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Everhood

Publisher: Surefire.Games
04 March 2021
Everhood - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.56 / 5.0
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238 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#996 All-time
#32 for 2021
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Everhood Eternity Edition
2023 BlitWorks  
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4/10 in some places and 10/10 in others. real great gameplay idea implemented with some endearingly elegant and minimalistic game design, but overstays its welcome a good bit. the way this game replaces the usual RPG statistics of HP and MP with time and rythm management while managing to somehow maintain a similar strategical feel is remarkable. the story had some cool hooks, but does nothing for me at the end, sorry to say. was adamant on this being not that similar to undertale while playing, but at the end, yeah, it's weirdly similar in some pretty unflattering ways
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Szkieleton 2022-12-09T00:35:30Z
2022-12-09T00:35:30Z
3.5
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I am not usually one to play rhythm games as I've always had a bad sense of timing and crack under the pressure of pressing a button at exactly the right time. Luckily this game was not cruel enough to kill you instantly with every mistake. With this hurdle out of the way, I found myself really enjoying the bonkers fights and undertale-esque story.

I feel the strongest part of the game is its series of boss encounters which can range from mildly entertaining to absolutely insane, the gnome battle was probably one of my favorite fights in a long time. That being said, the way the game changes these encounters in the second half honestly I thought was an inferior way to play the boss fights. The story was charming albeit maybe channeling Undertale a bit too much. The ending was also a bit cluttered with what it was trying to convey and seemed a bit too grandiose and heavy though it would lead to some really good fights.

I beat this game in one sitting during a 24hr gaming marathon and I will say it's a great game to hold your attention while desperately trying to not fall asleep at four am. There are a lot of really fun fights, great music, and memorable characters. Definitely one I want to go back to at some point.
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ThatOneLupin 2023-02-27T17:41:12Z
2023-02-27T17:41:12Z
4.0
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Hey look, another one of these. It's not too bad, especially the centerpiece of guitar hero battles with killer tracks filled with noise and stupid drums. It's extremely entertaining, and is essentially the kind of rhythm based action I would want from a game, with more polish than anything geometry dash has ever had. This big core of the game makes it all entertaining, even when wading through waves of pseudo-philosophy and quirky absurdist dialogue. Character designs feel like AI generated DeviantArt OCs, but the charm shines through, especially with great animations and sprites. Just simply not long enough, and not serious enough for me to try and take the narrative aspects of the game too seriously, or with much thought, and it leaves me hungry. Mostly confused, but considering the whole game's aesthetic feels like looking through a kaleidoscope, that's probably intended. Doesn't seem much different from the rest, but it stands out by actually being good. Well done
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MtBedhead 2023-02-21T07:03:25Z
2023-02-21T07:03:25Z
3.5
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An Ineffable Tale of a Mechanically Solid Game with a Confused Heart
For me, this game was a mixed bag. I think I’ll start with the positives. The visuals are absolutely the highlight of this game, at least with regards to how absolutely insane, psychedelic, and vibrant they are, though definitely take note of those epilepsy warnings. The combination of high contrast and filters can add to the challenge of the game and is very unique. The soundtrack’s decent too, though it’s not something I think I’ll be going back to often. It works when it needs to.

I think the general gameplay loop is rather fun too. It’s not really a rhythm game as notes are released to the beat, but it still takes a couple of seconds for you to actually have to dodge them. It’s cool though, and you can get a lot of enjoyment from dodging and attacking back (done by absorbing notes). Obviously the game takes twists with this, including notes that you can’t jump over, notes that do extra damage, and notes that you can’t absorb, so it’s kept pretty varied throughout the run time. Combining that with the wide array of filters and kaleidoscopic visuals meant to throw you off constantly keeps you on your toes. The difficulty settings are also very accommodating, which I appreciate a lot. I do wish sprinting wasn’t as poor though, it’s maybe one of the weakest implementations I’ve seen in a game (double tap to run, can’t sprint diagonally, and changing directions loses sprint).

SPOILERS:
Where the game falls apart for me is the story, and that is sad because it clearly relies on being emotionally resonant. In essence, the jaunty, quirky 1st half for me actively undermines the last half’s twist & message. The first part introduces you to around 30 Everhood inhabitants with an Undertale-inspired tone but doesn’t really delve into any, most are reduced to singular traits (ex. the disaffected young worker, the vampire that changes his name each time you speak to them, the other vampire who sneezes a lot). It feels like the only characters that shine are Blue Thief & Green Mage (go figure, they’re the most popular characters). I think this is the game’s biggest fumble, there’s too many characters it needs to get you emotionally invested in for the last act to work and is too vague until the twist. You go on wacky fun hijinks, but it feels aimless as it doesn’t build to your goal of getting your arm and why you’re doing it besides it being yours.

