Publisher: Foreign Gnomes
Developer: Foreign Gnomes
Release: March 4th, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Steam
Everhood is probably going to be the strangest game you ever play. And you have to play it. Billed as “an UNCONVENTIONAL ADVENTURE RPG that takes place in an inexpressible world filled with amusing musical battles and strange delightful encounters” this game is both a musical masterpiece and the most trippy game I’ve ever played. I absolutely love it.
You start off by selecting the difficulty level, which ranges from Expert, Hard, Normal, Easy, and Story Mode. After selecting which level you want to begin with (you get the option to change it if you’d like later) the game begins with a menacing laugh and a psychedelic screen asking you the question “Do you agree to abandon Humanity, Time and accept Immortality?” Answering yes will get you going on your quest, answering no will take you back to the title screen.
You control the protagonist named Red, who happens to be a doll. Your arm is stolen by a blue gnome thief named...well, Blue...and you chase after them to get your arm back. The game allows you to explore around the world, but you will run into music events (boss battles) which you need to win to progress. The first battle is against a frog who takes pity on you and wants to make sure you can compete with one arm. The music battles are reminiscent of Guitar Hero, with you moving your character left and right along five different spaces, like a fretboard, as notes from the songs come towards you. Get hit by a note, and you lose some health. Lose all your health and you’ll have to start over (or start at the checkpoint in some boss battles). You do gain some health back after each phrase of music, but some of the battles are really tough. At first I tried to jump over the notes, but quickly realized that moving left and right (while jumping sometimes) is the best way to play this game.
The music is so well done, and it should be considering that it’s a music based RPG. Some of the battles have you taking on ATM machines or someone that got upset for bumping into them and spilling their drink. Other times, you’ll be on a minecart and have to alternate hitting buttons on each side of the board to move you forward. And yet other battles will have the entire room spin as you are trying to pay attention to the notes coming down. It’s weird and psychedelic but the challenges are well done.
You’ll also meet some strange characters along the way. As you explore the world, which is done in an art style that reminds me of a late NES game, you’ll be given different requests from characters and you need to figure out how to get the items that they are looking for. The game also has some music based puzzles that I rather enjoyed, and while it doesn’t hold your hand to tell you what you need to do, it gives you everything you need to figure out how to solve the puzzles.
The game is also a philosophical journey. You could play the game without thinking about what questions are being asked of you, but if you take time to really read into the story, it’s very deep. Which just adds to the whole strange trippy vibe that this game has going on.
For those that are photosensitive, this game has a lot of strobing lights and loud music. Thankfully the game does have a warning message before you start.
Final Score: A-