A cute and colorful adventure that is charming and entertaining, but puzzles are far too easy and the story only gets interesting at the climax.
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Somber Pixel
Publisher: Somber Pixel
Release date: 8 Oct, 2021
Night Reverie is an adventure puzzle game with exploration, and dialogue exchanges between larger-than-life characters.
Matt and Emma are close siblings and do everything together. Their favorite game is called The Night Explorer where they hide objects around the house and pretend to solve mysteries.
Emma has been sad lately and Matt is worried about her. Whilst partaking in his favorite hobby of stargazing, he notices a shooting star fly across the night sky. Being a caring and doting brother, he wishes that his sister would be happy.
Suddenly, something happens, and the house and its contents are different somehow. Things are the same but strangely twisted, and now the house is full of weird characters, and Emma is nowhere to be found!
Matt must find Emma by solving puzzles and performing quests for the new inhabitants of the house, and get to the bottom of Emma’s disappearance.
Matt walks around the house looking for his sister. Some rooms are locked, some are blocked by objects.
There are numerous characters introduced throughout his quest that will help Matt progress.
Almost certainly, they will ask for a favor in return for some information or an object you require.
Dialogue is always short and sweet with that familiar beeping noise simulating speech. Text can be speeded up and skipped so it can be read as quickly as you wish.
Any object can be inspected which will elicit a text response. Some objects can be picked up and placed in your inventory.
Once in your inventory, you can equip the item, combine the item with other objects, or examine it. Items must be equipped for you to use them on other objects.
Most of the puzzles are simple fetch quests, which in turn give you items you need to use on objects around the house, or give to other characters. There are some stand alone puzzles which are a bit more challenging.
You are aided by a strange and mysterious character called Sparky, who magically appeared after you wished on the star. Sparky cannot remember much, but will help you by offering advice and discussing puzzles with you. He will be your companion and confidant throughout the game.
If you are stuck and wondering what to do next, you can always pay a visit to your over sized family pet Mr Lucky, who will advise on quests and suggest things for you to do. He doesn’t offer detailed advice but he may nudge you in the right direction.
Visuals are very bright and colorful and have almost a neon glow about them. The characters are extremely cute and well-drawn, and environments are basic but have a charming outlook.
I absolutely adore the title track, and throughout the game there is an ambient tune playing with lots of reverb, which sounds mysterious and spooky.
The dialogue exchanges sound quite cute and special effect sounds are nice.
I did enjoy Night Reverie but it posed absolutely no challenge to me whatsoever as a puzzle game. Every time I received an item, I knew exactly what it was for and how to use it. In a way this is testament to the dialogue exchanges and character interaction, as it made it very clear what the issue was and how you would need to fix it. There are no elaborate solutions. As long as you investigate every item around the house you will know what needs to be done.
The simplicity extends into your inventory too. I think the most I had in my inventory at any one time was four objects, and most of them are for single use on objects you would expect. Occasionally, you need to combine objects but there was nothing complicated and always evident. Examining objects provided some more insight but never revealed anything extra that might be needed to solve a puzzle for example. It was a little pointless.
The vast majority of the puzzles were fetch quests and they all came in a logical and linear fashion. The house and surrounding gardens are quite compact, although it is possible to lose your way and a basic map would have been helpful. Now and again, there were some harder puzzles which did require a bit more thinking, but solutions were generally provided by environmental clues like notes or posters. Towards the end of the game there are a few stand-alone puzzles which do provide some challenge. These break the mold a little and have no clues. They’re more of a trial-and-error kind of puzzle and are much more difficult.
Characters are extremely charming and have all the cute features we find adorable. Dialogues between them don’t have much substance and are kept on a very light and casual basis. We don’t really get to know them personally and most of the chat is aimed at completing their fetch quests. There are some moments of tenderness and now and again the story moves in a sinister direction but it all gets washed over by the cute factor. Continuing in the cute and cuddly fashion, they all have pretty names like Blinky the rabbit or Sir Bernard Brown Abbot, but I thought Pancetta the Pig was a bit sick!
Examining everything you can touch is the key to success and will often reward you with story elements and clues as to what is happening with the distortion of the house. The story seemed quite obvious to me from quite an early stage, and in part I was right, but there were some nice added story elements towards the end that I wasn’t expecting that saved the story from too being predictable. I particularly enjoyed the dream sequences and flashbacks and there were some opportunities to examine objects that invoked memories and helped fill in the back story. The story is quite emotional and I’m glad it picked up considerably in the last third and proved to be worth the wait.
The game took me around six hours to complete which is good value for money.
Night Reverie is adorably cute and fluffy with some likeable characters and a wonderfully crafted soundtrack. It would certainly appeal more to a younger audience.
Even though the experience is charming and entertaining, the puzzles are far too easy and the story only gets interesting at the climax.
If you’re looking for a challenging puzzle game, I would give this one a miss, but if you want to be beguiled by a barrage of cuteness, and engage in a relaxing story, then I could recommend.