Little Witch Romanesque is a very cute Visual Novel game where you have to train two apprentices to become full Wizards. It features outstanding visuals, full-voiced narration with dozen of characters, and multiple endings. All of this is centered against a sort of “dice building” minigame and resource/time management. The high production value, beautiful artwork, and wholesome story make it a nice pick for any people liking rising games, or visual novels.
Little Witch romanesque has been released in English with two versions:
Editio Regia, which you can find on Steam, without the adult content.
Editio Perfecto, which you can find on JAST USA, with the adult content.
I played the Perfecta edition and I recommend to, as even if the erotic content is far and between, it’s a high amount of beautiful CGs and represents a sizeable content.
The game follows the mage Domino (and your self-insert) and his two apprentices Aria and Kaya. You take possession of a mysterious mage tower and this is where you will teach the two girls to be skilled mages!
To help your apprentices become famous witches, they will have to learn spells. To learn spells they have to take lessons where they can gain the resources needed to learn the spells, presented as a sort of skill tree. With these spells, you can accomplish different quests unlocking story events and making you able to store more resources. Doing any action will cost a day and you will have around 150 turns to finish the game, with some magic exam for each year. Depending on the quests you completed, you will unlock different endings.
The lessons contain a dice minigame. The spells that you learned are usable here and have effects to give you more resources (gain more resources, add dice(s), multiply the result of the dices). It is moderately fun but you will soon find a combination of spells that you like and from then you will always do the same thing and pray to Lady Luck.
The gameplay is there and fun enough but very importantly it gives the structure the whole narration is based upon.
The rhythm of the game is really lovely. Each start and end of the day have a little scene, sometimes random sometimes predetermined where the characters goof off or develop the background plot. This daily little touch means that the different plotlines will unfold very naturally, as you follow Domino and the girls in their day-to-day life.
During these 3 years, they encounter a vast amount of characters with their own motives and backstories. Some of them stay in the tower and pretty soon the tower is filled with charming banter. Amongst the ones staying at the tower most of them are interesting and bring something to the story. Often they are connected in one way or another which contributes to the world-building and make them feel a bit more interesting and real. The depth of the worldbuilding is very well done considering how it is distributed and you will learn about mage politics, kingdom old wars, and family problems without noticing. However, the cast of characters does not interact with each other in a meaningful way which is a missed opportunity. Only Domino and the two little witches interact with the cast.
I will give an example in the spoiler below so you understand what I mean:
Fiona is the princess of the kingdom. Her parents declared war on a neighboring country and slaughtered its inhabitant and the royal family. Another character, Olivia, a fierce warrior, is from that family who want to avenge herself. During a cutscene, Fiona reveals that the annexing of Olivia's kingdom was a whim from the Queen. Olivia just exit the room, visibly upset. There is no confrontation or exchange between Olivia and Fiona, except in Olivia's ending where Fiona goes briefly 'I forgive you' over Olivia attempting to kill her parents.
Each spell has also its own scene (usually the students put themselves in funny situations because of their magic powers). These spells, used to unlock quests, will be used in the quest story. The quests are challenges the girls will overcome with their magic or good heart (often both) and are used to advance major plot points and side-character plotlines. You will unlock different endings in the function of what did you do and what you did not do. There is a high number of them (20!). On top of this recent editions have extra scenarios, so you have a ton of content.
Each scene is delivered via a little portrait and a background like many visual novels. Unlike many visual novels, the illustration is gorgeous. There is an incredible amount of CG and none of them are half-assed. Some backgrounds might look simple but they are very expressive and colorful. Oyari Ashito is not afraid to use bright colors and associate them with each other like it’s nothing, it’s a marvel for your eyes. The art style looks more traditional than your usual “Anime style VN” making it refreshing. Bye-bye dull colors and perfectly smooth illustration, say hi to rich reds, blues, and greens, and say hi to brushstrokes.
Adding to this more traditional feel, each sentence is delivered by a speech bubble. This makes you feel like playing an animated book. The cute UI adds to this feel with each button and pop-up window being an ancient scroll adding to the “Grimoire” feel of the whole game. Characters are fully voiced and even the menuing is narrated. Each click on the interface has sound and animations, giving you a slight stimulation for everything you do.
As always this is highly subjective and might not reflect your enjoyment. While the CG is very well drawn, I didn't find the game very arousing. It might be because it's very vanilla (consensual heterosexual sex with at best a girl with cat ears) and it doesn't fit my tastes, but also because the erotic scenes are short and don't have a steamy build-up, they always fell on you very fast and finish before you can get into it. It's still somewhat wholesome and will give you a bit more background on the characters. It also has no cringe writing so that's a big plus.
To finish, Little Witch Romanesque is a very beautiful game with a repetitive but hypnotic gameplay loop and big attention to detail. I would recommend it to people that like VN, raising games, and hentai games.