Witch Spring (마녀의 샘) is a series of mobile games for iOS and Android by Korean game developer Kiwi Walks, with Suyoung Jang as the lead developer. There are currently three games in the series, with a fourth planned for a 2019 release.
According to Suyoung in an interview during the development of Witch Spring 3, he hopes to make around five games for the Witch Spring series.
Witch Spring and Witch Spring 2 both take place on the continent of Vavelia, revolving around the same conflict but from the viewpoints of two different characters. The first game focuses on a young Witch named Pieberry, who sets off to become stronger so she can survive against Warriors and revive the Springs. The second game takes the perspective of Luna, who appeared as a non-playable character in the first game.
The third game takes place concurrent to the events of the first two games. It follows the story of Eirudy on the neighboring continent of Derkarr. Like Luna and Pieberry, she faces persecution for being a witch and longs to make friends.
A fourth installment has been slated for a "late 2019" release, and concept art has been revealed for the new protagonist Mochamori (name translation tentative). The story is set on the continent of Ürphea, after the witch hunts were put to an end thanks to the actions of the deities in the previous three games.
1. Do I need to play all 3 games for the full story?
WS1 and WS2 cover the same story, but from two different perspectives. While playing both is, of course, optimal, players short on money and/or time can get away with skipping WS1 for WS2. WS2 is also a better starting point than WS1 for beginners, as WS1 is more challenging with its time limit and non-linear story.
WS3 is set on another continent, but draws a large amount of backstory from WS1/2. We recommend playing it after one of the first two games.
WS4, which will not release until late 2019, will follow on a plot thread introduced in WS3's post-game. Naturally, we recommend playing the previous games before picking it up.
2. I see that there's merchandise for Witch Spring. How can I get it?
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be overseas shipping from any of the three KiwiWalks shops, which are all focused on domestic sales (Korea, Japan, and China respectively). You may be able to order via a proxy service, but we cannot guarantee anything.
In May 2018, after the release of Witch Spring 3, the game's illustrator Jiseon Hong was involved in the Megalia controversy that spread among artists. After much argument, Hong deactivated their original twitter account (@snow_is_) and tumblr account before creating a new twitter account (@snow_is__), promising to only tweet their art from then forward.
During that time, Suyoung published his neutral stance on the situation on Naver, stating that KiwiWalks had no control over the beliefs and actions over their employees outside of the company's business. This generated a large amount of outcry among fans, and the Naver community dropped from 44,000 members to 42,000 a mere hour after the statement was published. Fans requested refunds for the games en masse, and many believed this would be the end of the Witch Spring franchise, if not KiwiWalks as a whole.
Due to the series' popularity abroad, particularly in Japan, KiwiWalks was able to ride out the controversy. For the most part, relations have begun to improve between the staff and fans, and development for Witch Spring 4 has continued.
On November 9, 2018, former Witch Spring 3 illustrator Mo (@MoCoMoCoPoPo) tweeted that Jiseon Hong (@snow_is__), the final illustrator for the game, had traced their early promotional poster. In a later reply, Mo mentioned they left Kiwi Walks around May 2016.
The controversy spread throughout the Korean fanbase; Hong did not find out about the tweet until later due to perhaps some previous tensions that led Hong to block Mo on twitter (as stated in their response to the situation).
Hong wrote a response denying the allegations that they copied Mo's style, and that the "sudden" art style shift Mo had claimed existed between their work for Academy Ego and Witch Spring was instead a natural progression from illustrating around 200 pieces over the course of 2016–2018. They went on to say that the Witch Spring 3 artbook also clearly differentiated Mo's works from their own, and as such there was no attempt to obscure Mo's contributions to the game.
- Kiwi Walks main site (English/Korean)
- Witch Spring official site (English)
- Witch Spring 2 official site (English)
- 마녀의샘 Official twitter (Korean)
- 【公式】魔女の泉 twitter (Japanese)
- Witch Spring official Naver community (Korean)