Wytchwood is an adventure game that takes crafting and turns it into its puzzles and quests. After the witch has lost her memories, a talking goat explains that she needs to wake up the sleeping maiden near her hut. To do this, she must collect several souls from various creatures including a bear, a snake, and a leech.
Once receiving the quests, the game will say which area the soul can be found in, but from then on, it's up to the player to find the next lead to progress by exploring. Typically, players will be prompted to find or craft a certain item for someone, but finding that item may entail trading or crafting an item with someone else, and so on and so forth. Aside from the crafting, there's a lot of fetching going on here.
Each area is lush with collectible plants, catchable creatures, and other interactable objects that provide specific items used in crafting recipes. There are also creatures -- hostile and friendly -- that are weak to items like unveiling powder or the cinderbox, and when the witch uses these items on them, they'll drop new components also used in recipes.
So the gameplay loop of Wytchwood goes something like this: receive a quest, collect needed materials, craft the item, give it to the person or creature that requested it, rinse, and repeat. In between all of the collecting and crafting, there is a whimsical yet jovial story about the witch and the beings that she comes across, but mostly, Wytchwood is filled with lighthearted and casual quests. Here are a few tips to maximize the efficiency of the gameplay loop.
Tip: Find Wytchwood's teleportation portals as soon as you can.
Each main area, for example, the fields, the forest, or the swamp, has a portal to the Ethereal Road, sometimes referred to as a "shadowed way." It's the junction that allows the witch to cross from one area to another, such as from her hut to the swamp, and it's often much more efficient than finding the edge of the map, say, the forest, that connects with another area like the swamp and moving between them manually.
Wytchwood is a lot of exploring and bouncing between areas because each section has items exclusive to it. You can't find forest herbs outside of the forest or eggs outside of the fields, so if you need them for a quest in the swamp, you'll have to go collect them and come back. Again, it's essentially a lot of fetch quests, which is why the first thing you should do when discovering a new major area is find its portal.
Tip: Never stop collecting resources. Collect extra resources.
Going along with the previous sentiment, Wytchwood involves a lot of running around to gather ingredients. You'll go back and forth between areas, which can be a bit cumbersome, especially when all you need from the forest is a single hagshroom, but you still need to go all the way back to the swamp to get it for a recipe in the fields.
To minimize having to go back and forth so often, make sure to constantly collect resources as you pass them. Notice a frog jumping around? Catch it and keep going. Find a clay mound? Clay is used to make empty jars many times throughout Wytchwood, so it's useful to dig them up whenever you spot them. Passing by the wheat fields? Take a second to cut a few and continue on. Because of how often crafting is used in Wytchwood, you'll go through ingredients fairly quickly, and collecting more than you need will minimize how often you go back and forth between areas of the map.
How to Unlock New Recipes in Wytchwood
Early on, you'll probably notice that creatures are weak to an item but you don't have that crafting recipe yet. If Wytchwood doesn't automatically add it to your Grimoire by progressing quests, then you can scan the creature using the Witch's Eye and it'll automatically add the new recipe for you.
What You Need to Know About Dying in Wytchwood
Though Wytchwood doesn't feature any combat, you can still "die" in the game. You have three hearts, and one at a time they will disappear when you take damage from hostile enemies. Typically, you can simply run past enemies quickly to get by them, but if you happen to take enough damage in the game and pass out, you'll spawn back at the witch's hut. You can freely continue the game, however, you'll have dropped some number of ingredients where you died, which you can go collect.
To avoid dying, make sure to have Mending Poultices, or at least enough ingredients to make them, at all times. This is the first recipe you obtain in Wytchwood, and you'll likely need it at least a few times throughout the game.