Fueled by a somewhat intoxicating combination of top-down The Legend of Zelda and high-octane gunplay, Trigger Witch is an intriguing title that alternates between moments of incredible fun and instances of ho-hum design and disappointment. Hampered by a few shortcomings and half-baked concepts, Trigger Witch’s mix of A Link to the Past and guns should have been a bit more memorable than it is, but the game is still a fun ride for fans of twin-stick shooters, Zelda-likes, or especially both.
Trigger Witch stars Colette, a member of “The Clip,” a coven of gun-worshiping witches who practice a religion called Ballisticism. As the daughter of the coven’s Grand Receiver, Colette is pretty important. The relatively straightforward plot follows Colette’s pursuit of the mysterious and apparently evil Man in Black. While the main appeal of Trigger Witch is the gameplay, the game’s writing is still silly and punny enough to add just a little to the world’s personality.
Combat works quite well in Trigger Witch. The twin-stick shooting feels great, and players can explore an impressively varied arsenal. Colette will encounter all sorts of excellent weapons throughout the game world, including pistols, machine guns, flamethrowers, Uzis, and more. Armed with a host of guns and a helpful dash ability, players will quickly find themselves speedily and effectively ripping hordes of bad guys apart.
Trigger Witch adds a bit of inventory management to the normal rush of combat. Weapons have unlimited ammo, but guns must occasionally be reloaded by swapping them out for another weapon. As a result, you’ll often dissect combat scenarios by planning out a few different guns to use in advance. Putting these plans together on the fly provides quite a rush; which gun should you start with? What weapon will work best on that bad guy in the corner giving you a funny look? Do you need to pull out your pistol for this one, or can you clear the whole room with your favorite flamethrower? Many of Trigger Witch’s combat encounters provide players with all sorts of exciting opportunities to execute the perfect plan of attack.
While the combat is a bit too easy for the first half of the game, Trigger Witch eventually finds its rhythm for the latter half of the story. Suddenly, your speedy dash move and crowd-disintegrating guns will turn from a nearly instant-win key into necessary tools for overcoming bad guys. Weapon upgrades and mastery of dash-dodging will both go a long way in escorting players through the latter chapters of Trigger Witch.
Unfortunately, puzzles in Trigger Witch leave a bit to be desired. Colette’s abilities generally involve shooting or dashing, and as such, so do most puzzle solutions. This limits the potential creativity and difficulty of many of the game’s brain-teasers, and the developers further limit the puzzle suite by neglecting to utilize the more unique attributes of several of Colette’s weapons. While the particularly memorable puzzles still hit their mark, many of the rest of Trigger Witch’s puzzles are a far cry from those that make the The Legend of Zelda series so great. A wider variety of gadgets and gizmos for Colette could have provided the developers with a much more intricate set of tools to build puzzles around.
Trigger Witch also fails to impress in the aesthetic department. While the game’s silly story following a cult of firearm-worshiping witches is a good time, the game’s graphics and soundtrack fail to boost Trigger Witch. The pixel graphics are fine, normally, though a few items throughout the game are not well-animated. The soundtrack, meanwhile, buckled under the weight of many unimpressive, grating, or overly generic arrangements. Trigger Witch is not a game that will win players over through pretty pixels and marvelous music.
Ultimately, though, Trigger Witch is still a worthy venture on Nintendo Switch for fans of twin-stick shooters or for fans of The Legend of Zelda that are looking for something a little different. Should you dash into the game, you’ll find fun combat, an enjoyable story, and a few great puzzles. The game’s positives are more than enough to establish its presence as a solid entry in a growing population of Zelda-likes. Despite a few yawn-inducing puzzles and not enough early difficulty, Trigger Witch will certainly charm its way into the hearts of plenty of players.
A Nintendo Switch review code for Trigger Witch was provided by the publisher.