Review – Evergate

The first reaction everyone had upon seeing PQube’s and Stone Lantern Games’ Evergate during a previous Nintendo Direct, was that it was an Ori and the Blind Forest clone. While you can’t argue the similarities between the two titles’ main characters, as well as their art styles, Evergate itself couldn’t be further from a clone. It’s its own beast, which was a nice surprise to dive into.


Who knew books could be so fun?

Evergate is based on a spirit not ready to pass on to the afterlife. It still wants to relive memories from the past, whether it be its own past life, or the life of others. To experience these memories, Ki, our protagonist, must venture through the Evergate into a series of puzzles. Each puzzle comes with its own challenges and completing the challenges can let you unlock artifacts to make the game slightly easier. Each level has three challenges to complete, ranging from something as simple as basically finishing the level, to other, slightly more exomplex objectives like breaking all the crystals or completing a time trial. Don’t worry too much, not all challenges need to be completed in a single run.


Hit key, open door, easy. Right?

The main idea behind each puzzle is to use crystals to propel yourself in a given direction, either to jump higher, further, or even create a new platform. To break these crystals, they must be between you and a soulflame section, a glowing white bit that is generally on walls or wooden platforms. The biggest thing with Evergate is that it has a massive difficulty spike. The first “book” is fairly simple, meant to teach you the basics, before introducing enemies, various other crystal types, much more intricate levels, and spikes. Everything kills you in one simple hit, so if you look at anything that looks even remotely dangerous, avoid it like the plague.


The story can be a bit obscure, but it all comes together eventually.

As you progress through each book, you’re warned of the dangers that invading other people’s memories can cause. With each few levels in each book, you’ll encounter different stories of love, life, death, and everything else in between. At the end of each one of them, the titular Evergate will struggle just a little more. The issue is, you’re greedy, and it’s a video game. When you should have stopped with your own memories, you continue to push and push, until things eventually go down the rabbit hole.


These jellyfish are not overly kind.

The biggest thing to love about Evergate is its soundtrack, which was played and recorded by a live orchestra. Each song is equally beautiful and haunting. Absolutely reminiscent of life and death, and accurately nails the tone each area, each section, and cutscene. Evergate, if nothing else, has one of the best soundtracks of any game released in 2020, but there is something else. It’s also easily one of the most fun platformers to come out this year as well. The movement and pacing is so tight and well polished, you’ll never be able to blame the game for your deaths. They will almost always be your own mistakes.

All in all, if you like 2D platformers and puzzle games, you’ll spend a lot of time with Evergate. Between a huge variety of levels, a magnificent story, that incredible soundtrack, and trying to collect all the artifacts, you’ll have your work cut out for you with this one.  While it may be reminiscent of Ori on the surface, Stone Lantern Games have absolutely crafted their own one of a kind masterpiece. It’s a simple concept, with a whole lot going for it.

Graphics: 9.0

Evergate looks beautiful, with great parallax scrolling and beautiful tridimensional backgrounds, even though it’s played in a 2D perspective.

Gameplay: 9.5

Incredibly tight controls with “easy to use, tough to master” mechanics. You’ll constantly need to figure out which artifact will help you the most at any given situation.

Sound: 10

Welcome to the best soundtrack of 2020, with absolutely no hindrances from any unneeded voice acting.

Fun Factor: 9.5

One of the most challenging and most rewarding puzzle games I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking on.

Final Verdict: 9.5

Evergate is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Evergate was provided by the publisher.