The Knight Witch deserves more attention than it's getting. It's a Metroidvania shmup in which you fly about, blast enemies with guns, and cast spells from a deck of cards. For all the bang and zip of the combat, it's also deeply cosy, with lush 2D art and sweet character relationships in an underground post-apocalyptic world that's still somehow filled with plants, rustic cabins and cute market stalls. There's a free demo to play now.
Here's the launch trailer:
The Metroidvania elements probably don't need explaining at this point, but each region of the map consists of different rooms containing special encounters, optional challenges, new powers and routes to unlock, and a boss fight. Where it differs from most of its peers is that The Knight Witch is not a platformer. You fly rather than jump, and you'll need to juggle shooting with dodging the patterns of bullets fired by the mechanical golems invading your home.
Combat feels splashy and powerful from the off, but becomes more exciting via the spell deck. You'll unlock cards as you play and can choose to swap them into your deck, and you have three cards from your deck in your hand at any given moment. These can be used during combat assuming you've got the energy to cast them. A spell might temporarily replace your pistol with a machinegun, or launch homing knives at a nearby enemy, or drop a remotely detonated bomb. The spells are often hugely powerful, but they're a thing you use regularly rather than a special treat.
If it's not obvious, I've played a couple hours of The Knight Witch and I'm enjoying my time with it. It came out a couple of weeks ago, so there's not a lot of "news" in this news story. It is worth giving a try though, and there's a demo available from the Steam page.