The second half of this game consists of you using your arm to kill every inhabitant of the realm; the premise being that this world is inhabited by immortals who have both forgotten their previous existence as mortals and lost their minds due to immortal boredom, and they stole your arm as you’re essentially the Grim Reaper, meant to send them to the next cycle of life instead of keeping them in existential agony. The message of “immortality is a curse” is not inherently flawed and I’ve enjoyed plenty of media with similar messages, my problem is the game does a very poor job of convincing you that this is what’s best for the inhabitants, especially given the tone and hijinks of the 1st half.

The only evidence of the world’s origins before the twist are three lore notes, besides that none of the characters’ attitudes really point to them suffering in immortality or wanting to die (bar Green’s infinitely tallied wall), and this is mainly due to the goofy tone the game takes in the first half. Additionally it feels a bit weird that the characters are simultaneously going insane from supposedly "running out of things to do" but also suffering selective amnesia, like do those not cancel each other out? Some people point to the Lost Spirits as evidence that those currently living in Everhood are preventing these spirits (who presumably died before the events of the game, whether by the protagonist or by other causes like the Incinerator) from moving on, but the same notes imply that the right to go to Everhood was granted to millions, so why did those millions get to move on?

Additionally, the game does some of that player critique that Undertale does once you go onto the intended path of murdering absolutely everyone, including Frog (the character who’s been trying to convince you to end this realm’s existence and has been portrayed as the character fighting for the "right ideals"), who when asked about why this was necessary, explicitly says that the protagonist "wanted to experience this... Becoming death incarnated". This is normally fine given the initial framing of this twist, but the game provides none of the choice that made UT’s critique of the player’s actions affecting so it falls somewhat flat. If you explicitly choose to not kill, you engage in a separate battle with Frog. Managing to outlast them results in Frog being revealed to be a Lost Spirit and is then allowed to leave Everhood. It makes the previous point about “killing everyone to allow everyone including the Lost Spirits to move on” muddied because why is Frog allowed to move on and not the other Lost Spirits?

After said battle, the game allows you to load back into the save and complete the game as normal, so it doesn’t even really qualify as an ending. I wish this was an actual bad ending, or at least upon loading had shown a marked shift in the characters' dialogue, accepting that their continued existence is pain, and that they wish to move on. As it stands, the characters both feel one note such that I struggled to care for the vast majority when it came time to kill them, yet undeserving of death given their feelings. It feels like the game is unfairly manipulating the player by having these NPCs fear for their lives, then 5 minutes before credits roll suddenly do a 180 and thank us for killing them while they wait for the next cycle of life.


I think my last critiques of the story is that its main route really doesn’t know when to end; there are essentially 4 “final bosses”, you can feel the ending stretching itself thin with each one, and the other endings raise more questions than answers and are unsatisfying. After the Cat God fight, why is Orange building a second body for Pink if they've been opposed to us for the entirety of the game? The secret Dev fight just ends with credits (and you have to go on a fetch quest to even unlock it), and the Corridor ending is essentially just the Pacifist one (choosing to not kill, but being allowed to come back and finish the job) but you wasted 4 hours walking down a corridor. Considering how difficult the requirements and fights are, these are some crummy endings. I, for one am glad to have turned down the difficulty for the former two endings and avoided the latter ending entirely. I would have genuinely put down my rating by another star had I wasted 3 or more hours of my life doing the superbosses. As someone who loves delving into the deeper lore of media, I received little satisfaction. The game's story does give off a very psychedelic feeling to go along with the graphics, but it's just not really compelling due to the lack of real characterization, and its bizarre impulse to twist and turn, or be reticent rather than be coherent.

It’s unfortunate that it failed to click with me despite the solid gameplay and being recommended to me by friends. Maybe I am reading too much into this story that should be taken at face value and not read into that deeply despite the philosophical themes. It almost feels like keeping the game entirely off the wall like the first half would have been better as it was clearly more in their wheelhouse. Even if the characters fell flat, at least it was fun and honest, because it really feels that the lack of sincerity, satisfaction, its poorly executed subversions/messaging in the 2nd half twist and all the alternate endings damages the game immensely. Ultimately, it still hasn’t escaped my mind because I really felt it had a lot of potential, and I hope Foreign Gnomes can learn a lot from this experience as they clearly have good chops in visuals, aesthetic, and gameplay.
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earthandspace 2022-01-29T06:30:18Z
2022-01-29T06:30:18Z
2.5
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It drives me insane when it comes to talking about these sorts of games since it always feels like a total minefield about how much I can say before I get into some pretty serious spoiler territory. It's especially the case when it comes to a game I find as cool as this one because it makes me all the more determined to insist on not contributing to the endless sea of spoilers that is the internet. With that said though, wow, what a great game, one that manages to walk that line perfectly between representing its influences prominently while also going for a style and approach that's wholly distinct and its own. It's a game that not only represents the inherent flaws in calling a game inspired by something else a "[blank] clone", but is also able to demonstrate the sheer versatility of games as an artform with how much variety and incredibly distinct characteristic there can be in even the most similar looking experience. I'd say that it also conveys that games shouldn't be so inherently opposed to stylistically following in the footsteps of others if they have something unique of their own to bring to the table, and this definitely has a lot of interesting stuff to say.

