Evergate tells a captivating story about a white wisp named Ki travelling through the afterlife and going through the Evergate itself to relive the memories of those long since past. Utilise the power of the crystals within the Evergate in order to solve challenging puzzle platform segments whilst learning more about the nature of the afterlife.
The platforming is precise and intuitive, and it shines bright accompanied by Evergate‘s unique Soulflame mechanic that allows you to slow down time and release the unique powers of the crystals. These gems have a variety of effects, such as propelling you in opposite directions, teleporting, creating platforms and firing projectiles. This mechanic not only adds to the game’s unique hook, but also a puzzle element that requires the player to meticulously map out their next moves. Some crystals and elements can be combined, creating an extra layer to the puzzle design. In addition, once the player grows accustomed to the levels, they can attempt to speedrun them for additional essence and bragging rights.
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Collect enough essences in each world to unlock artifacts. These artifacts unlock new abilities, encouraging the player to go that extra mile and give in to the game’s collectathon/speedrunning motif. That being said, you can only equip one artifact at a time, so you can progress through most (if not all) of the game without unlocking more than one.
World / Level Design
Each world contains seven bite-sized levels that, if you’re good enough, can each be completed with a single minute. It’s a perfect game to quickly pickup and play or for its story sake, it works well to play in long sessions and engross oneself in the world.
Story / Personality
Evergate‘s plot provides a keen sense of intrigue that will always leave the player wanting to learn more. Most of the plot is either told through brief dialogue segments between worlds or in the form of others’ memories from past lives around the world. It tugs at the heart strings whilst providing a sense of wonder and dread, all within its short playtime. It’s concise and to the point, not wasting time on filler and pointless meandering.
Graphics / Art Direction
I had my reservations about Evergate‘s aesthetic as it initially came across as generic and lackluster, but I soon realised just how wrong I was after progressing through the first few worlds. Each adopts themes from the cultural origins that the memories are based in and whilst they may rely on stereotypes from time to time, the variety is something to be admired.
Music / Sound Design
The live recorded orchestral soundtrack doesn’t demand too much attention, rather it aims to compliment Evergate’s wonder and majesty with bright, harmonious melodies and epic instrumental vocals. Not once did I stop to solely listen to it but it blended so well with the game’s aesthetic that it would have been glaringly obvious without it.
Final Score: 86%
With a daringly bold story and wonderfully challenging puzzle platforming levels, Evergate is a pure gem in every sense of the word. Its unique take on the afterlife has a majestic approach that provides a feeling of harmony and while the platforming segments may become frustrating at times, it’s all perfectly balanced to provide a wonderful new take on a classic formula.
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