Dawning your favorite clunky suit of armor and a long, long sword, you make a laborious and awkward dash toward the edge of the cliff. With a deft push, you catapult from the ledge just in the knick of time as three stone stalactites come slamming down from above. With a gentle breeze blowing past your snaggly-beard, you take a moment to revel mid-air in the thought that you finally made it out of the caves… But, upon closer inspection it appears you missed the moving platform. Spikey-doom for you.
Evertales is a glitzy and goofy platformer that puts you in the driver’s seat of three unique characters – a fighter, a ranger, and a wizard – against (you guessed it) the forces of EVIL. Wielding a wide assortment of weapons, you’ll hack, pierce, and burn your way through varied environments and tackle some big, nasty bosses, all in the quest to defeat the Dark Lord of Darkness himself. Yes, you read that right… the Dark Lord of Darkness! Can’t get much darker than that.
The “2 Page” Chapter
Each “chapter” of the game immerses you in a beautifully rendered and dynamic environment. One chapter takes place on the high-seas complete with roiling ocean and pirate ships firing cannons at you from the background while another thrusts you deep into a cavern where spike and arrow traps await at every turn. Each level is designed in such a way that you’ll need to think on your feet and time your jumps with precision. The precision needed for some of these obstacles can actually be quite daunting, but there is an interesting mechanic which will help you in your accursed quest – character swapping.
A Staff for Every Occasion
At any time during your travels, you can swap to another character. Need to jump to a place that’s too high up for your overweight “knight”? Swap to the ranger and double-jump! Need to leap off a cliff and slowly make your way to the bottom? Swap to the mage and watch him glide. In addition to changing characters, each one has a set of unique weapons at his disposal which are unlockable/upgradable via coins that you’ll discover throughout the world. Unfortunately, there is no tutorial to explain this whole character-swapping to you… I had to discover it for myself, but here I am sharing my newfound wisdom with you. Good tidings.
Unfortunately, aside from chasing the infamous Dark Lord of Darkness, there really is no plot or dialogue… just a strange compulsion to reach the end of each stage (which happens rather quickly). Boss fights aren’t terribly challenging either. And to add to the frustration of timing your leaps with utmost perfection is a somewhat finicky control interface. A d-pad appears on the left side of the screen when you touch it and promptly disappears when you miss the spot or remove your thumb. On the right-hand side are your main “action” buttons – attack and jump. When you’re running through a stage and have to time a jump just right, it’s really easy to miss one (or both) of the buttons resulting in a dirt-nap. The game also seems to randomly stutter at inopportune times, making it even more likely to biff your stunts. The only silver lining to this technical frustration is the fact that the game doesn’t force you to completely restart a chapter when you die.
Evertales costs $1.99 in the Play store and, while I haven’t beaten the game, most reviewers seem to believe that the game is way too short (roughly 1hr to finish). Given the speed at which I’ve completed most stages, I’d guess this is accurate. The graphics are really quite good, but unfortunately the rest of the game seems a bit lacking. Combat is shallow, traps are predictable, and there certainly isn’t much of a story to compel you forward. If you’re looking for a simplistic romp through a pretty landscape, you can give this a go. Anyone seeking depth and complexity, however, will be sorely disappointed.