I don’t know what I was expecting when I first heard of the upcoming Little Witch Academia game, but it certainly wasn’t and old school 2D brawler.

Little Witch Academia is one of the most fun-loving, whimsical anime series of recent memory. Brimming with creativity, it is a show just begging for a game adaptation—which is probably why it’s getting one.

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is a throwback to the old 2D brawlers of yesteryear—i.e., The X-Men arcade game, The Simpsons arcade game, and most obviously Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom.

The demo I played at the Bandai Namco Pre-TGS event was five screens long, ending with a boss. In each, I (as Akko) fought alongside a computer-controlled Sucy and Lotte to vanquish all the enemies and move on to the next.

In this simple cross section of the game, the monsters came in various shapes and sizes and I was armed to the teeth with not only normal weak, medium, and strong attacks, but six powerful magic spells as well. Each of these had a cooldown after use, but not a terribly long one—they were usually available again by the time I hit the next screen or the one after.

However, I get the strong impression that in the real game, I won’t be so powerful from the start. After all, when I reached the boss (who appeared to be the giant from Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade), it only took a matter of seconds to bring him down thanks to a Shiny Arc followed by a spamming of all the other spells.

All in all, it was a short demo, but it clearly served its purpose because as a fan of both classic brawlers and Little Witch Academia, I can’t wait for more.

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time will be released digitally for PlayStation 4 and Steam in early 2018.

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