Have you ever had a nightmare in which you feel like you’re awake? You’ve been through this dream so many times, you’d think you’d know how to wake yourself up from this nightmare. And yet, there you are, fearful, powerless, thinking that your time has finally come.
Nightmares like these suck, but they usually don’t last that long, at least in my experience. But picture this: what if after you wake up, you realize you’re still in a nightmare. Your fears, whether it’s monsters, the loss of someone, or even giant spiders, still linger around you, waiting for you to put your guard down so they can finally get you. For real this time.
Was that spooky for you? If so, good. That’s what you can expect from Neversong, a game made by Serenity Forge and Thomas Brush where the nightmare starts as soon as you wake up.
You play as Peet, a kid who, after his girlfriend Wren is kidnapped, falls into a coma. Because of such a tragic event, the grown-ups decide to go and find Wren for themselves. However, when Peet wakes up he realizes that not only is Wren still missing, but the grown-ups are gone too.
As you would expect, Peet takes matters into his own hands and goes on an adventure to find Wren, while finding something about himself in the process.
You know what you’re getting into right from the get-go. The scenery in the game is so beautifully disturbing, you’d want to look at it and look away at the same time. It’s not only the environment or the music, which are great by the way. It’s also the gameplay.
At first, Neversong doesn’t tell you anything. You feel lost, alone and confused. You need to go through the same places over and over again until you find out what you need to do.
To me, the first part of Neversong is the most shocking. The game is great as a whole, but when you combine the amazing aesthetics Neversong has, with the dread and confusion you feel the first few minutes, you get a memorable moment, and not in a good way. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any creepy or disturbing moments later on, but this one takes the cake.
Afterward, the game becomes a bit less scary, since you come out of your coma and you can interact with other people. Your goal is to go to different locations, figuring out the puzzles and fighting all sorts of creatures that come in your way.
The puzzles you need to solve are not that hard, but it’ll take you a while to figure out what you need to do. You’ll have to pay attention to your surroundings and interact with every object and person you come across to get an idea of what’s going on and how you progress through the game.
During your adventure you won’t be alone. Throughout the game, you’ll talk to different children that will give you small hints or just straight up tell you how to do something. You’ll also have your very own Navi-like companion. Although it’s way better and less annoying.
You’ll also have different tools at your disposal, which you can unlock by playing songs on Wren’s piano. As you make progress through the game and defeat some bosses, you’ll learn a new song that will give you a new object you need to use to go to another section of the game.
And for the completionist out there, Neversong also has different cards you can find scattered throughout the game. These are cards of all the people you meet on your journey. You can “equip" some of these cards and they will give you a different look. They don’t affect your gameplay in any way, so you can skip them if you want.
As I mentioned before, the aesthetics in Neversong are amazing. There so much attention to detail and you can see how much effort the team put into this game.
There’s so much to see in every area, and every place is different and unique. You’ll want to stop and stare at your surroundings. Also, you’ll have to stop and stare at your surroundings if you want to make progress.
A quick side note, if you’re using an older device, you might need to be patient with the game. The different areas in the game take a long time to load on an older device. And while the game is worth the waiting time, it does get annoying to the point of wanting to play something else.
All the characters are also great and likable. From the way they look to their voices and personalities, every character feels unique and fun to interact with. And speaking of voices, the narrator’s is fantastic and so soothing as well. He could be talking about Wren’s kidnapping, and you’ll feel as calm as ever.
The music and sound effects are great and they’re what immerse you in the game. Some sounds are so real and disgusting you’ll feel bad for whoever is touching them.
Overall, Neversong is more than just a creepy story. As the game puts it, it’s a story about loss and hope. Sure, there are scary moments, but there are also funny and sad moments. The game does such a great job creating this story in a cryptic way that keeps you hooked. You find yourself caring for these characters and you want to see how the story ends.
If you’re looking into Neversong, I’ve got to tell you it’s a joy to play. It doesn’t matter if you’re into a good story or you just want a platforming adventure with pretty visuals, Neversong delivers in every aspect and it’s a must-play game from Apple Arcade.
NOTE: Neversong is available on mobile exclusively as part of Apple Arcade, a premium gaming subscription service from Apple. Without being a subscriber to Apple Arcade you cannot download and play this game. Apple Arcade is $4.99 per month and does come with a free one month trial, you can learn more about it on Apple’s official website or by visiting our dedicated Apple Arcade forum.