Before I begin writing about this game, let me give you fair warning that there will be spoilers and even knowing anything about this game will ruin the experience somewhat.
Providing you’ve finished Eversion or just don’t care, let’s move on.
Eversion is an indie, freeware game designed by Guilherme S. Tows of Zaratustra Productions back in 2008. It was recently re-released in high definition on Steam with achievements (and ones that aren’t actually tedious for once) and a 3rd ending.
But fuck that, I’m dirt cheap and I’m reviewing the freeware version.
You play as Zee Tee, a flowery creature trying to rescue a kidnapped princess named Nehema.
The controls are simple. You press Z or up to jump, use left or right to move in the aforementioned directions, and then comes the special part of the game, X, the ‘evert’ button. At certain locations in the game you can press evert to change from one ‘layer’ of the game to another, which can help you collect gems or advance forwards.
To give an example, look at the image above. Those clouds aren’t solid, but at a certain part in the level, you can evert, which will cause the clouds to become solid, making your gem-collecting much easier.
It seems like a nice, whimsical game. For the first 3 or so levels, anyway. That’s when you realize this isn’t just any typical platformer.
This is a horror platformer.
How does that work?
Let’s just look at what you eventually evert into. The layers get subtly more and more warped and distorted, until eventually you end up going from a nice, happy layer like this:
Where even touching an enemy (or indeed, a plant) will make Zee Tee explode into bloody chunks. Seriously.
Eventually you even get to see outright horrors such as this:
Lovecraft is quoted at the start of Eversion for a reason. The game gets darker and darker as you go along, with you being chased by a wall of darkness, being grasped at by red, bloody hands, and eventually even making your score go all over the place and rocks coming to life to attack you. Sometimes even the usual “Start!” message for a level will creep you out by saying something different, such as “Behind you”, “Mother”, and “I see you.”
I would encourage everyone at this point to give the game a try. It takes up to an hour at most (and that’s being incredibly generous) and it’s quite fun. My only gripe with it is that your hitbox seems a little strange and the jumps can be incredibly awkward.
But hey, you get to see what a horror platformer is at long last, right? Pleasant dreams.
Incidentally, you can download the game for free at http://zarat.us/tra/offline-games/eversion.html