Evertried Review – An Enjoyable Tactical Chess Roguelite That Needs More Variation

The roguelite & roguelike genres have become much more varied over the years. Due to the increasing player base of the genre, many developers feel more comfortable being experimental and trying out new and interesting combinations. Enter Evertried a title that combines chess style movement with roguelite elements to create a new and intriguing tactical roguelite. Does Evertried succeed in its blending of formulas or does it need more time on the genre-splicing table? Let’s find out.

Developed By: Lunic Games / Danilo Domingues

Published By: DANGEN Entertainment

Thank you so much to DANGEN Entertainment for providing a review copy.

Game Summary

  • Evertried begins with almost zero narrative and instead throws you right into the action. You play as a lost spirit who’s found themselves lost in some kind of Purgatory.
  • To escape this Purgatory you’ll have to defeat the monsters inside a grand structure known as “The Tower” and climb al 50 floors of it. There’s no long winded explanation of your character’s history, you’re simply stuck here now, so you and your trusty scythe must try to escape (or ascend as the game calls it)
  • Each of your journey’s through The Tower follows the same format. You travel across 4 different environments each spanning 10 floors.
  • New environments introduce new monsters to fight and generally ramp up the difficulty as well.
  • Every 10 floors you must fight a boss to ascend to the next environment. Each of theses bosses have there own monstrous looking design and are not just bigger versions of previous fought enemies.
  • Evertried plays as a tactical turn-based roguelite where you just move around a chess-like board to attack enemies.
  • Whenever you move a space on the board enemies will move as well. Your goal is to try and land on a space where your enemy will not be right next to you. If you land right next to an enemy on their turn they will attack you. However, if an enemy lands on a space next to you on their turn you get to attack them.
  • Essentially, the entire game is a game of cat & mouse where you and your enemies are constantly chasing each other.
  • Certain floors also contain other obstacles such as turrets that shoot bullets at a row of tiles, meteors that hit a group of spaces every couple turns and breakable tiles that create holes that enemies can fall through.
  • Many enemies also have their own special traits. For example some enemies take 2 hits to kill, but only move every two turns. Other enemies explode two turns after killing them damaging anything in the range of it.
  • Enemies can actually damage each other which you can use to your advantage. There’s nothing more satisfying then tricking a monster to walk into the poison that another monster left behind on a space.
  • For the most part all monsters can only move 1 space per turn, but you have the option to move 1 or two spaces every turn. You’re little sprit has a dash that he can use two move two spaces at once instead of one. There’s no limit to the so you can use it as often as you want. The difference to move one or two spaces is huge and can have a large impact on how you strategically move around the board.
  • Another important element of the combat system is the Focus Meter. After defeating an enemy you’re Focus Meter will increase and eventually reach higher levels. The higher level your focus gauge the more shards are dropped and it can cause skills to awaken and give them new effects. The catch is that the Focus Meter is constantly decreasing so there’s an incentive to try and be as fast as you can.
  • It’s important to mention that you can absolutely still play Evertried at a reasonably slower pace and still progress in the game. Players who are worried about not being very fast need not worry, as the mismanagement of the Focus Meter will not destroy your chances of winning.
  • You’re going to want to try to avoid getting hit as much as possible, because you’re little lost soul isn’t very resilient. in total you have 3 HP and you lose one per damage taken. Once you lose all 3 your run is over.
  • To add some differentiation to each run there are two different types of abilities you can get to help you with your journey. Modifiers are passive abilities that naturally, give you benefits as you play. Skills are active abilities that use your “Charges” to unleash different effects during combat.
  • Modifier examples are (Dashing causes you to leave fire on the space behind you that damages enemies, and healing 1 HP per 4 enemies defeated)
  • Skill examples are (Dropping a sword on an enemy at a distance hitting them for 1 HP, Polymorphing an enemy into another, and creating healing aura around you).
  • Both Skills and Modifiers can be purchased using shards, the game’s currency which is received from battles.
  • You cannot find Skills & Modifiers after battles. They’re only purchasable at shops which appear after defeating so many floors in a row.
  • Every shop also gives you the ability to pay to fully heal yourself which if you don’t have the healing skill, you’ll likely want to use.
  • Shops are not the only events that pop up between floors. Sometimes before going to the next floor you will come to a “Crossroad”. Here you can interact with some unique characters that are also travelling through “The Tower”. These character interactions are used to try and build onto the lore of Evertried and to flesh out the story. These encounters are really the only way to learn more about Evertried’s story.
  • Evertried has slight meta-progression that comes from your skills leveling up. When you use a skill enough across all of your runs it will level up. Ever skill can level up multiple times and each time the skills becomes stronger for all runs going forward.
  • You never know what skills you’re going to get each run so it’s definitely useful to use them all and ty to level up all 20 of them. Subsequently you could simply try to make sure you only pick the same 2 or 3 skills every run (although this could require quite a bit of luck).
  • For those who like to keep track of everything they’ve seen Evertried has The Towerpedia which acts as your personal encyclopedia. The Tomb will keep track of what enemies you have seen, the skills and modifiers you have found and their levels, the bosses you have beat and finally ultimate skills.
  • There are also Ultimate Skills are found after defeating certain bosses, but I’m going to leave them as a secret for now. I’ll let you find out about those on your own if you decide to pickup Evertried.

