Interview: "Make the world a better place" in Little Witch in the Woods

By Heidi Nicholas,

Little Witch in the Woods is a beautiful pixel adventure game, and it comes to Xbox Game Pass soon. In this Xbox Spotlight article, we take a detailed look through the game and chat with developer SUNNY SIDE UP's Eunhyeon Park.

Update: Little Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) will soon come to Xbox Game Pass, so we thought it a good time for a look through our Little Witch in the Woods Spotlight article.

Original story: Our complete guide for all the Xbox exclusives for 2021, created after Microsoft shared its list of every Xbox exclusive game coming in 2021, was a pretty hefty article with over 30 entries. So, we thought it might be a good idea to go through and cover each game in more detail in its own individual feature, and reach out to developers wherever possible to gather more insight on the game. To kick things off, we've started with Little Witch in the Woods — read on to find out everything you need to know about the magical pixelated adventure.

What is Little Witch in the Woods?

Little Witch is an adventure game about — you guessed it — a little witch in the woods, and is in the works from Korean indie developer SUNNY SIDE UP. Little Witch in the Woods seems to mix together crafting, exploration, puzzle-solving, and life-sim elements, with the player building friendships with the inhabitants of Little Witch in the Wood's gorgeous pixel world.

When does it launch?

Little Witch in the Woods is due to launch into Game Preview via Xbox Game Pass on May 17th, with the full version of the game set to arrive in 2023. According to the game's Steam page, the Early Access version will include the beginning and the "core content of the gameplay," with two main stories, at least seven characters, two different areas to explore, and at least ten animals and plants to find.

Is Little Witch in the Woods coming to Xbox Game Pass?

The Xbox Indie Showcase confirmed that Little Witch in the Woods will join Xbox Game Pass as a day one addition.

What's it about?

The SUNNY SIDE UP site tells us that the little witch in question is Ellie Blueriver, an apprentice witch learning the skills of her craft. But all the trailers we’ve seen so far have shown Ellie wandering across a gorgeous pixel fantasy world, chatting to all sorts of interesting animal-like characters, and, every now and again, getting slapped in the face with honey by some sort of happy yeti monster. In other words, we were left with a lot of questions, so we reached out to SUNNY SIDE UP for some more info on the story.

little witch in the woods honey yeti

SUNNY SIDE UP's Eunhyeon Park told us that Ellie “must go through training in order to graduate Witch School. Before graduation, the apprentice witches must first go to the Witches Houses located in various areas and help the nearby village and villagers to make the world a better place.” Park adds that besides Ellie’s own story, each villager will have “their own unique stories and quests,” and says that SUNNY SIDE UP drew inspiration from games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, as well as various movies and animations. The Stardew Valley inspiration seems clear, from the train taking Ellie to her new life, to the socialisation with the creatures of the woods themselves — which range from a fishing bear called Rosie and a small fox called Rubrum, to a well-dressed snow leopard bartender and an apologetic train attendant in the form of a small otter. Park says that the game itself even serves as its own inspiration, giving "new insights” as it’s developed.

little witch in the woods house

What’s the gameplay like?

Ellie, it seems, will be getting fully to grips with all aspects of life as an apprentice witch. Some of the game trailers show Ellie frantically chasing small creatures — and vegetables? — across the map, or else being equally frantically chased herself, and foraging for ingredients like Witchflowers, Fairy Butterflies, Star Beetles, and Leaper Frogs, which she takes back to the Brewing Chamber.

“Ellie interacts with the plants and creatures of the world to gather and process materials to create potions,” Park says. “Depending on the theme of each map, players encounter different plants and creatures, which influence their gatherables and potions.” In a 30-minute Wholesome Games demo, we found out a little more about just how potion making works in Little Witch in the Woods. To make potions, the collectibles and resources you find need to be processed into ingredients by either roasting or juicing them in the Brewing Chamber. Once you’ve got them ready, you brew them by picking your “ladle stirring technique” and choosing how hot the fire under the cauldron should be, with all this information found in potion recipes in your guide book. Intriguingly, Park says these potions are used to “solve puzzles and problems,” and we see an example of this in the demo when Ellie uses a Weed Terminator potion to remove a Thornvine that had been blocking her path, unlocking a new area for her to explore.

witch lab

Potion making is just one part of it, though — Ellie will also be exploring and helping villagers, fishing, catching bugs, restoring the witch’s house she lives in and its Brewing Chamber, solving problems and puzzles, and recording the creatures and items she meets in her guide book, along with potion recipes.

What’s the game world like?

Some creatures or resources might only be available in certain regions — a map from the game’s site shows a few locations we’ve already seen, while trailers show Ellie visiting a number of areas, from what looks like an inn called Salt & Pepper owned by a friendly dragon chef, to a range of beautiful pastel-coloured forests. Little Witch in the Woods features a gorgeous pixel art style, and Park says all of the Little Witch in the Woods devs “love the unique attraction” of pixel art.

world map

Any news on Little Witch in the Woods achievements?

Not yet, but we'll update here as soon as we have them! Since it'll be Little Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) that's arriving on May 17th, it's possible it may launch in Game Preview without achievements, as Ooblets did — check out our roundtable interview article on wholesome games for more charming titles like Ooblets!

In our Xbox exclusives round-up, we suggested that Little Witch in the Woods might be ideal for fans of Stardew Valley, Celeste, and Ikenfell — the first for the charm of its story, the second for its gorgeous art style, and the third for its themes of magic and friendship. What do you think of Little Witch in the Woods so far? Let us know in the comments!
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Heidi graduated with an MA in English Literature, and now enjoys writing news, reviews, and features across TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. When she’s not writing, Heidi is usually either looking for her next RPG, or trying to convince the rest of the team to hear about yet another delightfully wholesome game she has found.
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