Since it’s release in 2018 on PS4 and PS Vita, Reverie has been mentioned in the same breathe as cult classics such as Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon. Upon loading ‘Reverie: Sweet As Edition’ on the Nintendo Switch, it is clear to see where those comparisons emanate from. The question is though, will this prove a hindrance or a help for the success of this action adventure game by Rainbite Limited?
Shared through pixelated opening cutscenes, Reverie sets the scene by sharing a backstory of three brothers who have placed a curse upon a fictional island in New Zealand. What ensues is a trip through weird and wonderful dungeons, situated in a number of locations on Toromi Island. The goal is to rid the island of the evil spirits, all whilst visiting your Nan and Grandad on holiday!
The beauty of Reverie is in the design, and once these cutscenes are through, you arrive at the pier of Toromi Island in scenes not too dissimilar to the Pokemon games of old. Graphically speaking, the game is an absolute delight. It’s punchy, clean-cut visuals are full of vibrancy and charm, and implored me to uncover more of the map.
Once free to traverse the island, you spend your time speaking to the inhabitants and undertaking quests to advance the story. You do all of this with the use of three key buttons, X, Y and R. Assigning weapons and tools that you obtain on your travels is easily done by opening the inventory with L, selecting the item and then attributing it to a slot.
I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island, and the charm and decorum of the visuals extended to the NPCs themselves too. Each interaction was purposeful, either from the point of view of finding out more of the story or for a spot of kiwi humour. I never tired of stopping to speak to each character that I came across, and regularly re-visited NPCs to remind myself of where to go or what to do next.
Across its 5-10 hour playthrough, depending on your gaming style and abilities, Reverie has you visiting dungeons steeped in puzzles and enemies, with each dungeon ending in a boss battle. The puzzles are often challenging without ever being too difficult, the enemies persistent but easy to dispatch, and the bosses whacky and wonderful. I don’t wish to spoil any of the wonder and surprise of the bosses, but one of them is a giant washing machine…
The dungeons play a pivotal role in the game, and it is where you will spend the majority of your time. They are made up of a series of rooms and travelling through each one will present its own puzzles for you to complete. There is nothing revolutionary here: use blocks on push-pads to open areas, shoot targets to release objects, or kill all enemies inside to proceed. The latter is probably the least challenging of them all, due in part to the relatively simple combat. Each weapon you use can only be used in one way I.e. swing a baseball bat, fling a yo-yo etc. Initially, I felt that the combat was maybe too simplistic, but as I spent more time with the game, I felt it was befitting of the atmosphere created and the emphasis on puzzle elements.
Visually, I found the game to be very pleasing on the eye and there was the perfect blend of attention to detail and clean-cut aesthetics.
The creativity of the boss battles, the weapons available and how they are to be used was excellent. It never ceased to amaze me of how simplistic the puzzles were yet had me thinking so strategically about how I could use what I had available to overcome them.
Reverie never outstays it’s welcome, and with a world so beautiful, it would have been easy for a developer to want to just keep plugging content.
Although it did not outstay it’s welcome, I do wish the game had been longer. It would have had to have provided more variety to keep it engaging, but I found myself thinking about the game when not playing it. This is a credit to what the team have created, and made me think of all the potential there is for this game!
‘Reverie: Sweet As Edition’ comes endorsed by gaming critics everywhere, and rightly so. It’s a joy to play from start to finish, managing to provide ample challenge without becoming frustrating, simplistic gameplay without becoming stale, and beautiful visuals that leave you begging for more content. I highly recommend this title for any fan of indie titles, as it reinforces just how fortunate we are to have them.