While humor sets the tone, the meat of Witch comes in the gameplay, which seeks to make up for the game's simplistic premise by being almost overly complicated. The battle system, a real-time action setup that can be gracefully played or button-mashed through with equal ease, is no cause for concern, but the user interface can be intimidating. There are no less than seven different gauges to keep track of, from basic HP to a gauge for single-stage level boosts, in addition to weapons (of which you can equip five) and stat-changing jobs called facets. The game actually feels the need to say it's really is easy, don't worry when things get rolling. However, to its credit, these elements are only troubling at the beginning, and they play into each other well enough that they quickly become intuitive.
Unique among these gameplay mechanics is the GigaCal meter, which starts at 100 when Hundred Knight enters an area and approaches 0 as he expends energy. While maintaining the GigaCount can be frustrating at first (especially when it hampers progress), it eventually turns into an interesting challenge, making the player consider how best to approach each situation when high-energy solutions would be helpful now, but could cost you later. With all these factors to consider, Witch starts to take on a resource-management feel, making it more thoughtful than a simple hack-and-slash. It then gives the player an expansive open world in which to use the tools she's been given, with Hundred Knight exploring, raiding, and battling through a series of colorful landscapes.
It's worth noting that this game is not going to hold your hand. While it does offer a brief introduction to basic concepts, after that it pushes you off the deep end and tells you to swim. There is no tutorial menu, no objective clues, and if you aren't paying attention it's easy to miss the one (very) well-hidden item you need to progress beyond a given point. Also, information about critical aspects of the game, like item collecting and which buttons do what, is relegated to randomly generated slides in the loading screen, so don’t expect a quick answer if you happen to forget. For a game that boasts gameplay as its strongest component, this lack of information can be forbidding for players not used to the genre and frustrating even for those who are.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight could ultimately be so much more than it is. Born from a simultaneously simple and intimidating premise, it excels in creating engaging gameplay mechanics and a colorful world to explore with them. This strong showing makes the lack of guidance and information frustrating for all but the most independent players, and the story built atop it is far too thin to be wedged in as often and insistently as it is. If you can handle a meh-worthy narrative and some bizarre omissions for an overall fun experience, you'll probably like this magical romp, despite the bumps and bruises along the way.