-up style combat system. While the combat can be fun, the cycle can be a bit redundant to some, with players tasked with clearing area after area until they encounter the boss. Fortunately, the boss designs are done well, both in terms of appearance and combat styles.
The title’s graphics and audio are what shines most. Aside from the work done by Studio Trigger, the game’s aesthetics is quite reminiscent of the anime. In addition, characters and dungeon bosses are also designed well. Despite a few hiccups in framerate and a somewhat awkward running animation, the game looks great. As for the audio, the soundtrack is fitting and works well for both the exploration and dungeon aspects of the game. Furthermore, the game is fully voiced, which is always an appreciated aspect of games.
Overall, Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is both a fun experience for fans of the series as well as a good introduction for others. While the gameplay is a bit repetitive, it is still enjoyable, and both the visuals and audio make it a joy to experience. As someone who only watched a couple episodes of the anime before diving into the game, playing the game made me want to go back and continue watching. As an anime-based game, Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time does justice to the source material, maintaining the overall series charm.
*** A PS4 code was provided by the publisher ***
- Visuals and audio are on point
- Recaps for unfamiliar players
- Fully voiced
- Poor navigation/map
- Battles are a bit simple