The desert can be a dangerous place to live in and once chaos takes hold of its inhabitants things tend to become a little darker. If you ever find yourself in trouble or being pulled into the darkness, look into the light. The light that shines brightly from the Oasis, the Ever Oasis.
Ever Oasis puts players in the shoes of Tethu, a young seedling born in the desert. However unlike most seedlings Tethu possesses a seed within himself from the Great Tree. A seed gifted to him that will one day allow him to take up the mantle of Chief and give him the responsibility of forging an Oasis within the desert to protect all creatures and seedlings from the evil that is Chaos. It is said that Chaos once wrought havoc across the land, possessing creatures throughout the land turning them into monsters. Throughout this tyranny the seedlings suffered in terror until one seedling, the hero seedling rose up. Gifted with the special seed from the Great Tree this seedling teamed up with a water sprite and forced Chaos back by forging a safe haven of sorts for all creatures in the desert. This bravery has now since been passed down and it is now your turn brave seedling to create the haven known as Ever Oasis.
Creating and managing your Oasis
Immediately after beginning the game I noticed something that’s either going to bring you great joy or become a bane in this game’s existence and that is the management of the Oasis. The game runs on a day/night clock and upon becoming a Chief of your very own Oasis the player is tasked with a few chores on a daily basis when waking from slumber. The chores include dusting the roads (which you actually use a special skill known as Green Gale to do this, Green Gale you see is like a mini tornado used to sweep away piles of sand spread across roads or in dungeons) and picking fruit from trees which is then used to stock up the shops in the Oasis. These of course are the daily chores and thankfully this only has to be done once a day. Although some of these chores can become repetitive there are full length quests within the game that make this worth while. One of these quests involve travelling across the desert and helping creatures in need. The people you help will return to your Oasis and help build a thriving and successful village filled with profitable shops. Of course as Chief this means you are also tasked with restocking these shops.
When leaving the safety of the Oasis it is comfortable to know that as chief you have access to gear and weapons to defend yourself and any seedlings or other species in need. The game does not run short of monsters and enemies and every corner of the desert, dungeons and caves are filled with them. Each enemy of course has its own attack style as well as level which can be seen once an encounter takes place. You’d expect a turn based battle system however this is not the case and put simply the hack and slash battle style works perfectly. The protagonist is equipped with one weapon and a variety of gear such as bracelets and rings to perform fast paced striking lunges and slashes. The roll and dodge mechanic is also a great tool to use during battles as it allows players to strike quickly then dodge incoming attacks. The boss battles are just as much fun if not more with larger enemies, stronger attacks and patterns, you’ll have to be strategic before lunging in. The best part is that villagers met along the way that you’ve helped will be right by your side assisting you with their own special abilities and weapons to take on these bosses and enemies.
There is power in numbers
Players can tug along two other characters with them during the quests and also swap between the characters at any time. Of course when you’re not inspiriting a character they will act on their own, providing support during a confrontation. Ever Oasis is filled with plenty of quests and missions and I often found myself straying at times from the main story quest to just explore areas. The game is also filled with puzzles as well although not difficult to complete they can be quite a bit of fun. However some of these puzzles can only be completed once you’ve acquired a certain skill or brought along a villager that obtains these specific skills. This gives many areas in the game re-play ability.
All in all Ever Oasis is charming with an enchanting soundtrack, haunting and touching story and topped to the brim with things to do. The chibi art style also brought great pleasure to me whilst playing the game and since I do enjoy games that allow you to manage not only your characters stats but also your surroundings (in this case the Oasis) this game was an excellent combination of both. My only gripe is the fact that every time I needed to change gear, weapons or one of my villagers that tagged along with me for certain skills, I could only do so back in the Oasis. However the game does allow teleportation quite early on in the game so players don’t have to trek all the way back through dungeons and then through the desert to get back into the Oasis. It’s no easy task being an explorer, warrior and chief of a village but in Ever Oasis Tethu has managed to pull that off quite well.