- Developer: Rainbite Limited
- Publisher: Rainbite
- Release Date: 07/02/2019
- Price: £11.99 / $12.99
- Review Code provided by Rainbite
Reverie: Sweet As Edition
From the outset of this most charming little outing, that blends both a solid gameplay experience with a care and character, reflecting the titles setting on an Island indigenous to New Zealand, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a Pokémon clone, perhaps even an Earthbound wannabee. The aesthetic certainly lends itself to those style and if you are aware of the backstory, Reverie is inspired by Maori legends which could also factor into this.
On closer inspection however it quickly becomes quite apparent that Reverie owes so much to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Which just so happens to be this humble hacks favourite game of all time.
Reverie starts with our protagonist Tai making birth at the port where his grandparents abide. After a trip to the basement in his grandparents home, it soon becomes clear that something is afoot on Toromi Island. By the time Tai is swinging a cricket bat at a possessed washing machine, it’s evident that Reverie packs a whole lot of swagger.
The comparisons to The Legend of Zelda are apparent to even the greenest of gamers. The map alone bears a striking similarity to Hyrule in so many ways. That being said, let’s not take anything away from Reverie. It is its own beast and stands up formidably well as an homage to the greatest game ever made. And what more can you ask for really?
Heke gonna give it to ya!
The plot of this short and sweet story revolves around the spirits of four brothers, who for the most heinous of reasons haunt the island and in all fairness seem to enjoy getting up to mischief. The crux of the game is to free the spirits of the four brothers and bring peace and tranquillity back to
Toromi Island. The aforementioned basement acts as both the first dungeon and a tutorial section and then there is a dungeon are for each of the spirits, culminating in a battle with said spirit in some form of gargantuan guise. In classic Zelda style, each dungeon introduces a new item that forms the central point for the puzzles in that area.
Whereas Link, the hero of time wields a mighty sword and emblazoned shield, our hero of the hour, Tai, opts for far more accessible inanimate objects. Whether flicking a yo-yo towards a hard to reach switch or calling on the aid of a rock you find and subsequently declare your own, naming him your pet ‘Stephen’, the inventory in Reverie is as imaginative as it is utterly unique.
Please don’t break my Reverie
Not everything about Reverie hits the proverbial nail on the head. The controls feel very loose and at time bordered on frustrating. The manner in which Tai moves feels very slippery and during a few key moments led to unnecessary death, which is always an annoyance. There were also a few sections where I feel the design of levels was a little off. In the penultimate dungeon I guided a laser fitted rock across a room so as to manipulate my environment and gain access to a locked door.
Upon entering the room I was presented with two doors, both of which required a key to open and proceed. I had no keys so I left the room the only way I could, the way I entered. Unfortunately because the room had reset to its original state I was completely blocked by a deadly laser and so had no choice but to commit hari-kari and return to the dungeons entrance. This wasn’t a problem as I had activated the warp point and I had to go hunting for a key regardless. It would have been nice however to not have been forced into such a situation to begin with.
The Nintendo Switch feels like the perfect home for Reverie in that Reverie feels like a 16 bit Nintendo title. The Sweet As edition offers a few bells and whistles. To begin with, there is the nightmare mode. Its tough to say the least and offers an extra bit of value to proceedings. After that, there are quality of life improvements, a quick item select wheel seemingly being the most intuitive. All in all it does feel like a solid offering and well worth the retail price.
Lost in Reverie
Reverie does what all good nostalgia inspired titles should do. It delivers an experience that holds true to its inspiration, whilst simultaneously offering its own unique style. It is safe to say that Reverie is packed to the rafters with charisma and the 5-6 hours it will take you to complete the main campaign will provide a lot of fun.
After that, there are still things to see and do and items to collect, finding even a handful of feathers, let alone a whole books worth will keep you coming back long after the main quest is done and dusted.
- Oozing charm
- Excellent dungeons
- Unique and wacky items
- Vibrant, varied world
- Loose controls
- Some level design issues