Neversong Review: this is probably one of the best indie games I’ve played in ages. Created by indie developer Thomas Brush, Neversong is an action, adventure, side scrolling, puzzle solving RPG that’s every bit as somber as it looks.
Neversong is a sort of reboot of Brush’s first game, Coma. Which, is a small Flash game released all the way back in 2010 on Newgrounds.com. I’ve not visited Newgrounds in years!
After raising over $80,000 on Kickstarter, Thomas and Serenity Forge spent several years hand-crafting Neversong.
With almost all of the development work done by Thomas Brush, Serenity Forge lent a hand with the fine tuning, physics and code base. It was originally going to be called ‘Once Upon A Coma’ but I’m pleased the name was changed to Neversong, it leaves a little more to the imagination.
So let’s take a look at just how good this game is.
The game starts off with a really impressive introduction to the main plot and story line. The narrator does this through the use of rhyming, it’s really well done. The narrator’s voice is fantastic and fits the mood of the game well.
The basic plot goes something like this:
After what they thought would be an awesome trip to an abandoned mental asylum, Wren is kidnapped by a frightening ghoul. Peet (our main character) fell into a coma from the shock. From that point onward all of the adults in the town left to search for her, they never came back.
One Peet has awakened from his coma he struggles to come to terms with and grasp the reality of what’s happened. And, it’s now in the Peets hands to try and save the girl that was taken.
Neversong Review Gameplay
I really like 2D games, the side-ways only movement in Neversong fits with the games mood, in fact all character movement is butttery smooth and polished.
It’s easy to get to grips with the controls, the game recomends that you use a controller, I reviewed this using an Xbox Controller and it works well without any custom button configurations in the settings. All of the movement is controlled by the Joy-Sticks and the action button (as you would expect) is ‘A’.
Upon first starting the game you are thrown right in at the deep end with no obvious clue as to how you can progress. That may make for quite a difficult game for players who aren’t great at spotting subtle clues, it is a puzzle solving game don’t forget!
I found the first few levels a bit of a challenge.
I really like that you can take multiple different paths to different locations, although if you’re used to the genre then the game may feel quite linear, these different pathways help give a sense of exploration and adventure and minimise the linear feel.
The paths that are blocked can be unlocked by collecting upgrades from Wren’s house. Upgrading is quite simple and it’s quite unique in that they can be obtained by playing a song on the grand piano in the house.
In game combat mechanics are really straight forward, one button combat is easy to master. The enemies you’ll face aren’t particularly tough and you’ll beat them with ease most of the time.
Boss battles don’t take much time to beat either. Problem solving is at the forefront of the gameplay so an easy fight is to be expected. Overall the combat system is great and the enemies movements don’t feel overly scripted.
Your weapon of choice is a baseball bat, which you’ll use for most of the fights. It’s also really useful for smashing up flower vases!
I tried not to get sucked into trying to collect the special ‘coma cards’ but they form a great part of the game and give it some depth. It’s those platforming elements in a well polished indie title that set it apart from the rest of the pack.
These cards represent different characters or objects and are used to change part of your appearance. If you unlock the special keys for example, this will help you unlock previously restricted areas.
At first I thought they’re wouldn’t be much replay value because, as I mentioned above, the game’s story feels quite linear. But, having said that, exploring areas again once you’ve collected some upgrades is still great fun and there’s enough content to keep it entertaining.
Graphics and Artwork
Put simply the artwork is fantastic. It’s probably the best artwork in any indie game I’ve played since starting this blog. And I’ve played alot of indie titles!
I really really like the dimly lit hallways and overall doom and gloom style. Compare that with the light and bright colors of the town and it matches perfectly.
I’ve been playing this using a 4k gaming monitor, there are no distorted pixels or anything untoward so that’s a big plus in my opinion. It’s super high quality and looks like a lot of care and attention was paid towards the graphical experience.
The shadows in particular are great and I’m stunned at just how good it looks.
The character design is really colorful and unique. I like the direction they have taken with the game’s overall aesthetic and art design.
Sounds – Neversong Review
Really enjoyable sounds. The voice acting in particular is great. I’m not to sure on who voices who but Brush has done a fantastic job choosing the voice actors.
The piano sounds are well executed and at the same time chilling. They fit the mood perfectly. Apparently Claude Debussy was the inspiration behind the compositions.
By using the piano as both the soundtrack and a noise for when you unlock new items is a great idea, some indie’s lack a bit of quality in the soundtrack department, but not Neversong. It hits every note.
Summary & Verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed writing the Neversong Review. It’s not often I enjoy a review game as much as this, I found my self deeply immersed into the game that at some stages I forgot to take any notes at all. All of that points to the fact that this is a great game.
My go to genre of games is either FPS or Racing games but after playing this for several hours I may just give puzzle games another shot.
- Beautiful Artwork
- Great Soundtrack And Composition
- Interesting Characters
- Fascinating Story
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