A few months ago I had the opportunity to talk to Pedro Colmenero, Lead Game Designer at Lunic Games (Creators of Evertried). At the time of our conversation, the game was not yet released. There was a Demo available on Steam which I got to play.
Evertried released on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch last week (10/21). I was given a review code by the game’s publisher and got to spend some hours with the full game this weekend.
Just from playing the Evertried demo I knew this was going to be a very cool game. It’s much better to chat with someone about their game when you’ve had time to play the game or some version of it. Since the game relies on one simple, repetitive mode the demo was able to convince you whether you’d want the full game or not.
I spent a few hours and runs in the original demo. Now that I’ve been able to explore the full world a bit more I’m excited to give my thoughts on Evertried. While the demo was on Steam (PC) I’m happy to get to play Evertried on my Nintendo Switch now. It’s a great handheld game.
Playing the Game
The story of Evertried is quite reminiscent of recent games like Hades and Dead Cells. Two rogue-lites featuring death, the underworld and the afterlife. The main differences between these three games lie in the actual gameplay. It’s very cool to see three games classified under the same genre (rogue-lite) that play and feel so differently.
Evertried is an isometric, tactical rogue-lite strategy game where you face enemies in turn-based combat as you ascend a tower further into the afterlife. The ultimate goal is to make it to the top floor. Each floor features a few enemy creatures who must be defeated to move on to the next floor. You can either defeat enemies with attacks, or by using your environment. The entire game is based on movements. Each floor is sort of like a game of chess, where you can also attack your opponents.
Defeat all of your enemies on the floor and you get to move on to the next one. Die and you’ll have to start back from the first floor.
Up, Down, Left & Right
The isometric level layout was a bit tricky at first. After first trying the demo out on PC and clicking on the tile I wanted to move onto next with my mouse, it took a few runs to get used to the movements using a D-pad on my Nintendo Switch.
Since the maps are laid out diagonally, it was hard to figure out which was up and down vs left and right. It didn’t take that long, after a few runs I had it down. Much of the games mechanics and elements work that way. It may be confusing at first, but the more you play the more you learn.
Some rogue-lites make you play the same loop over and over, unlocking new abilities you can equip to get stronger for each run. What I love about Evertried is that some of those “new abilities” aren’t really abilities or collectibles at all. They’re just the knowledge you gain from playing the game. At some points, it feels like you are getting stronger but you’re really just learning how to play the game.
Starting off Dumb
In the beginning, I was attempting to make quick decisions and take out my enemies as fast as I could. This is a turn-based strategy game at its core. This is why it’s so important to take your time. As long as you don’t move your hero, your opponents can’t move either. Time out your moves, try to look ahead if you could. When I started playing smarter I moved onto more floors.
Any time you die, you get to see your “report card” immediately. This feature definitely is one way to get players to think Ok, just one more run. I can make it further. After each run you’ll get to see your number of kills, total time, turns/movements, and if you made it to a new record high floor.
First Time Shopper
The shop is filled with helpful items, but one of the most important is the left-most ability to heal your hero. Anytime I made it to the shop with any damage I would always first heal up before purchasing any skills or modifiers.
Finally making it to the first shop and gaining some skills and modifiers is very helpful. Evertried’s shops are full of new abilities to help you reach new levels. It wasn’t until I purchased an attack skill that I really got to see how helpful these can be. Although skills are important and can be a great help on your journey, it is always important to purchase the item to the left.
After attempting to beat the same types of creatures on the first few floors it was nice to see something new and different when I reached the first boss fight. Avsladi is a skull creature/matching game type battle. After defeating Avsladi it was nice to see a change of scenery, enemy creatures, music and even some new level design.
After defeating Avsladi, the floors had new enemies to defeat, with new attacks. Some tiles would fall away after stepping on them.
So far I’ve made it to the 17th floor last night, past one boss fight (Avsladi) and two shops. I don’t know the final floor number, but I know there are many, many more floors to make it through. So, I guess I’m not that far into the game, but I have attempted many runs so I think I still have a good feel for the game.
I really enjoy Evertried for a few reasons. (1) I love rogue-lites and I especially love seeing them executed in brand new ways. Although the isometric turn-based combat rogue-lite has been done before, this is something new for me. (2) This game allows you to play a run or two real quick or spend hours repeating the loop over and over again. (3) I’m always looking for a turn-based combat type game that I can really understand. Yes, the combat in this game is tough, but I continue to learn new things with each new run. I also feel like it won’t become unbearably difficult like certain turn-based RPGs.
The music and art direction are also two elements that make me want to continue with Evertried. I love these simple, pixel art-style games. I do hope to beat it at some point and learn the whole story behind the game, but until then I will continue trying and failing to make my way through the afterlife in Evertried.
Evertried is out on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch right now.
myVGBC.com was provided a review code for Evertried on Nintendo Switch by the publisher.
You can check out my chat with Lead Game Designer, Pedro Colmenero right here.