Ever Forward - Review of the puzzle game by Patha Games

Ever Forward - Review of the puzzle game by Patha Games

As we have had the opportunity to tell you many times, the independent one is a videogame landscape that has allowed many small teams to launch into the creation of productions designed more for niches than for the mass audience, works that in the face of reduced budgets can accept to take some risks compared to the more famous Triple A, often stuck in a limbo of “copy and paste” mechanics at times disheartening. Through the indies, genres not very inclined to the mass are back in vogue, able to keep faithful fanbases of players eager to try ever different and courageous play experiences, where experimentation is often the real beating heart.

Between these, puzzle games are also included, works that except in special cases - think of the Portal series - have never managed to break through the hearts of the general public, consequently remaining anchored to those affectionate market niches always ready to embark on some new themed adventure. This time, to try to conquer the public we find Ever Forward, a title developed by the guys of Pathea Games, a company divided into two locations, one in Chongqing in China and the other in Memphis in the USA, with the latter in particular well known as deserving of having brought to light the much loved My Time At Portia. Recently, we at Resources4Gaming also dived into this intriguing experience and are now ready to give you our final judgment on it.

Between reality and fiction

Maya is a little girl who woke up in a world of dreamlike features and without memories of her past, immersed in a giant beach flanked by green hills and floating mountains, all dominated by an immense tree that towers in the distance. Not even the time to understand where we are and that's it creepy reddish roots begin to sprout from the ground, twisting around everything in their path. As if this were not enough, some sudden flashes of memory catapult us for short seconds into a reality very different from the initial one, surrounded by cold walls now on the verge of collapsing. Even more confused than before, here we are again on the beach, this time in the company of a strange flying electronic cube that will follow us wherever we go, determined to find out who we are and where we are. Starting from this intriguing premise, the story of Ever Forward will thus take shape, through which we will go reconstructing the life of Maya one piece at a time, an adventure that in the course of the two and a half hours necessary to reach the end credits will launch us into a story with very interesting ideas but at the same time never studied and analyzed with sufficient attention.

In fact, the script does not fully convince, especially for various details left at the mercy of events, never fully contextualized and abandoned to the free interpretation of the player on duty, a real shame considering that with a little more work we would have could be found in front of an exciting and pathos-laden narrative plot. From a distinctly playful point of view, in Ever Forward we will find ourselves having to turn around the surrounding map in order to find unspecified points of interest, including swings, remains of buildings and toys. Whenever we arrive in one of these places, we will be transported to a subspecies of alternate reality in the Matrix style where it will be necessary to complete puzzles of various kinds to unlock a cutscene through which to discover new details about Maya's life and thus advance in the adventure. The various puzzles that we will be facing as we play will all be summarized in having to activate some specific mechanism while trying not to be discovered by dangerous sentinels sensitive to sound, but with limited visual abilities.

Ever Forward - Review of the puzzle game by Patha GamesFortunately, the simple initial puzzles will be followed by much more complex ones as we progress in-game, with new mechanics that from time to time will present themselves to complicate our lives. Moving an object from one point to another on the map without being seen by enemies does not require much effort, but when gravitational jolts and pressure mechanisms are involved where you have to harmoniously match every action in the right time, here is the music suddenly it changes. There is no doubt that the puzzles appear to be the best part of Ever Forward, with a challenge that is always stimulating but at the same time never frustrating. Just a shame that its the short duration of the experience did not allow the team to experiment with more courage, where every implemented good playful idea quickly ends up becoming a side element without ever being able to really blossom, forced to leave room for some additional mechanics. Speaking of the technical sector, the work done has undoubtedly been able to be appreciated, with a style as simple as it is effective, especially thanks to the skilful use of the color palette, characterized by warm colors and accesses when we explore the island which will be followed by well colder and more aseptic when we face the various puzzles. The soundtrack also proved to be of good impact, which with its melodies perfectly blending with the action, was able to pleasantly accompany us from the introduction to the end credits.

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