Released on October 26, 2018, Sabbat of the Witch from the Japanese studio Yuzusoft is a downloadable visual novel which has been created very much in the tradition of anime and manga romance tales that feature a supernatural element.
How to Download Sabbat of the Witch
You can download this visual novel from the Steam store. To start your experience, click on the Download link provided at the end of this review. If you like the genre be also sure to check out and download such tiles as the fourth-wall breaking Doki Doki Literature Club!, the Russian pioneer camp based Everlasting Summer or the time travel story STEINS;GATE 0.
The Game Review
A genre of gaming that has made its way over to the West in the past decade but is a staple of Japanese gaming since the 1980s is that of the visual novel.
Basically, these titles promise to tell a story in the form of audio and visual aids that acts in many ways as an enhanced novel. Typically coming in two formats – choose your own adventure and a linear approach – visual novels can tackle subject matter ranging from romance to horror to fantasy.
Of course, romance tends to dominate the visual novel genre in much the same way romance novels dominate published works. But, unlike a novel, there are unique opportunities presented in a visual novel that might make someone who doesn’t read a very engaged reader.
As you can probably already tell, visual novels don’t usually involve a lot of action. Player choice, sure, but action? It is a rarity indeed.
The Story of Sabbat of the Witch
Developed by Yuzusoft and published by NekoNyan, Sabbat of the Witch features protagonist Hoshina Shuuji who has the ability to perceive the emotions of others. As you can imagine in a romance-themed visual novel, this leads to some interesting situations. But Hoshina Shuuji is not alone in this talent as he discovers his classmate Ayachi Nene also has a secret she wants to keep hidden.
Drawing upon the tropes of popular Japanese high school teen dramas, Sabbat of the Witch features beautifully realized graphics that look right at home in an anime production. Likewise, the sound and music do their part to convey what is, ostensibly, an interactive television show.
Gamers not accustomed to this or the visual novel format might find it a bit off-putting but those who are familiar with this kind of thing will find nothing to gripe about. If anything, the story is quite tame and cliche when taken in the context of other manga and anime tales out there.
Because interactive elements remain at a minimum, Sabbat of the Witch keeps players engaged by offering a rich, interactive world brimming with content. It would not be fair to judge the game on the nature of the content presented, but it is completely ok to focus on how much there is and how good it is at that. Sabbat of the Witch offers a ton of stuff to find out and, for those who love a good story, there will be little to complain about here. It truly puts the “novel” in the phrase visual novel.
That said, there are only so many pathways you can take and only so much you can do in Sabbat of the Witch. Gamers who are fans of the genre should check it out but it’s tough to recommend this as the first visual novel you play if you’ve never experienced the genre before.
Overall the game is well crafted and engaging, checking all of the right boxes when it comes to what you expect from a quality title.
- Awesome visual presentation
- Gripping story you’ll probably like
- Quality of production is a notch above standard
- Anime intense
- If you don’t like romance, steer clear
- Not a good first game for those that have never played a visual novel before