Dark, sepia tones set the scene in Neversong and let us know we’re in for a grim adventure. Initially, Neversong started its life as a 15-minute flash game from 2010 and, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, was re-imagined into what it is today; a macabre tale of kidnap and lost parents in a nightmare world.
My first thought when I started Neversong was how similar it looks to Pinstripe, which is no surprise given they are both Thomas Brush games. Neversong and Pinstripe share many similarities, especially in the art style, but also in their dark and creepy environments. If you enjoyed Pinstripe, you would probably enjoy Neversong too.
Neversong begins with Peet and Wren who are best of friends. They grow closer as they age and envision a life together, but then Wren is kidnapped by the terrifying Dr Smile. Peet, too petrified by the situation, falls into a coma and isn’t able to save Wren. He later wakes to find she is still gone and all of the parents of Redwind Village have disappeared as well. Peet begins on a journey through many beautiful, if creepy, environments to try and find everyone.
Neversong is a 2D sidescroller with light to medium level puzzles and some Metroidvania aspects. The controls are easy to learn and responsive, but I always felt like I wanted a double jump that never came. The combat in Neversong is relatively easy, and I never felt overwhelmed with an enemy.
I found that the bosses were relatively predictable and could easily be beaten in a few minutes. In fact, there is an achievement for beating them within five minutes, and I achieved that on all bosses, so if you’re looking for a tough fight, this isn’t it.
Boss fights are used as a way to gain new abilities, with each one rewarding the player with a song. If you find a way to play the song, you can unlock new abilities that help you progress. This is where the Metroidvania components come into the game with new areas becoming available as you gain abilities.
There is also a puzzle component. The puzzles aren’t tricky, though, and I never found myself lost without an idea of what to do next. Personally, I enjoyed the level of difficulty with the puzzles, as I’m not too keen on how frustrating they can be in games sometimes.
Scattered around Redwind are collectible cards. These cards feature characters and environments, and some give you cosmetic upgrades; however, they don’t give you any abilities.
Art Style and Sound Design
I love the creepy art style of Thomas Brush, so Neversong certainly delivers when it comes to the art. The character designs are simple but effective, and the backgrounds are incredibly intricate.
Neversong has a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack that varies from light and airy in the village to dark and scary when investigating the asylum. The atmosphere is amped to 11 for the boss fights and brings an extra level of tension.
Music is also used to unlock items, with bosses screeching out their own tunes. Fortunately, they sound a bit nicer when we play them.
Overall, I enjoyed Neversong for its atmospheric feel and interesting, yet very (very) dark story. The combat and puzzles were on the easier side, but I was happy to flow through them and enjoy the story. If you like story-rich, atmospheric games then Neversong might be right up your alley.