Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is an action adventure game staring Bayonetta's childhood years. The game has a heavily stylized style with a storybook look, as frequently seen by turning pages on the screen.
The story starts with Cereza, as Bayonetta is called, on a quest to save their witch mother. A brief tutorial, with exposition, sees Cereza under the care of the witch, Morgana. On Morgana's land, the protagonist goes through a list of chores to learn about Umbran Arts.
A main mechanism in the game is using magic to manipulate the environment. By holding a button, a magic circle snaps to a target, which is followed by a timing mini-game to complete. For instance, Cereza can make plants grow to create new paths or collect resources. Another execution of the Umbran Arts is used on the enemies of the game, binding them into place.
Along with their own abilities, the player can summon a demon named Cheshire, as previously seen in Bayonetta 3. Cheshire has two modes: In Hug Mode, the demon resides in a stuffed toy that can lasso its essence around, to grab certain objects. In Unleashed Mode, Cheshire is controlled by the player independently, like the traversal in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Additionally, the demon can attack and destroy obstacles, such as thickets that block a path.
Sections of the world can only be accessed by either Cereza or Cheshire, though these areas can be maneuvered simultaneously. Rosemary plants can gate the demon cat, while high-up places are usually hard to access for the child. In some spots, Cereza can throw Cheshire to a higher location. Both characters can pick up the resources that are scattered throughout the environment. Some combat can be done simultaneously as well.
There is an altered reality system, where Cereza can use Umbran Arts to dispel illusions. In this altered mode, the area's appearance distorts to show demonic faces and other abnormalities.
At certain intervals, players can save their game at certain plants and Sanctuaries. These checkpoints also offer a crafting mechanism, called Concocting. By combining resources together, certain items can be acquired, after briefly mixing them by rotating the analog stick.
A brief demo for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. This demo allows people to play just over 10% of the game, as tallied by a percentage in the game's save file.