The Knight Witch PC Review

The Knight Witch is a fun, freeform flying and bullet hell-filled metroidvania with a great visual style and even smoother combat.

By LCLupus, Posted 28 Nov 2022

The Knight Witch is the latest game by the gloriously named Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, and it is a 2D metroidvania game with several distinct levels rather than the single unified map that you’d usually see in metroidvania games, but this works well for the kind of game that The Knight Witch is trying to be.

The game, unlike most metroidvania games, does not go for a platforming, running and gunning style of play and, instead, you get freeform flight-based movement in which you can fly anywhere around the screen. In this sense, it’s more akin to something like Owlboy. This type of movement is not particularly common in these types of games, but it also means that without the necessity of traditional platforming, The Knight Witch can instead focus on bullet hell gameplay while endlessly firing in every conceivable direction.

The Knight Witch, PC, Review, Metroidvania, Shoot Em Up, Bullet Hell, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Evading the many enemy projectiles that fly across the screen is central to the game, but The Knight Witch also uses a number of different, and rather unique combat aspects. You have two main ways of using your regular attack: directed or automatic. The directed ordinary attack allows you to, obviously direct where you want to attack. This is the common way things are done. You aim where you want to shoot and then you shoot in that direction, but the automatic attack shakes things up a bit. Sometimes, in the thick of things, it can be hard to decide where exactly you should focus your attacks, and so, by simply holding down a button, you will start firing at whoever is closest to you. This allows you to focus on dodging the multitude of enemy attacks.

Aside from this, The Knight Witch is also a spell-oriented game. You gain special spell cards that randomly alternate, with three available at any one time, and these spell cards cost differing amounts of mana based on what they can do. So, there may be shockwave AOE attack that only costs one point, but then the hardcore, fills-the-screen-with bullets-in-every-direction spell is worth six points. You regain these mana points by killing enemies and by shooting certain crates open.

However, the spell card system is one of the weakest parts of the game. It would have been better if you could have chosen which spells bind to which keys and then allowing you to change them whenever you want, but they instead only give you three spell buttons with an increasing list of spells that alternate at random within a selected set of over three spells. This means that sometimes the first button will correspond to the one-point spell and sometimes to the six-point spell, and when you’re in the thick of combat, you don’t want to have to look to the corner of the screen to see which buttons are mapped to which spells. This is one of the weakest aspects of The Knight Witch, but it’s one of the only weak points.

The Knight Witch, PC, Review, Metroidvania, Shoot Em Up, Bullet Hell, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Another weak point in The Knight Witch is the random difficulty spikes, and sometimes these difficulty spikes are for arbitrary reasons. The worst case and this is something that significantly weakens the ability to recommend this game, is the water level. The water level forces you into a submarine that can only shoot to the left and to the right, but they don’t stop giving you enemies above and below you. So, you lose the freeform aiming, but retain the freeform movement, and it’s the most aggravating part of the entire experience. Some sections with that terrible submarine are, by far, the hardest part of the game, and there are still several levels after that water level. It’s simply a major change from the rest of the gameplay, and it kind of ruins things for a while. However, as soon as that terrible section is done, The Knight Witch is great again.

This is partially because the central combat loop is fun, fast, and fluid, and also because the world is a delight to explore. The environments are absolutely gorgeous, and the enemies are fantastically designed and animated, so seeing new areas is always enjoyable. The Knight Witch is, quite simply, a pretty game, and as a metroidvania, exploring that world is very important.

Like every other metroidvania, you discover new abilities that allow you to traverse certain obstacles, such as a dash to get through certain walls and a sword to open certain doors, but while there are some secret areas that will give you special items, the early parts of the game practically force you to go everywhere in the map, but at least the later levels allow for more non-essential exploration to find additional off-the-beaten-path rewards.

The Knight Witch, PC, Review, Metroidvania, Shoot Em Up, Bullet Hell, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

One thing about The Knight Witch that is quite great is how the narrative and the upgrade mechanic work hand-in-hand. Now, before mentioning why that is the case, it may be best to first discuss the narrative to a minor degree. It’s generally a rather fun narrative, but it does lack subtlety in its themes. It’s about climate change and the villain that kicks everything off is basically an Elon Musk-type character who rants about wanting to leave the doomed planet behind to colonize other planets. It’s rather on the nose, but some people struggle with subtext, so why not just make it the very surface-level text?

You, and several of the other characters, are a type of earth spirit that grows more powerful when people believe in them. Basically, they’re like warrior Tinkerbells. So, whenever you rescue someone or do something that makes people like you, you gain levels. You do not gain levels by defeating enemies, and once you learn this, it does sometimes incentivize just flying past them rather than engaging with them. Although regular enemies do drop currency so there is still a reason to fight them, but you also tend to get so much money and there are comparatively few things to buy that it can get a bit too easy.

However, the idea that getting people to like you gets you more power is an interesting idea, and it also means that when, at the end of every level, you need to address the people of the city, you can choose to either tell the truth about what’s happening, and get fewer points, or lie and get more. The Knight Witch lets you be a politician! So, you can either be a good person with convictions or you can be a more power-hungry person who’s willing to bend the truth if it means they can gain more. This is a unique perspective on gaining levels that adds something very interesting to the level progression.

The Knight Witch, PC, Review, Metroidvania, Shoot Em Up, Bullet Hell, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

However, this does mean that The Knight Witch has slow leveling if you decide to do things properly and honestly, which can be annoying, but it’s also a constant reminder that you’re weaker than you could be because you chose to be a good person, and it does this better than games like BioShock, where doing the right thing ends up getting you big material rewards anyway. So, it’s not really a difficult choice at all.

Before ending off, it is worth mentioning that there are two more technical issues The Knight Witch has, and that is that the controls can be finicky at first and that there’s a weird glitch of sorts where the character gets stuck in one position and only fires in that direction. The first issue simply requires remapping the controls until you’re comfortable with them, and at least the game does allow full remapping of controls, but the other issue is a bit different. It generally doesn’t happen during combat, but rather when you need to leave a room, and you cannot aim at the door to open it, so you end up flying around in circles and trying to get it to shoot in another direction. It never gets stuck like that forever, but it is an irritating thing that happens.


Other than that, The Knight Witch is a fantastic freeform flying, bullet hell metroidvania with a fun, if unsubtle, narrative that should last about eight to ten hours. Although, that very aggravating water level may be a bit of a turn-off to many, but if you can get through that one irritating level, this is definitely a game worth recommending.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): Team17, Team17 Digital Limited
Developer(s): Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team
Genres: Shoot-'Em-Up
Themes: Bullet-Hell, Metroidvania, Adventure
Release Date: 2022-11-29

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