- Genres : Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, Indie
- Publishers : PQube
- Developers : Stone Lantern Games
- Players : 1
- Consoles : Nintendo Switch
- Languages : Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese, English
- Release date : Aug 18, 2020
Evergate is the new platform and puzzle game from the independent studio: Stone Lantern Games. This little studio is composed of 4 engineers who graduated from MIT. Each member of this team took care of one aspects of the game according to their specialty: scenario, visual effects, graphics and music.
In order to help the financing of the project, that originally is a project developed by enthusiasts on their free time, the team launched a kick-starter in January 2019. It worked, allowing us to test this game today. I would like to take the time to thank the editor of the game, PQube for agreeing to give me a key so I could play to this game.
Evergate is not Ori!
At first glance, Evergate has a lot of graphical similitudes with Ori and the Blind Forest. Indeed, the colour that were used as well as the main character reminds the design used in Ori, but the comparison stops there. Ori is a platform game in the metroidvania style when Evergate has short levels relying on the resolution of puzzles in a platform style. As such, the game’s goals and the gameplay make it a very different game than Ori and the Blind Forest.
A scenario between life and death
You play Ki, a soul that has to reincarnate itself by going through the Evergate. But as you are about to go on this new trip, some memories come back to you. Yours? Someone else’s?
The only way for you to know is to plunge in the core of those memories in order to explore them, but in order to be able to reincarnate yourself you will have to get rid of those memories.
The choice is quickly made and Ki refuses to let go of his past. From then on you will use your spiritual flame to go through the different memories represented by puzzles in a 2d platform universe.
An intriguing gameplay
Evergate has a very well thought out gameplay that the player can easily appropriate, be it in the style of gaming: tranquil or speed run. However, it uses unique rules which I had difficulties understanding during my first game… As such I will explain it to you. Be reassured it’s super easy!
Ki, the soul which you are playing, has 3 actions available: moving in a direction, jump or use its spiritual flame. For the first two actions no problem, they are the same as any other platform type game. Where the gameplay becomes particular is by the usage of your spiritual flame. Alone, it will be of no use, you will have to combine it to a crystal and a spiritual source. The association of the 3 will activate the power contained inside the crystal.
The spiritual flame is represented by a white ray coming from Ki. You can orientate its direction in order to align a crystal and a source.
The spiritual sources they are represented by grass at the surface of the platforms. You will find them at diverse place in each level. They are usable multiple times.
There are different 10 crystals that you will unlock as you play. Each level will allow you to discover and apprehend the power of a crystal. The main difficulty of the game resides in the fact that you have to find the exit door by activating the crystals, knowing that you only use them once.
To activate a crystal, you have to align it with a source using the ray of your spiritual flame. This peculiar gameplay and the disposition of the crystals in the levels will force you to think in order to find the correct, or best, way to complete the level.
Furthermore, you will have 3 quests to complete in each level: get to the exit before the end of the time given (speed run mode), gather all the flames of the level and use all the crystals. Each of those quests will give you one essence. They are necessary to unlock artefacts allowing Ki to obtain an additional power to help him finish the level quicker. There are 30 unlockable artefacts.
Also, in some levels, the nightmares will come and disturb your progression. Under the form of black birds attacking you each time you will use your spiritual flame, you will have to find the right timing in order to escape from them. The nightmares bring a certain dynamism to the gameplay forcing you to play quickly so as not to be attacked by them.
Evergate : a demanding puzzle game
Each level is a puzzle in itself to define which path you have to take to reach the exit. If you are like me trying to gather each flame and use each crystal… You will have to play each level multiple times.
Thankfully the beauty of the graphic design and the soft soundtrack helps you focus and stay calm in all circumstances. But it is clear that the difficulty of the game is there, and from the first levels on. I am progressing rather slowly, but I really want to discover Ki’s story, and that keeps me motivated.
Evergate proposes a platform and puzzle game with soft graphics and music. I really really liked the general ambiance of the game. I would love to find the music on Deezer or buyable on CD. Concerning the puzzles, they are demanding, for some of them very challenging. As such, I am really proud of me when I am done with one, it’s really magical! The different crystals bring renewal forcing the player to always adapt its gameplay and to think before acting. The apparition of the nightmares bring dynamism forcing you to stay active.
Evergate is a complete game, magnificent and well thought out that has about 70 to 80 levels that will put your brain and your agility to the test. In short, genius but really demanding.