Neversong. Absolutely did not expect THAT. On a first sight, your average, runny jumpy platformer. Got to admit, first 20 minutes I wasn't sure if I will even finish this game, but once you grab onto the story, once you realize how simple yet perfect the background music is, that's where it gets good.
It's an ambitious recreation of an old online flash game Coma, made by Thomas Brush (Atmos Games), that absolutely exploded on Kickstarter. Once the potential for something more was noticed in that little 15 minute game, that's where Neversong started to form. First thing you notice after beginning the game is a great somber narration that leads the player through the story, fully voice acted, which only adds to the atmosphere. It starts off slow and innocent, but quickly turns dark and twisted, more and more the deeper you get through the story. Gameplay wise it reminded me of Fancy Pants Adventures with a storytelling of Fran Bow.
Once you get through the intro, you wake up in a beautiful, peaceful world, fully hand-drawn. You get to know the basic mechanics of the game, movement and controls are highly intuitive, so no worries there. Personally I played with a controller - as I mentioned, it's great to just lean back and enjoy the experience this game will treat you with. You will find yourself talking to some random kids scattered across the world, area by area, each stunning you with a different ambience. With time, you'll be more equipped to traverse the world, centered around your starting house, yet thanks to the smart level planning, there's not too much of backtracking either.
Even thought the idea of a typical hack-and-slash platformer might not make your head spin with excitement, the creator of the game went the extra length to push it above the limits and make it as creative it could get. In no time you'll find yourself fighting against some twisted creatures, like... Grandma, Piss Boi or Simon's Mother. Yep. Both sound and art design are just excellent, changing accordingly to the mood of the story and area you're currently in. And at this point, if neither visuals, audio nor even the idea of the world didn't catch your attention yet, it's absolutely worth it to just push through the game only to see how exceptional storytelling skills you are dealing with.
There's also a ton of puzzle elements throughout the game to keep you invested and make sure this experience won't end after 30 mins. But don't get discouraged by it, neither fights nor puzzles are not tough, it might require a minute to figure some stuff out, but it's all within the reach of everyone, even if it's your first ride with such type of games. For those wanting more, there are collectibles and achievements as well, so that provides some honest replay value for those who want to pump out 100% out of it. But since lots of you are after a nice, one-time adventure, Neversong is a great choice to spend one evening with. And believe me when I say this, if you will take up on this game, you really want to finish it, it's definitely worth it.
To put it all together, Neversong is a dark, beautiful story, accompanied by immersive music and illustrative levels. Definitely, an experience to remember and recommend all around, without hesitation putting it on a shelf next to To The Moon and Fran Bow. I'm glad I could play it, review it and love it - trust me, you will too.
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