While one of the most popular summaries I've seen of this game falls somewhere along the line of "Undertale meets rhythm games", I'd argue that this is only true on the most superficial level both thematically and mechanically. In terms of mechanics, while there's clearly a rhythm game aesthetic that's intrinsically tied to this, with the enemies summoning obstacles in accordance to the music along with the arena you fight everyone in being reminiscent of a Guitar Hero chart, this is far closer to a bullet hell than it is a true rhythm game. This goes all the way to the point where there are some section that feel as if the player's actions are totally disconnected to the music going on, and while those who expected a proper rhythm game would probably find this an odd or downright terrible decision, it's something that becomes much easier to appreciate if you're able to take it as a very stylish bullet hell that's intrinsically linked to the soundtrack. It also helps that the combat itself feels so fun, with your character's movement being largely fast and very responsive, which is a must for a game that gets as chaotic and fast paced as this one. The way it's able to better represent the characters themselves and bring forth a lot of interesting mechanical challenges is also really neat.

Rarely does it feel as if two fights can be approached in a similar way, whether it's because of certain patterns forcing the player to act in a certain way, a type of obstacle unique to a certain fight, or even just in the more nuanced areas of how the player needs to respond to any given situation in front of them, almost every battle feels wholly unique and entertaining. The exception to this is when a certain element gets introduced about halfway into the game and throws some of the difficulty balancing a bit off, almost going against the core gameplay loop in the process, but fortunately the times which this additional element reveals its more negative connotations are relatively uncommon and are able to actually add to some of the best moments in the game. Overall, this element is a bit of a double edged sword but mostly works out well, so the bad points it brings to the table are largely an acceptable tradeoff. I also am a big fan of the way this game handles difficulty for the most part as well, having a really smooth difficulty curve at the start and getting absolutely brutal by the end, but also feeling as if it can get pretty interesting with things to further solidify the narrative side of things. Occasionally you'll just get put up against something that feels far beyond what everything else is, or uncharacteristically easy, but it always feels fitting from a narrative perspective and serves to strengthen the relationship between these combat sections and the overworld, reinforcing the way that these are 2 parts of the same world and not separate entities that only coexist for the sake of providing some more cohesion to the experience. At the same time, the devs also understand that putting in some optional superbosses is a really fun time and one that is able to transcend any semblance of such a difficulty curve to create some moments of pure insanity for those who are looking for the game's mechanics to be pushed to their absolute limits.

Cohesion on the whole is something that this game has a ton of in ways similar to this, which is surprising given how abstract and psychedelic it can often get. You have a bunch of these moments that go completely off the rails visually and yet, once you begin to better understand the game and its world, none of this ever feels entirely out of nowhere, it all has a reason to exist and is all integral to how the game functions. Being able to craft multiple encounters that reach incredible levels of flashiness and creativity in the way that this game does, all without sacrificing any part of its identity or feeling superfluous is one of its strongest characteristics from where I stand.

The abstract nature of Everhood's presentation is also very strong in the way it contributes to its surreal atmosphere along with some of its deeper narrative themes. The world feels so sparse, yet full of colour in a way that you never feel able to get a full grasp on the situation. It's hard to tell how happy a lot of these characters really are and how much they're merely trying to pass time in the endless expanse of nothingness that they live in. The more atmospheric approach to the world design here often also feels more reminiscent of games like Yume Nikki beyond anything else, which is a massive plus in my eyes, especially one that understands how to use the surreal, often nonsensical composition of the world to its benefit. Beyond the artstyle and vibe of some of the comedy, I really cannot say in good faith that this is an Undertale clone either, especially from a thematic standpoint and the way that while Undertale focused on the concept of humanising fictional entities and the player's relationship with their protagonist character, Everhood instead uses the medium to ponder more abstract concepts relating to the nature of existence itself. I was surprised with the way that this game would often reflect a lot of Buddhist ideologies about what life truly is, and what it means to exist, using an interactive medium to allow the audience to become further immersed in the world that was created in an attempt to allow them to more strongly question what the game was telling them. This also served to strengthen the moral dilemma that the player is then faced with, as while there is a "true ending" so to speak, it's not particularly black and white in what is considered the morally correct option, which can be seen both as a way to make the game feel less didactic on the whole, and also could be seen as representing the endlessly complex and nuanced nature of life itself.

