Reverie: Sweet As Edition

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Title: Reverie: Sweet As Edition
Developer: Rainbite Limited
Publisher: Rainbite Limited
Website: http://rainbite.net/
Genre: Adventure, Action, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: All
Price: £11.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

What the Developers say

With restless spirits threatening the safety of Toromi Island’s inhabitants, Tai must venture through dangerous dungeons and across a variety of environments to put the spirits to rest. All in a summer holiday!

Reverie is an action adventure game set on a fictional island in New Zealand, inspired by the legend of Maui and the Giant Fish where the demigod himself fishes up the North Island with a powerful fishhook.

Features

  • Six dungeons to fight and puzzle your way through.
  • Use unique weapons and items to solve puzzles and defeat menacing bosses.
  • Explore varied environments and find the secrets of Toromi Island.
  • Collect hidden feathers from New Zealand’s many beautiful native birds.
  • Story inspired by a Maori legend.
  • Nightmare difficulty mode
  • New minigame
  • Quick select item wheel
  • In-game achievement system

Introduction

Comprising of just three people, New Zealand based studio Rainbite released Reverie on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in the first half of 2018. Fast forward almost a year, and the title has docked onto the ever-expanding catalogue of indie games for the Nintendo Switch.

In the newly titled ‘Reverie: Sweet As Edition’ you play as Tai, a young boy off on holiday to the fictitious Island of Toromi, situated in New Zealand. Tai’s journey begins with the retelling of an ancient tale of how the island came to be. Legend has it that four brothers set off on a fishing trip that went devastatingly awry. During the trip, one of the brothers, Heke, was thrown overboard by his siblings who were envious of his discovery of the island. From then on, Heke had been plagued with rage over his brothers’ betrayal, leading him to set a curse upon the island. Upon arrival, Tai is tasked with lifting the curse and saving the residents of Toromi Island from great peril.

Looks and Sounds

You could easily be mistaken in thinking that Reverie is part of the ‘Mother’ series dating back to the late 80s/early 90s. The visual similarities in its pixel art style are uncanny, and it is clear that the Japanese franchise has inspired Rainbite Studio. Despite the limited map that Toromi Island occupies, the environments differ from one another in terms of colour palette. The enemies you encounter during this action adventure title are limited in their design, and several of them reappear throughout the entirety of your playthrough, only to be altered with a different colour.

The writing for the NPCs that inhabit Toromi Island can be hit or miss. At times the residents were hilarious, with beach dwellers exclaiming “Gotta love wearing my budgie smuggler round on a hot today” and “Getting sand in ya crack is the worst feeling…”. However, the more I progressed in the story, the more I found them to be one dimensional and, at times, outdated in terms of character and dialogue. A man exclaiming that he will keep the females safe with his ripped pectoral muscles, for example, is unlikely to receive any reaction other than rolled eyes.

Although Reverie’s world is small, the music is diverse, with each location having a distinct sound. The hub village of Harikoa, where Tai spends his evenings at his grandparents’ house, is joyfully upbeat. On the other hand, each of the six dungeons you explore has a menacing quality that contrasts well with the main village. Butler’s Cay, a location just off the coast of the island, has a more sombre and melodic approach to its audio design that exemplifies the varied music accompanying you on your journey.

Gameplay and Replayability

If you have played a 2D Zelda game, you will feel right at home with Reverie. Within the first ten minutes, you are thrown into a dungeon in search of a book belonging to your grandfather. Early combat is basic; simply fending off foes with your trusted cricket bat. As you progress, you begin to acquire new items, such as a yoyo used to stun enemies, and a pet rock called Stephen, whose purpose is to activate pressure plates. Limited equipment in the early stages of the game means that puzzles are easy to solve and the initial dungeons are straightforward. However, once you begin acquiring more items, the difficulty does ramp up. Figuring out which pieces of equipment are needed to solve a puzzle can be challenging, but I never found them difficult enough to cause frustration.

The six dungeons themselves offer nothing new in terms of gameplay. You traverse from room to room, dispatching enemies, solving puzzles and collecting keys to gain access to new areas. A boss battle ensues at the end of each dungeon; the bosses are excellent and well varied in terms of their design. My favourite encounter was definitely with Ol’ Martha, a possessed tumble dryer hellbent on defeating Tai by firing dirty laundry his way.

Reverie is somewhat on the short side with the main story easily finished within the six-hour mark. Thankfully, there are two main collectable types to gather – feathers and stamps. I appreciated these collectables, as they emphasised the joyful nature of the game and reminded me of the simple souvenirs a child would typically take home from a family holiday. Feathers are spread across the map, in a welcome mix of easy and challenging locations. The stamps act as in-game challenges that involve completing dungeons, acquiring new gear and accomplishing tasks for NPCs around the island.

Conclusion

Reverie: Sweet As Edition is a solid action adventure title that feels at home on the Nintendo Switch. Rainbite has paid loving homage to the games that inspire them while using tales and legends from their history to communicate a well-constructed story. Although at times too simple, Reverie hits its stride in the latter half of the game once the majority of Tai’s equipment has been unlocked and the player feels some achievement in solving challenging puzzles. With an abundance of open world and ‘games as a service’ titles, Reverie is a sweet breath of fresh air and can quickly be completed over a relaxing weekend.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Reverie: Sweet As Edition from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Reverie-Sweet-As-Edition-1506020.html#Overview

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