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Review: Eversion





Table of Contents

Quick Information

Rating: Pretty Fun
Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religion
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Additional Notes
Linux version available!This game is free!
Age Rating Suitable for teenagers
License: Open Source
System used: Martha
Available From: Eversion's Homepage
Humble Store
Steam

Game Screenshots


Up up and away!


This scene gets really creepy


Everything looks so cheerful!

General Notes

Although the secret is hidden in plain sight, Eversion is basically a big bait and switch title. It looks like a sweet and cute platformer at first, but once you start going deeper it takes a sharp turn and becomes a horror game with jump scares and hard challenges.

As the opening warning says, this is not a game for nervous people.

But still, this is a game every fan of horror or campfire stories should play at least once.

A Note About the License

There are two versions of Eversion, nicknamed the "standard definition" version and the "high definition" version. The former is open source, and thus free for everyone to play. It can be found at the game's homepage.

The "high definition" version, on the other hand, is a retail product, and must be legally purchased. You'll find that over on Steam or the Humble Store. This version includes some gameplay tweaks, an extra ending and your typical set of Steam community features.

Story Summary

The beautiful Princess of the Flower Kingdom has been kidnapped, and like the heroes of many other stories before him, the brave warrior Zee Tee sets off to find her.

There's just one little catch: to reach the Princess, Zee Tee must occasionally pass between worlds, or "Evert". All is not quite as it seems, as each Eversion takes the world farther from the blissful paradise and towards something quite different.

Gameplay Summary

Using the arrow keys to control Zee Tee, you guide your little flower dude around a world towards the castle at the far right of the levels. The twist comes in when you find a weak spot between dimensions, which allows you to "evert" and travel across the gap.

Each dimension is slightly different than the others: the original world being sweet and sugary, but every transition away from that introduces you into a more nightmarish and twisted version of the world.

Pros

Good budget gaming
The normal standard definition version is available for anyone to play for free, while the high definition version is $5 and features additional content in the form of fancier graphics, Steam trading cards and achievements.


Multiple endings
You will eventually find your Princess, though exactly how that goes is determined by what twisted variant of the world you ended up in when you reached her. Figuring them all out requires some clever navigating and some snooping around for obscure "evert" locations.


Alternate world theories are an interesting concept
Eversion's dark twist on the overly saccharine world gets the player thinking about which alternate reality is the real one. There's no clear answer, and the multiple endings just leave the question hanging.


It's fun to be scared
Most of what makes this game's horror work is the unexpected suddenness of many of the changes. There are even some fake outs to make you worry about things that aren't there. Playing it again a little while after beating it can actually make you worry about jump scares that might be coming up.


Difficult and challenging
As things turn more nightmarish, they also become more difficult. Monsters move faster and some new dangers appear to thwart your progress. Fortunately, you have infinite lives, so dying just means starting the level over. Of course, you'll be doing that a lot.


Cons

The difficulty curve is too high for some
While things don't get insanely difficult or unfair, there are some points that require very precise timing. Unfortunately, it seems that this is too much for some players.


It's fairly short
Depending on what you're doing, you'll beat the game within an hour or two. Of course, going for the easy (and worst) ending won't take you long. Figuring out the correct eversions to get the best ending or making an attempt to earn the achievements will take considerably longer.


Concerns and Issues

This is a pretty dark game
No satanic images or anything, but things do get pretty dark by the end as nothing is quite what it seems. Younger children could probably get nightmares from this.


Lots of blood
Once you get far enough down the rabbit hole, killing monsters or dying creates a large spray of red stuff that can only be stylized blood. Additionally, several monsters are partially covered in the stuff.


Starting messages are just as warped
Even the game's HUD becomes distorted as the game continues. The most notable example is the message at the beginning of the level, which normally reads "READY!". Later on, it begins saying other things, like "GIVE UP", "READY (to DIE!)" or even nothing at all.


Most of the time winning is losing
Although there are multiple endings, most of them aren't happy ones and even the happy ending is unsettling. Nothing, ultimately, is quite what it seems.