When someone says anime game, the first thought is fighting or RPG. This is largely due to how versatile those two genres are and the ease of adaption. Every now and then there is one that breaks the mold and is a better game for that reason. The upcoming Hokuto ga Gotokulooks to be one of those, as does Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time. With a unique take on an interesting series, is it a treat for all or does it just give fans something to do?
Little Witch Academia: Chamber ofTime takes place after the first year and at the start of spring break. Akko runs into trouble and is told to clean the library as punishment. In doing so, she discovers a mysterious pathway, which leads to an unknown area of the school. Upon messing with one of the items, Akko finds herself repeating the same day and leads to a quest to fix time.
Before worrying about understanding the story so far, notable characters are given an optional recap that gives you an idea of their role. There are also a lot of mechanics based off elements from the series, making it fairly easy to get into it or just experience what the game has to offer.
As noted above, Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is an unusual game broken up into two different and distinct sections. About half the game is exploring, with the other half fighting enemies. These sections will appeal to different players and offer plenty of exciting things to do.
Exploration is all about interacting with students, finding keys and completing events. To make the world feel alive, Akko has the ability to eavesdrop and listen to various conversations. Most are pointless, though some can be amusing. Most of the time you’ll be going from point A to B and complete events. These are the standard kill a specific enemy, collect a certain item, talk to a variety of people and more. The only downside is, much like story progression, certain things can only be completed at a certain time.
Simply put, players are given about a couple minutes to run around and complete objectives before the time changes and new things appear. Sometimes this will stop you from progressing in the story until time resets, where as other times you’ll have to wait for a specific time to progress. This can be tedious, especially at the start but gets better once players have a firm understanding of the world around them.
If exploration doesn’t excite you, then the gameplay might. Unlike most anime games, Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up with RPG elements. Here players can control a wide variety of characters, with the ability to select two more as support. As for the levels, they’re surprisingly deep and offer a variety of secrets to find.
Even though most of the combat boils down to spamming attacks, there are multiple paths to discover. Sometimes they’ll lead to treasure, other times challenges, but there is far more to the experience than simply running forward and fighting generic enemies.
To further enhance the experience, the girls are able to use a wide array of magical attacks. These unlock over time, with the ability to level and change them, giving players plenty of options down the road. This makes for a surprisingly fun experience, even if the story isn’t that interesting.
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time might not be the most exciting narrative, it has enough to see and do to be fun. The art style and character interactions make it feel like an anime series, with the gameplay being deep enough to retain interest. Sadly, the time elements can be annoying, especially when you just miss something or have to wait for an event to occur but this isn’t enough to ruin the fun waiting for you in Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time.
[Editor’s Note: Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]