If you’re into videogames, fantasy books, or role-playing, then you’ve already met the heroes who populate such fare: the chiseled warrior, the wise old mage, the sleek elf archer, and so on. Chances are you’re more familiar with these battle-scarred men and women than you are with your own mom and dad.
But for every climb up to heroism, there’s a long, long slide down the other side. Evertales for iOS is an action-platforming game that stars three Tolkien-style heroes who are, er, long past their prime. They may be a bit doughy, and they may have to stop and use the privy every hour, but they can still bust open some goblins’ heads.
Don’t look into his hellfire eyes!
Evertales is primarily a side-scrolling hack-’n-slash title with some light platforming thrown in to boot. You command three traditional fantasy warriors: a washed-up knight with an ale belly, a mage on the border of senility, and an elf rogue who’d rather make it with the ladies than fight dragons. You can switch out fighters on the fly to fight enemies and navigate the tricky terrain. Beware, though, as they all share the same health bar.
At times, it will be necessary to switch out your fighters, as each one has different strengths and weaknesses. The knight, Sir Jorgan, still has a few good swipes left in his sword, and his power comes in handy for taking down bosses. The elf, Arwick, can move quickly, fire a long-range bow, and double-jump. The mage, Taragorn, is weak-bodied and will buckle under an enemy attack, but he can float down long falls.
Please, Jorgin, don’t hurt ‘em.
Balancing between the three heroes (and deciding how you should spend your limited coinage to upgrade their equipment) brings an element of challenge to Evertales, which is otherwise a basic platforming game with some very pretty graphics and animation. That’s not to say the straightforward gameplay in Evertales is a bad thing. Even though you visit familiar places (taverns, haunted forests, roiling seas brimming with sea dragons and zombie pirates) and fight familiar enemies (mutant rats, giant spiders, golems, cheesed-off dwarves), the game is solid and fun to play. The controls are also tight, which is never a guarantee in an iOS game, so it’s nice to see an action title that tries to keep your frustrations to a minimum.
Evertales could have benefit from a little experimentation, though. It features a cast of unlikely heroes that poke fun at fantasy tropes, but although they all stop to insult themselves on occasion, the game’s sense of humor never feels fully realized.
But a soggy sense of humor is forgivable, whereas a boring game or awful controls would be a travesty. Evertales isn’t the most imaginative game on the App Store, but it’s definitely one of the prettiest, and it’ll give you a decent platforming fix.