Ever Forward Gameplay Preview – Cinematic Puzzle Game

*Ever Forward developed and published by Pathea Games – August 13, 2020 (Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $14.99 (Steam) – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1220370/Ever_Forward/

There are usually two types of puzzle games. One type has a clear cut solution with only one possible path to that solution. For games like this, the main fun comes in figuring out the path to the win state, such as Portal 2. The other type of puzzle game has many possible paths. These are less structured and the fun comes in breaking the game in new and oftentimes hilarious ways, ala Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (a vastly underrated game). Ever Forward falls into the first category but it does a great job of obscuring the path to the solution and makes it feel like a more open world.

The main goal is to navigate a cube to the end of the level. Trust me, it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds!

The game’s premise is very simple, you are tasked with carrying a cube to the end of the level. Little spherical drones that instantly kill you are your main obstacle. Using a combination of the level design itself and tactics such as throwing cubes as distractions, the player must figure out a path to the end. The puzzles are fairly logic based for the most part and you can work backwards from the solution to figure out a possible path. Some levels do a great job at making this more difficult so some experimentation is necessary.

The art minimalist art style is gorgeous and combines well with the instrumental sound track.

On top of this is a very minimalistic and pretty art style and a sound track that is a bit on the haunting side. The game has short cut scenes after every puzzle, which is a bit too frequent in my opinion, and breaks the pacing of the game by interrupting the puzzle solving. However, it does create a more cinematic feel to the game, and the story, while predictable, is entertaining and tugs on the ole heart strings.

There are a lot of cut scenes and while I feel they break the pacing of the game, it does start to grow on you.

Overall, Ever Forward is a well packaged puzzle game, with the puzzles themselves being, for the most part, fair and fun to solve. You get to use the mechanics in interesting ways and it doesn’t hold your hand at all. You do have a hint system available for whenever you get stuck on a puzzle. Solving the puzzles feels genuinely satisfying and the art style, music, and story lend to making the game feel well made.

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