Overall, Everhood is a game that subverts so many expectations and does so in a constantly engaging way. What might seem like something that wears its influences a bit too heavily on its sleeve to begin with quickly evolves into something wholly unique. There are so many idiosyncrasies present here, ranging from the intentionally sparse overworld being contrasted by these high octane, sensory overload inducing combat sequences, to the way that the game keeps itself so vague without feeling as if it's being contrived about it. Everhood is a careful balancing act that feels as if it could easily have fallen apart at every step of the way, yet rarely does so, and it's truly an amazing experience that I would recommend wholeheartedly. Don't be deterred by the game's surface level appearance, there's so much more to it.
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Kempokid 2021-11-21T10:41:03Z
2021-11-21T10:41:03Z
4.5
1
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Pretty fun, relatively short game with kinda generic writing. I'm pretty awful at rhythm games but I found Everhood reasonable to do on the intended hard difficulty. The only frustrating parts of the game I can recall aside from the double-tap-to-run mechanic were the encounters that were very late into the game that required few mistakes, though I never felt like the difficulty was a barrier rather than something reasonably overcome with a few retries. I found the game best played if you go into it wanting to experience as many battles as possible.
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polynon 2021-07-13T02:52:46Z
2021-07-13T02:52:46Z
4.0
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Catalog

bedworms Everhood 2024-02-17T07:15:43Z
2024-02-17T07:15:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ZachGM Everhood 2024-02-16T23:33:08Z
2024-02-16T23:33:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
angelnetcast Everhood 2024-02-13T14:23:48Z
Windows
2024-02-13T14:23:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
steam
j1ain Everhood 2024-02-12T21:22:33Z
2024-02-12T21:22:33Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
scr0tumkiller69 Everhood 2024-02-04T09:36:44Z
2024-02-04T09:36:44Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
__generic Everhood 2024-02-03T20:42:01Z
Windows
2024-02-03T20:42:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Heike_Ghost Everhood 2024-01-28T11:50:30Z
2024-01-28T11:50:30Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Chocobo Everhood 2024-01-22T04:47:09Z
2024-01-22T04:47:09Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ibubobubo Everhood 2024-01-20T13:58:50Z
2024-01-20T13:58:50Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Oixo Everhood 2024-01-20T09:34:24Z
2024-01-20T09:34:24Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BeanieBytes Everhood 2024-01-18T22:47:06Z
2024-01-18T22:47:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
edef_ Everhood 2024-01-14T14:35:08Z
2024-01-14T14:35:08Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
Download

Comments

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  • Previous comments (7) Loading...
  • theamazingxyz 2022-12-01 02:02:03.532838+00
    There is an incredible game in here somewhere, but it's so bogged down with quirkiness and psychedelic pseudo-Buddhism that it gets totally lost. The structure and gameplay alone present a really interesting morally ambiguous situation, but the game just doesn't know when to shut up. The actual game is really fun though.
    reply
    • earthandspace 2022-12-16 02:24:13.999174+00
      that sums it up better than my review. i've played other recent indie games that approach themes of the fear of permanent death and/or the misery of living forever like rain world and the outer wilds DLC, both of which do a better job of portrayal and execution AND with little to no dialogue either.

      the best thing this game could've done is just be quiet and let the good gameplay do the talking, i can't really overlook a poorly told story for gameplay anymore.
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  • homefires 2023-01-23 17:22:01.311553+00
    The game obviously wants you to Give A Shit about the characters but honestly I felt nothing for them. I think that's what really makes this fall apart. The combat is really fun though.
    reply
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  • Anberis 2023-05-15 08:02:49.081236+00
    We making it out the everhood with this one
    reply
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  • Matty_G 2023-06-15 00:44:11.705876+00
    yeah would be a lot more fun if it was just the combat. Characters are a bit obnoxious
    reply
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  • Matty_G 2023-06-15 00:44:49.558957+00
    But also, I wish the actual dodging lined up better with the music. They attack on beat, but it never feels like I dodge on beat.
    reply
    • omo_ree 2023-10-23 20:28:43.639629+00
      never minded that,it's sort of a reverse rhythm game in that way
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  • Revolution666 2023-10-08 03:24:16.975101+00
    Wtf Shpongle the game
    reply
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  • R0tt 2023-12-12 19:15:56.921859+00
    one of the rare rpg games of this kind where you dont play for the story, but for the gameplay.

    this is the most fun gameplay i have ever witnessed, i hate to say it but it carries the game hard
    reply
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  • Dr_Chair 2023-12-29 09:06:01.776622+00
    Its strengths and flaws perfectly kneecap each other.. Its hard to really put myself into loving or hating this game when every compliment or insult I could give it has like four asterisks trailing after it.. 5//10 but in that fascinating way where Im still thinking about it over half a year after finishing it
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