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CONSOLE: Nintendo Switch DEVELOPER: Hit-Point Co., Ltd. PUBLISHER: Kemco
RELEASE DATE (NA): August 22, 2019 GENRE: Role-Playing Game
// review by SoyBomb

Everlazy Kemco.

There are those of us who believe in protecting our planet. We must keep our rivers as clean and pristine as they were when they were first formed, we must maintain our rainforests from devastating deforestation, and we must ensure that we don't overindulge ourselves and strip the Earth of its limited resources. We focus more on renewable energy, we do our best not to litter, and we recycle our goods so that they can be reused for future purposes without further need to waste resources.

Kemco is committed to the cause, and they're doing their best by recycling as much as they can get away with.

Welcome to Everdark Tower, the second of Kemco's new "pocket-sized RPG" series, where no time is wasted dealing with extensive plotlines or needless hours of grinding your characters. No, these RPGs are intended to be completed quickly, in about five hours or so, which explains their attractively low prices. For whatever reason, they are being ported over to the Switch, the first being the average-but-not-unenjoyable Archlion Saga. That game involved a large-scale battle between the Archlion King and the Serpent, and you as the hero bore part of the Archlion crest. As the game progressed, you traveled the world, meeting fellow crest-holders to join forces and finally defeat the mighty Serpent. Numerous landscapes and towns stood in your path, but the hero overcame adversity and

Everdark Tower isn't so grandiose. You saw a young girl in a dream who beckoned for you; automatically believing her, you sailed to see her in the Everdark Tower. Meanwhile, it's "everdark": morning isn't coming for anyone. You meet a couple of other characters who join you in visiting the tower, and then you go up the tower, find her, and discover that a weird dragon has been eating time, or something of that nature. The story's with the blandness of tofu, the grand focus being the grinding elements of this already short game.

Throwing in the tower.

And grind you will, for that's pretty much what this game is. I maxed out all my characters to Level 99 with relatively little effort in just a few short hours, although as far as battles go, Everdark Tower is the more difficult of the pocket RPGs (save for the final boss), because regular battles just seem constantly overpowering with every new chapter, forcing you to lean heavily on herbs for survival...after EVERY battle. Only after grinding for 15-20 levels (which sounds like a lot but, being the pocket RPG that it is, doesn't take as long as you might anticipate) do you feel any sense of empowerment. Finding weapons and armor in treasure chests also gives characters a much-needed boost.

My biggest concern is exactly that. This game IS grinding, with a few extremely brief boss battles to separate them. You won't be doing much else, or even SEEING much else, as so much of the game takes place in the titular tower itself. Don't expect any of the floors to look different, either. That would be asking too much! It just shows how little effort was put into the game, instead cranked out on an assembly line. What stood out the most was that not only is the battle HUD and system completely recycled, so is the battle music and victory music as well! They couldn't even be bothered to write a new jingle, goodness sake. I wouldn't be surprised if other music was re-used from Archlion Saga as well. They also failed to put any effort into making the exploration little more than walking forward; there are a few puzzles in the tower to solve, but they're so simplistic and barren, they barely qualify as "puzzles" as much as they are "exercises in walking forward".

Oh, and the game crashed during the ending. The quality control personnel must have been too busy chasing cars and gnawing on bones to care.

Everdark Tower isn't a terrible game, but it is a very hollow experience. Whereas Archlion Saga took us on a journey and showed us quite a lot of variety and even some character development, Everdark Tower takes the opposite route and just tells us to move forward without motivation or much variety. It's a slog of an RPG, but at least it's a relatively short slog. It will take about 4-5 hours to complete, but those hours would be better served playing something else.

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