Finally, the wildly popular space-shooter roguelike Everspace has made its way to the Nintendo Switch! Originally released in May 2017, Everspace is a beautifully minimalistic roguelike adventure game. Produced and developed by veteran indie developer ROCKFISH Games, Everspace utilizes the Unreal Engine 4 and has snagged many awards since its initial release. It was released for the Nintendo Switch late last year, and we have eagerly waiting to get our hands on it ever since. I can’t wait to see how this port fairs on the Switch, so let’s get right to it!
To anyone with working retinas, there is no question that Everspace is a visually appealing title. The deep-space environment paired with the stunning contrast of background imagery and blistering space battles combine for wonderfully immersive gameplay. Even on the Switch, which has received plenty of criticism for its processing limitations and consequently the quality of its games and ports, this game looks and plays magnificently.
Looks aside, let’s dig in to the meat of the game. To be honest, the story is easily forgotten in the quest for progress, at least in the early stages. Players will be far too fixated on how to push further and survive longer to worry about why they are in space to begin with. Such is often the nature of rogue-likes, as they inherently draw attention away from other elements of the game with this core game style, so Everspace can certainly not draw critique for continuing the trend.
While actually playing the game, I found the controls very difficult to master. No matter how I set the controls, I seemed to have trouble maneuvering in at least one axis. While I am willing to accept the blame for this, it is certainly something to be aware of if you yourself are not familiar with flying controls. The learning curve can be brutal. And the enemy ships offer no mercy for your inexperience. I can attribute many of my deaths to poor movement in the face of enemy combatants.
Like most rogue-likes, you earn credits during each of your runs which you can then spend on upgrades once you die (and die you will). The upgrade system is comprehensive and satisfying, with one slight exception. All unspent credits disappear once you begin your next run. That’s right. No more saving up between a bunch of playthroughs to unlock an expensive upgrade (like a new ship, perhaps?). You are made to push further and unlock credit boosting upgrades to continue making progress. The one olive branch extended to you is that some upgrades are available in stages. For example, if an upgrade cost 1,800 credits, you would be able to make 4 contributions of 300,400,500 and 600 to unlock it.This system seems unnecessarily complicated, and is the singular disappointment offered by this title.
Overall, Everspace is a joy to play, and is one of the smartest ports to the Switch to date. Its pick-up-and-go style fits perfectly for the Switch, offering either a few minutes of distraction while on the go or hours of entertainment while winding down at home. If you are looking for a game that can be casually picked up to fill your downtime, look no further than Everspace. If, however, you’re looking for a deeply story-driven adventure experience, you may want to consider taking a pass.