Developer: Lunic Games
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Dangen Entertainment
There’s no true answer to what lies beyond in the afterlife. You could be lost to eternal damnation, brought to a land of paradise, or maybe nothing happens at all. But what if you were given a shot to prove your worth and choose the outcome? Be warned, though; it’s going to take an abundance of effort to determine your fate. In Evertried, you play as a warrior in an ethereal location known as The Tower. It is here that you will ascend and fight your way to the top, seeking the answers to your past and future.
You begin with a quick and straightforward tutorial explaining the combat mechanics. In Evertried, the enemies and their actions are determined by your movements. If you move a tile, so will they. The combat has major elements of a mystery-dungeon title, meaning you have to strategize how you want to tackle each floor.
The Tower consists of 50 floors, sectioned off into five different environments. Every floor is an isometric grid, typically a 7×7 square area. As you ascend, the number and types of enemies gradually vary. Along the ascension path, you’ll run into shops to buy skills and modifiers or even restore your health. If not shops, there will also be a chance to come upon a floor of other characters in the tower. These characters provide context to the tower and what may have happened in your past life. You can also either heal or upgrade specific skills here.
So how well does the combat fare? It’s kind of a mixed bag. Despite the simplicity of the tutorial, there’s a decent learning curve to overcome. It’ll take time to get used to the perspective and movement. As you strike or kill enemies, you increase your Focus Level, which determines the number of shards you receive that you can then use to buy items from the shop. But if you are moving or just idle, the meter dwindles down.
This creates an odd and conflicting imbalance as the strategic turn-based gameplay promotes formulating a tactical plan, but the meter incentives seem to encourage speed. At some point, I figured it wasn’t worth the extra shards, so I mainly honed in on how I could best avoid any harm.
At the end of each sectioned area, there is a boss fight. I was impressed with the implementation of these boss fights as to how to approach them. Each have their own unique ways of attacking the player and keeping you mindful of the environment. These are no doubt the most engaging moments of gameplay and combat. However, you’ll also come to learn here that it’s easy to trap yourself in a pickle, so make sure to plan your movements out methodically.
To make for an addicting roguelite experience, there has to be a significant amount of variety to keep things fresh and avoid repetition. Unfortunately, Evertried suffers from getting repetitive real quick. The enemy variety isn’t high, and it doesn’t take long to figure out a new enemy’s pattern in movement and combat. To add to this, there aren’t that many skills and modifiers to play around with.
While there is a randomness to the game, the 7×7 isometric grid presents limitations to said randomness. I can easily say I’ve had many runs play out in the same or similar manner. This isn’t inherently bad, but it can be demotivating to try again to play when there isn’t variety to combat. As it is mystery dungeon-like with movement and attacking, there’s not a lot of animation either. You basically plan to have enemies move close to you just for you to repeatedly strike with the same scythe.
There’s not a whole lot more to the game outside of this concept. However, there is some lore to keep you engaged for a short period. You typically receive this lore from the other characters you have a chance encounter with. That being said, they eventually run out of things to tell you, so it loses novelty reasonably quickly.
Regardless of the gameplay and story, some aspects do positively stand out for Evertried. The pixel art style is very pleasing to the eye as it offers vibrant coloring and distinct sprites. It’s easy to differentiate between certain enemies, and the designs are simple yet effective in presenting a mysterious charm. In addition to the art is the engrossing soundtrack. Some of the tracks fit their respective environments exceptionally well, presenting a magical and enchanting sound. In fact, the shop music has to be my favorite piece, as its sweet melody gets stuck in my head from time to time.
For any casual fan of strategic or tactics games, Evertried can be a pleasant venture for you. There’s definitely enough to this game to make for a straightforward experience akin to a mobile game. But there’s nothing that truly makes this game shine in a massive sea of roguelite titles.
The concept behind Evertried is compelling as an idea. You get to strategically fight your way to determine what becomes of your afterlife. In addition, you can maybe learn about what happened to you in your past life as a warrior. But the gameplay and execution leave much to be desired. The art style and music shine, but the combat mechanics are limited in nature, and there aren’t many reasons for me to click “Ascend” and replay the game.
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