Pros

  • Tight & unique gameplay that mashes up two different concepts very well.
  • Simple and easy to pickup once you get into it.
  • Boss battles act like puzzles and feel very different from ascending the rest of The Tower.
  • Evertried strikes a good balance of being difficult, but not too difficult that players will quit out of frustration.
  • The Towerpedia collecting data on everything you’ve seen is fantastic to have access to.
  • Skills & Modifiers have a meaningful effect on your runs.
  • Beautiful and colorful pixel art visuals accompanied by a pleasant soundtrack
  • You can save in the middle of a run (As of major October 2021 patch)
  • 60+ Achievements to unlock

Neutral

  • Enemy variation is good but some may feel that more would have benefitted the game’s run variation.
  • The meta-progression is small, but some players will be turned away from the inability to avoid it

Cons

  • Despite bosses more puzzle-like designs being fun, the fights aren’t difficult enough compared to the regular floors. I found that the boss fights didn’t really test the skills you have accrued from the rest of run.
  • Runs do not have enough variations between them. As of now there’s only 20 skills and about 10 modifiers that can be purchased during a run. Furthermore, layouts of each floor only changes slightly between each run. You will encounter every type of enemy each run and there are no mini bosses or unique events that help create better variation.
  • Skills have balance issues as some of them feel much stronger than others. (As of patch 1.1 some skills have been balanced and this issue has been slightly fixed).
  • Lackluster tutorial and no way to go back to it without creating a new save file.

Final Thoughts

Story
Gameplay
Visuals & Sound
Accessibility
Bang For Your Buck
Unique Game Design

My Purchase Price Buy At: $15-$20 (Note prices are in USD)

7.5/10

Evertried is a really interesting concept that’s brought together in a polished package. The gameplay is easy to pick up and it’s really nice to look at. The main point I want to make with this review is that Evertried isn’t the game that you’ll want to grind out for hours on end. Evertried is really the type of game that you want to pick up, do a few runs, and then come back to it in a few days. There just isn’t enough variations in the runs to stay fresh for an elongated period of time. That being said if you want a unique and enjoyable roguelite that you can pick up and play a few hours at a time, then I recommend Evertried.

Note: I originally thought there was no way to check out the level progress on a skill. Thanks to the developers I have learned you can find it in your loadout which is in the pause menu during a run. I apologize to the developers and readers for this mistake. The previous statement has been deleted to reflect this.

Note: This review has been updated to reflect the new additions and changes from patch 1.1.

Steam Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1607040/Evertried/

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