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Witch Hunt is an indie horror-themed hunting game created by Andrii Vintsevych. You play as a monster hunter during the 18th century, and are headed to the town of Bellville where the surrounding woods have suddenly been subjected to all manner of supernatural activity. The undead aimlessly wander the roads, a horrific beast stalks the trees, and people have been disappearing while whispers of witchcraft have spread through the air. With your guns and sword in hand, it's up to you to vanquish these fell beasts, slay the witch, and allow the people of Bellville to rest easy once more!

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The game can be purchased on Steam here, and was received to great acclaim, with critics praising the haunting atmosphere and tough, yet rewarding skill-based gameplay in particular.


Tropes:

  • Bat Out of Hell: It can't hurt you, but the gigantic bat creature that periodically flies overhead can be jarring for a first time player to see. Shooting it down will allow you to loot it for a free skill book.
  • Big Bad: The titular witch is the source of Bellville's misery, and defeating her will be key to putting an end to the supernatural woes the town is facing. Subverted when you kill her; it turns out the true big bad is her offspring, the Child of the Devil.
  • Big Friendly Dog: You can rescue a friendly German shepherd who's been locked away in a cave! He doesn't do much when you save him, but he'll stay in Bellville and give you another friendly face to come back to.
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  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Crucifixes that you can purchase in Bellville will become active shortly upon being planted into the ground; if your target approaches it's radius, they will be struck by a bolt of lightning and receive a modest amount of damage. While they can do this only once per each crucifix, they're not too expensive (30 coins each, and sometimes you'll get first one for free) if you managed to save up some money.
  • Climax Boss: Once you're ready to face her, the witch is every bit as dangerous as you'd expect. She teleports all over the place, casts a number of dangerous spells, and can still one-shot you if she gets too close.
  • Creepy Doll: A spooky doll can be seen in random locations around Bellville. Not only does it look creepy, but if you look at it, turn away, then look back at it again it's likely to have vanished while your eyes were elsewhere.
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  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Every boss can take an unholy amount of punishment before dying, even The Beast. The steam page isn't kidding when it says that patience is key to beating this game.
  • Darkest Hour: Once the Child of the Devil comes out to play, the forest becomes even more oppressively dark than usual. You can't fast travel back to Bellville and when you return to the town on foot, the helpful priest who's tended to your wounds all this time has been dragged away and slaughtered by the creature.
  • Darkness Equals Death: The forest is dark to begin with, but the moonlight keeps it well lit. Once you're hunting the Child of the Devil, the forest gets so dark that it's hard to make out what's going on around you, which makes it so much easier for the creature to ambush and kill you.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Your flintlock rifle and pistol kill most normal enemies with a single headshot, but since they're 18th century flintlock guns you only get one shot, after which it takes several seconds to reload, which you can't really do during combat before the enemy claws you to death.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The game doesn't end with the Witch's death: upon inspecting the corpse, your character is horrified to realize that her body shows signs of recent childbirth, and said child is the son of the Devil himself.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: The woods surrounding Bellville are the stomping grounds of all manner of frightening monsters, and you can find the remains of people who were killed by the horrors lurking within.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: The final form of the Child of the Devil is a monstrous serpentine dragon, complete with devil horns.
  • Dwindling Party: Downplayed; there's a few NPC's hanging around Bellville that will start vanishing as the game progresses. Unfortunately, the friendly priest is one of them, cutting you off from instant healing while hunting the Child of the Devil. Once the final boss is slain, Only the mayor and the merchant remain of the town's visible citizens, but the town still has plenty of offscreen survivors.
  • Easy Level Trick: The Child of the Devil is a truly difficult fight that requires you to be on your toes and have practically perfect reflexes during the first phase. That is, unless you crouch down and hide in the unoccupied tent. He can't hurt you through it depending on your positioning, but you can hurt him, allowing you to win easily if you don't mind literally and figuratively camping for a bit.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Child of the Devil is a freaky little thing with slimy black skin, antlers, and tiny underdeveloped wings whose very presence darkens Bellville and its surrounding woods. When you've injured it enough, it retreats into the water and inexplicably transforms into a massive serpent that can spit fireballs and giant spider eggs, and turn into a cloud of damaging black mist if you shoot all its pustules.
  • Elite Mooks: The crawling, speedy little skeleton enemies are hard to hit due to zipping all over the place, and will frequently tear your health to shreds before you take them down.
  • Excuse Plot: A witch and her army of supernatural beasts are terrorizing a small colonial town. Are you a bad enough dude to stop her?
  • Frigid Water Is Harmless: For once in a videogame example, averted. While water can help you wash off poison, stick around in it for too long and it will begin to drain big chunks of your health due to how cold it is.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: There's a large discarded church bell that can be found in the overworld, in a very foggy area. Hitting it will sometimes draw the attention of your current target (usually Beast or the Witch) and they'll beeline straight for your position if you wait for a while, but it only works once.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Why is the Witch terrorizing Bellville? What led to her pursuing such dark and arcane arts? These questions and more are never answered, making the Witch less of a character and more like a terrifying force of nature to overcome. Since the focus of the game is not on story though, this isn't a bad thing.
