|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: The Games Company||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: DreamCatcher Interactive / The Adventure Company||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 07, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The point-and-click controls work as they should. Fortunately, you wont have to do much pixel hunting, thanks to a few hotkeys that allow you to highlight all the hotspots in a given area or just the important ones you can directly interact with. The games most interesting mechanic transitioning between day and night at whim serves as the foundation for much of the games puzzle solving. Youll often have to flit back and forth to hunt for clues and interview folks to figure out how to proceed. It provides an entertaining contrast between personalities of various characters when theyre acting normal or in the throes of the curse. To keep from getting hopelessly stuck, youll have to rely on conversations with the sarcastic Fiona who serves as the in-game hint system. Unfortunately, her consultation is sometimes mandatory in order to proceed in certain puzzles.
While the characters leave something to be desired, the town of Tallen contains some pleasantly detailed scenery to behold. The different areas of the village and beyond are easy to navigate and offer a solid variety of locations to explore. The fantasy vibe works well here, and the environments are generally visually stimulating and crisp. Transitioning between day and night offers some amusing surprises in terms of story and visuals. Characters, on the other hand, are stiffly animated and awkward at times. Also, most of the generic cast falls into one of many all-too-familiar archetypes. In most cases, their designs arent too shabby. Still, there are a few characters that would benefit from some additional visual work. They tend to drag the overall graphical experience down slightly, due to their datedness.
A playful, thematic musical score adds a whimsical layer to the adventure, which helps to properly establish the fantasy element pervading the game. The voice acting is rather good, but youll often find what characters are saying to be horribly uninteresting at best. Dialogue often runs on for way too long without anything particularly substantive being said. Sadly, its best to turn on the subtitles, read ahead of the conversation, and skip through as quickly as possible. The occasionally bawdy humor mixed into dialogue tends to lean more heavily towards an attempt at shock value rather than real wit, and it will likely be a bit much for some players. The games few funny moments tend to come in the form of unexpected weirdness. It was difficult to suppress a brief chuckle at one citizen (upstanding by day) who turned into a sword wielding maniac roaming the town square at night uttering phrases like must kill. The previously mentioned granny incident was more unsettling than funny, but some will enjoy the unusual antics found throughout the game.
It seems Everlight struggles to break free from the generic mold it was cast in. It does so with limited success and manages to deliver some admittedly good gaming moments in the process. The games quirkier content scattered will be a turnoff to some players, but it does keep things from getting too boring and will possibly appeal to the teen audience its geared toward. There are certainly better fantasy adventure titles to be had, but Everlight has enough going for it to make it worth a try.
CCC Staff Contributor