It seems like this month has been highly stressful for just about everyone. And if you're anything like me, nothing cheers you up like finding a special game. If I had one word to describe Hazel the Plant Witch, I would call it thoughtful.
The game puts you in the shoes of Hazel, a witch living in beautiful Vaxa Village. Hazel has created a device that allows her to communicate with plants. She can record up to 4 lines of speech and use them to converse with the plants in the village. Using the device, she must ask around to find the perfect parting gift for her child, Rose, who is fully grown and ready to move out and live independently.
Because you can only record up to 4 lines of dialogue at a time, you must think carefully about which ones you want to use in future conversations. You must also pay attention to what each plant says, since their utterances may become useful to you in later interactions.
The trailer calls Hazel the Plant Witch "a game about listening to others," which is a lovely and fitting description. The game also explores the challenges in navigating a child's first steps towards independence. Plants open up about their own experiences and give Hazel advice about how to cope with Rose's impending absence. As a result, the interactions create the feeling that you are part of a small, tight-knit community where you and your plant children are welcome.
Hazel the Plant Witch feels like a melancholic daydream, from its beautiful music to its utterly charming environment. It offers a cast of characters with strong personalities and opinions, forcing you to consider which lines of dialogue will resonate with each plant. The game also presents themes that tug at one's heartstrings, like the complex feelings that come with watching a child become independent. Hazel the Plant Witch is a short game, but every second of it feels intentional and thoughtful. I can only hope that the Mini Bunnies team will expand upon the world they have built in future games. I would love to see either an extended version of Hazel the Plant Witch or a different game that takes place in the same universe.
You can play Hazel the Plant Witch here: https://minibunnies.itch.io/hazel-web. Stay tuned and check out my other blog posts for an upcoming guide on how to unlock all 250 lines of dialogue! You can stay updated by following Indie Game Atlas on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Image 1. "Hazel The Plant Witch." Created by Mini Bunnies. Retrieved from: https://minibunnies.itch.io/hazel-web.
Mini Bunnies. "Hazel the Plant Witch - Trailer." YouTube, video, uploaded November 3, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4qhzhth1wM.
"Hazel The Plant Witch." Created by Mini Bunnies. https://minibunnies.itch.io/hazel-web.