Stranga Games has previously graced us with two self-funded adventures, Just Ignore Them and My Big Sister, but the solo indie developer's next game is going to take a little financial help to become reality.
Ashina: The Red Witch is the "canon prequel" to My Big Sister, following the adventures of an "ordinary" young woman named Ash. Awaking one night, Ash catches a mischievous yokai (spirit creature) watching TV and making food in her apartment overtop the Japanese bathhouse where she works. More importantly, he's in possession of the pendant belonging to Ash's mother, but refuses to give it up. When he flees the building, Ash pursues only to unwittingly open the door to Shiruta, the "first stop in the spirit world." Soon she discovers that the pendant now belongs to a creature that will be asleep for a thousand years, while the portal back to her own world will disappear in three days. Only one thing can rouse it in time: the yokai's broken "boombox."
Ashina features the same kind of bird's-eye presentation and keyboard controls as its predecessors, though the pixel art this time around is much more detailed. It also has a very Asian flavour in terms of setting, themes, characters, and music. Players will meet and converse with many "strange creatures" in this exploration- and story-driven adventure – many of them new but some of them familiar to fans of Stranga's previous games – but if Ash is to "find her way back home . . . before something else finds her," you'll also need to solve a variety of puzzles along the way. There will be some minigames to play as well, and potentially even alternate endings to uncover.
In order to complete Ashina: The Red Witch by January 2021, the developer has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise nearly $7,000 USD by August 16th. If successful, the game will be released first on PC, followed later by ports to PS4, Vita, Xbox One and Switch. For a sample of what to expect, you can download the playable prologue available now exclusively for Windows PC on Steam.