  • Giant Flyer: Enormous batlike cratures will periodically fly overhead, but are of no threat to the player. If you shoot them down, they're likely to be holding an upgrade book in their mouth.
  • Giant Spider: Can often be found lurking in the foggier part of the woods.
  • The Goomba: Zombies are the closest thing this game has to one: they can kill you fast if you aren't careful, but they're incredibly basic enemies with no real gimmicks and go down with one bullet to the brain.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Old Scratch himself is the source of the Witch's power, and has conceived a child with her. You never fight him, but his monstrous son is the final boss of the game.
  • Hell Is That Noise: If you ever hear a weird, melodic wailing, run. The Witch is seconds away from screaming in your face and killing you.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Witch has ascended far beyond being a normal human, and looks more like a Dementoresque spectre than a traditional witch. Getting close to her is hell on your senses since she'll belt out a bloodcurdling scream and mess with your vision, and if she touches you you instantly die.
  • Interface Screw: Quite a few monsters can cause this.
    • Deadblinds (the humanoid enemies that seem to be made from flashing red lights) will cause your vision to go red when you look at them (or in their general direction), which will lead to you gradually losing health if you don't look away or kill it.
    • When a Whisperer attacks, they flash an image of a red, screaming face across the screen.
    • The Witch and the Child of the Devil will cause the scream to distort heavily by screaming and roaring.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Whisperers aren't particularly threatening, but can't be killed in any way and if you get to close, they'll chase you and hit you with an unavoidable jumpscare that will drain your mana and take some health away.
  • Jump Scare: There are black cloudlike demons that will flash a distorted face and belt out a high pitched scream if they touch you. The Witch herself will also belt out a horrifying, bloodcurdling scream once she's within grabbing distance of you.
  • Mighty Roar: One of the abilities you can unlock is a demonic roar that will sometimes trigger when you're being attacked. It'll scare off whatever enemies are trying to kill you, which can be a lifesaver if you miss a shot or get ambushed at low health.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The Witch was recently pregnant, and her literal hellspawn is the game's final boss.
  • Neck Snap: Judging by the crunching sound and the fact that it's an instant kill, it seems the Witch kills you by breaking your neck.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The Witch has bought the dead back to life, and the resulting zombies stalk the woods for prey.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The monsters can be plenty frightening, but often the scariest parts of the game are the long, uncomfortable silences between monster attacks as you explore the forest.
  • One-Hit Kill: Before you destroy the Sacrificial Tree, the Witch is invulnerable and letting her get too close will result in your death no matter how much health you have.
  • One-Winged Angel: Once you've done enough damage, The Child of the Devil will retreat into the lake and transform into a monstrous sea serpent.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Child of the Devil's final form is a weird looking dragon. It looks to be some sort of sea monster, with devil horns on its head and triple-segmented jaws that open up like flower petals when it roars. It can also spit poison, fireballs, and spider eggs, and will turn into damaging black mist when you destroy all its pustules.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Beast is a werewolf with bright glowing white eyes. It's not particularly dangerous as far as boss monsters go, but is still a threat who killed the player's horse.
  • Random Encounters: Standard monsters like zombies, dogs and spiders will never be in the same place between two different gameplays, and will change positions whenever you return from Bellville. This can sometimes pose a problem, for example a Whisperer (unkillable shadow creature that will home in on you as soon as you get close enough) might be spawned close to a save stone that you desperately need.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The mayor of Bellville is a good, god-fearing man who cares deeply for his town's safety, and will pay you generously for the monsters you kill.
  • Schmuck Bait: When you first leave Bellville, you'll see what looks like a normal person hanging around the save point outside of town. First-time players will either lose a huge chunk of their health and die when they find out the hard way that it's a zombie, and that there are no friendly NPC's outside of town.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: One of the in-game abilities, Evil Sight, allows you to see through the eyes of your current target, giving you hints of where they might be located, although it comes at a cost of 20 mana points and lasts only for a few seconds. When you cause enough damage to the Child of the Devil, it will automatically switch to Evil Sight, showing you that it has retreated into the lake to transform.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Giant tarantula-looking spiders are among the horrors roaming the forest outside of Bellville, and you can find a smaller version closer in size to a real tarantula can be found crawling on the wall of a house that's heavily implied to be the Witch's.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison, which whittles away your health unless you go for a dip in the rivers or lake. The Sacrifical Tree is the main cause of poisoning, as are the Witch and the plant minions she can summon.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: The Witch cannot be hurt at all until the Sacrificial Tree is destroyed. This can make her quite a nuisance while you're trying to find and destroy the Tree, as she often shows up at most inopportune times and forces you to retreat.
  • Warmup Boss: The Beast doesn't have any real tricks or gimmicks to it, and is basically a zombie with a health bar. You're also not being stalked by the Witch yet, so you're free to take your time to explore the map and get a feel for the environment and combat system, as well as find whatever goodies you can get your hands on.
  • When Trees Attack: The second major monster you're tasked with hunting is the Sacrificial Tree, a huge tree monster that is the source of the witch's invincibility.
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