Have you ever had buyer’s remorse remorse? No that’s not an accidental double up, it is what I am calling my journey with Neoverse.
Initially, I was offered the game from one of my PR contacts and thought it was something else entirely. Don’t ask me what, as I cannot for the life of me remember. Anyway, I got the code, added it to Steam and then immediately had a bit of remorse when I saw the art.
Urgh, it looks like a bit of a fan-service game, with scantily clad women for no other reason than “Hey look, sexy ladies! We got your sexy ladies here!” We’re not talking Monster Monpiece or Criminal Girls here, but enough that I was worried I’d got a game that was aimed at a particular market.
So in a go with some trepidation knowing I have agreed to cover the game and this I should follow through. I set my bar low and put the remorse to the side. Within minutes I was hit by remorse… for having buyers remorse in the first place.
First things first, there design and visuals of the game and the characters are nowhere near as bad as I had initially feared and isn’t very fan-service at all. It all made sense within the world of the game and despite threatening to make the female protagonists objectified sex symbols, Neoverse manages to reign things in.
Honestly, some more consideration with the sort of armour they would wear would have been better, but baby steps and all that. I won’t praise the devs for design choices here, but I won’t vilify them for it either.
It was the gameplay that shocked me the most. Neoverse is clearly influenced by the likes of Slay The Spire, but instead of just being a reskin of that game, it takes the core mechanics and builds around them in interesting ways.
My absolute favourite thing it does is the combo system. There in an RNG to factor in with this, but it can allow you to make the most of poor draws, or really do some damage with the better ones.
Cards are colour coded, for example, red for attack, blue for defence, etc. Every new turn you are given a combo visual that shows an order you can play cards to earn a boost. For example, if you match the combo of blue, blue, yellow, red, blue. Your next attack will have double damage.
It isn’t the same each turn either, as one turn you might need to match the combo pattern for three cards, another for six cards. It adds in a layer of strategy which can have a massive effect on any given battle.
It makes the choices for which cards to pick up and ditch all that more important too. Whilst you may not want a certain sort of card, it is worth the consideration of keeping it for combo purposes. Yet the combo part isn’t that integral, that you should be basing your entire game around it.
In fact, that is something Neoverse does really well. There is no one single element that dominates the game and thus has balanced many play-styles. Of my various runs, I found plenty of variation and was happy to experiment.
Neoverse isn’t as deep as a Slay the Spire, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Despite following the same sort of mechanic where you get a randomly generated path through the game and you choose how to get through, it feels a lot more casual and accessible. Which is not a bad thing at all. I found myself popping back in for quick plays and just being able to pick up where I left off.
Even now at the time of writing, I feel there is much more to uncover within the game. The multiverse based story is intriguing enough, but can easily also be ignored should you only want to play the game for the gameplay itself. But it does a great job of wrapping everything up into a coherent package.
Each character you play as feel different, the enemies have a ton of variety and each run also feel varied. The game claims that everything you do has an effect on the journey and you know what. I think they may be right. I am yet to find a catch-all strategy and that is really refreshing.
So for me, Neoverse is the perfect showcase of not judging a book by its cover. Whilst it is unlikely to get the attention of other games within the genre, it is certainly worth a look. I for one am super happy I took a chance on it in the end.