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The yuri-themed dungeon crawler RPG Witch & Lilies from Stromatosoft got an early access released on Steam on 24 May 2024.

Witch & Lilies was successfully crowdfunded on the Japanese crowdfunding platform Campfire in 2022, collecting 21,068,690 JPY from 2417 backers, fulfilling its goal by 2106% and hitting the majority of its stretch goals, which included additional features, voice acting, and character classes.

What is yuri, though?
Yuri, also known as GL or Girls’ Love, is a literary genre focusing on relationships, intimacy, or emotional connections between female characters. Though commonly thought of as focusing on romantic or even sexual relationships, and it is a fact that such relationships are very common in the genre, in current times almost any form of emotional connection, even negative, can be considered yuri. Works in the yuri genre explore all sorts of themes such as love, friendship, rivalry, hatred, and envy; generally, the only requirement is that the focus of the work is on female characters, and how they relate to each other. However, the term can be subjective, with different genre fans having different definitions of the term.

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The game is made to be a traditional 3D dungeon crawler in which the player assembles a party of five characters and explores a dungeon, with the twist being that the characters form relationships with each other that affect their performance in battle – For better or for worse.

The relationships between characters change not just depending on their actions in battle, but also on things like time they spend together on dates when returning to town. Good relationships bring benefits in battle, and when affection hits a high enough point characters can become lovers,  which gives them more advantages like combination attacks. On the other hand, characters can also build up displeasure with each other, which has negative effects. Affection and displeasure are not mutually exclusive: A character can have both high affection and displeasure for someone in a love-hate relationship.

Relationships between characters are visualized in a diagram that depicts affection as pink hearts and displeasure as broken hearts. Characters can of course raise their affection with multiple other party members, which might result in complicated relationships involving jealousy.

Though Witch & Lilies is currently in early access, the game already includes most of the major features including the entire main story campaign. Early access is primarily being used to iron out bugs and balance issues, and also get feedback from the community regarding quality of life improvements: The devs have been proactively engaging in dialogue with players, especiially on the official Discord, with many features and changes implemented or slated for implementation.

The devs at Stromatosoft have previously worked on games like Godzilla VS, Girls und Panzer: Dream Tank Match, and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, while the script is being written Kedouin Makoto (KEDWIN), known for his work on on the Corpse Party series and Death end re;Quest. Character designs are by Mago (magodesu) of Space Patrol Luluco fame, and planning was by Yamagishi Yoshinori formerly of Square Enix, who served as producer on multiple games in the Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile series.

Update (05/24): A roadmap for the game leading up to January 2025 is now available on the Steam page, listing not just bug fixes and balance changes but also the addition of new content and the fact that the English and Simplified Chinese translations of the game will also be getting an overhaul.

 

Official website: https://www.witchandlilies.com/
Steam page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/2525810/Witch_and_Lilies/

 

Also see:

Review: Dear My Abyss – A Lovecraftian yuri VN

Review: Demon Gaze Extra – A great dungeon RPG for both genre veterans and new fans

Etrian Odyssey Interview: Komori and Himukai Discuss the Past and Future of the Series

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