Publisher: Freedom Games
Developer: Enjoy Studio
ESRB: Not Rated
While playing The Witch of Fern Island, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was definitely something off about the overall experience. It wasn’t until I was browsing through screenshots for this review that I realized what it was: despite being about a witch, the game lacks a significant amount of magic.
Yes, you do learn a few spells as you progress, and the game begins with the protagonist, Abrill, falling off her broom and landing on the titular island. However, when you really get down to it, The Witch of Fern Island isn’t primarily focused on magic. Instead, it’s a game centered around farming, building relationships, completing fetch quests, and immersing yourself in the everyday life on Fern Island.
In other words, it’s very similar to games like Harvest Moon, Fae Farm, or Story of Seasons. There’s not much originality to be found here.
It’s worth noting that The Witch of Fern Island is still in Early Access, so it’s possible that by the time of its full release, the game will feature more magical elements. However, currently, the magic in the game revolves around things like changing the weather and dealing with crop pests, rather than utilizing spells commonly associated with witchcraft.
The issue with this approach is that the quests in the game are not particularly engaging. You spend a lot of time aimlessly wandering, searching for things to do. And when you do find tasks, it often leads to more wandering as you look for the necessary items to complete your fetch quests. The game fails to establish a satisfying rhythm of receiving quests, solving them, and moving on to the next one. The world feels empty and the discoveries you make while searching for quests or quest items don’t seem to justify the extensive effort.
Once again, it’s worth emphasizing that The Witch of Fern Island is still in Early Access, so there’s a chance that the developers will enhance the game and transform it into an enjoyable experience. However, at its current state, I cannot recommend investing your money into it.
Freedom Games provided us with a Witch of Fern Island PC code for review purposes.