When I was provided with a review key for Neverend, developed by a EVGENIY KOLPAKOV, I had no idea what I was in store for. I have never before heard of or played any version of this game, and so walked into the game blindly. And boy, was I indeed taken by surprise.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this review, have a look at my gameplay so that my review will make some sort of sense to you.
When you start off in this dungeon crawling, top down rpg game, you are provided with a stick and nothing else to go on. You pick a door, and through that door will be another room. As you pass through rooms, your map will be updated. In said rooms, something evil awaits you. It may be a pack of wolves, a horde of zombies, or a nest of spiders.
When you die, for you will die, everything starts over again. You have to survive long enough to discover where any of the rooms lead to and what your purpose is. Apparently, for I just could not get this far despite hundreds of attempts, when you level up enough or find enough rooms, you will find better weapons than the stick you start off with.
Gameplay can be completely horrid, and I am unsure if this was how it was intended to make the experience more terrifying in some way. When you walk up to hit a creature with your stick, it’s best you run away and live to hit again. If you stay to hit more than once, more often than not the monster will hit back and kill you. I’ve had to learn to hit and run if I wanted to make it passed the first room with monsters.
As I’ve not been able to progress further than the stick (there are only so many times I’m willing to try), I’m sure with the better weapons this task becomes far easier along the way. The most rooms I was able to open reached 12, and I haven’t been able to reach it again. The main reason being the poor controls and difficulty in killing monsters, especially in a room filled with 5 zombies. Whenever I enter that random room, I know I am doomed. As soon as I had mastered the art of the hit and run and conquered them, the 4 wolves in the next room made quick work of me.
You do have potions that you can take to heal up, but they are few and don’t stock up quick enough. Each time you play, the rooms are randomised, so you cannot work out a technique or room order to work through to help you progress further. Once I was killed in the very first room after the start, when just the previous round I had reached room 7. And there is no save option, so if you switch the game off then you will have to restart.
I applaud any who have made it far into this game. You deserve a round of applause. And possibly a Straitjacket.
GRAPHICS, SOUND AND ATMOSPHERE
There’s nothing special to mention about the graphics. It’s almost like you’re playing a top-down version of what a Minecraft survival dungeon mode would look like. Not much detail went into the creatures, as the zombies are pure square heads with white square blocks and two stick-like arms. It feels like the game was designed for a very slow PC, and then ported to PS4. There’s nothing visually stimulating about the game. It just gives you something to look at as you progress through level by level.
The sounds are also pretty basic, and doesn’t really give you that terror that should accompany running through dungeons filled with horrible monsters. At least the dungeons look like dungeons and you definitely know you are in trouble. But some lighting and shadows wouldn’t have hurt.
It’s not easy being a developer, especially an indie game developer. You make your game and give your baby to the world, hoping it will do well. NeverEnd is no Diablo, but the additive nature of the game cannot be denied. Even though I keep dying and keep dying like a Groundhogs Day or Naked film, something kept pulling me back. It wasn’t the graphics, sound or poor gameplay, but rather the nature of the game.
I love Room Escape games that are done well. And wanting to get further in this game does compel me to keep playing it. Even if that means watching youtube videos of others doing it until I get the hang of it. NeverEnd is a good game to pick up if you are up for the challenge, if you want to show your stuff and steel. If you want a game that thrives at making you feel good about yourself, stay far away. This game is for the mighty, the bold at heart and those of almighty and unrealistic perseverance. Watch my twitter feed, perhaps in the next week I will screaming for joy for getting further than level 12.
Disclaimer: AIR Entertainment obtained a review copy from the developer for reviewing purpose. This review is the author’s own opinion and not influenced by the developer in any way, as per our reviewing Code of Ethics.