Evertales proves that even unlikely heroes can be great
Let’s be up front about something, shall we? Fearless heroes need their heads examined. For every one of those muscle-bound pretty boys that runs off into the darkness to make the rest of us look bad, there’s a dozen more —smarter— folks who’re hanging out in the tavern, keeping warm by the fire and enjoying a pint. But what happens when some of those folks get drafted to save the kingdom? The results, as seen in Evertales, are delightfully goofy.
The story here feels like it’s straight out of The Bard’s Tale series of RPGs, thanks to its sarcastic tone and underwhelming heroes. There’s Sir Jorgin, the aged knight who only seems capable of running towards a state of obesity; Arwick, the narcissist elf; and Taragorn, the senile wizard. The three find themselves reluctant participants on a quest to take down the Dark Lord of Darkness. The first level begins in the tavern, when the trio is setting out on their journey, and they find themselves the target of an attack by a group of drunk dwarves. From there on out, things only get more ridiculous.
Even though it features 3D graphics, this is, at its core, a 2D action platformer. You run through linear levels, occasionally climbing/jumping between different elevations, and battling a couple of different enemy types. Doubling back to previously unexplored areas that sit over or under the main pathways will often result in a treasure chest loaded with extra gold. When you get to the end of the level, there’s usually a boss to fight, but these battles are pretty easy once you figure out your opponent’s attack patterns. Overall the gameplay is pretty standard, but it works just fine in this case.
Gold is used in between levels to unlock new outfits and weapons, as well as buy upgrades for the latter. You can play through the levels multiple times to get enough gold to power up your equipment and look good, or you can buy them with real money.
There are two different control schemes, both of which are easy to learn. The first has you swipe your finger across the screen to move right and left, while the other lets you use a virtual joystick to do the same thing. Both control systems use the same mechanics otherwise: there are jump and attack buttons on the right side of the screen, and tapping on the portrait and weapon icons at the top of the screen will accordingly swap out your character weapon. For the most part, you won’t have to change things up, but it is occasionally necessary (such as when you need to take advantage of Arwick’s double-jump ability).
The game both looks and sounds great. The 3D graphics make the levels look pretty lush, and there are number of great touches in the background, that make the world feel nicely fleshed out. The sound effects, too, are nice, but the game’s narrator deserves a special award for his dialogue at the start of every level.
Between the great story, goofy characters, and solid production values, Evertales is easy to recommend. The gameplay might be a little too simple for hardcore action fans, but just about everyone else will love it.