[Pre Review Note: The developers of Nevermind would like everyone to know that the Xbox One version does not support certain aspects the game. If you’d like to learn more, you can check they’re site here: http://nevermindgame.com/tech/ Hope this helps.]
It doesn’t take a lot of time within Nevermind to realize that it is going to attempt to mess with your mind. Exploring other people’s memories seems like a breeding ground for moments of mind mush. I will admit that some parts of the game had me scratching my head and wondering if I was sure I knew exactly what was going on. With that said, Nevermind would like to have players believe it is a horror game. As much as I would love to say I found myself terrified to explore the deeper recesses of my clients’ minds. Luckily for Nevermind, the very concept of entering other people’s minds with a healing intent is fairly unique and interesting.
To add to this uniqueness, the game gives the player their own office as a new Neuroprober (repressed memories spelunker) that can explore other people’s minds. The thing I can’t get over is how my name was actually appearing on the control panel and in thank you notes from past clients. These clients are all different, so each ‘level’ is wholly unique from each other level. This diversity makes it so that each client’s memories have a different aesthetic with completely new surroundings. To top this all off, the game’s music does a fine job of setting the mood in each area regardless of whether players are simply walking through a nice house or trying to find your way through a dark and foreboding forest.
No matter the mood, players will find themselves walking an awful lot in Nevermind. In fact, there isn’t much more to do since manipulating objects and solving puzzles is truly the only action the player will see. Several of these puzzles are simple enough and don’t require players to try all that hard. On the other hand, there are also a handful of sections that were so vague and confusing that I simply walked around interacting with everything until I figured it out. Doing these puzzles and exploring the memories is good and all, but they seem to come at a rather large cost. This may not bother some people, but the player character walks at a snail’s pace and cannot be told to run in any fashion. For me, this is unforgivable when there are large areas to walk around.
I suppose the developers considered this walk speed to be acceptable since the game is a little on the short side. There’s a single introductory simulation followed by four separate clients that each have their own issues to work through. Each one of these clients have deep-rooted problems that must be worked through in order to help them. My only concern with these clients is that each one’s problems are actually rather cliché. While this allows a wider audience to personally connect with one client or another, it means that players looking for a truly deep narrative will be left wanting. Outside of the clients themselves, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of overarching story involving the player character. This is truly a shame since the game seems to stop abruptly once the final client has been helped.
There is a separate mode where players can revisit the previous clients’ memories in order to find deeper details. While I did play this mode for a bit, I didn’t linger too long as I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I’ll be revisiting this later on but I nearly didn’t notice it since it doesn’t seem like it’s part of the main game at all. Other than this mode, there are two separate spas the player can visit in order to relax and just enjoy the environment. These spas are cute and all, but they don’t seem like they will keep many players busy for long. There is also the Reliquary, which is simply an endless hallway that houses several pedestals with developers names and fears on them. This area is interesting, but ultimately pointless to revisit once a player has explored it once. Finally, there is my favorite simulation simply called TableSim. This simulation allows players to spend as much time as they’d like flipping tables covered in items just because they can. This is actually far more fun than it sounds and kept me busy for quite a while.
Nevermind most definitely hosts an interesting concept and has a lot of potential. With that said, the actual game we have now feels incomplete simply because the player character has virtually no personality or story of their own. I understand that the game is meant to be more about the clients and all, but that sentiment cannot make up for the lack of feeling of accomplishment once the game has been all wrapped up. Besides the story, the game’s more bizarre puzzles may keep some players away since they must be completed in order to progress. Above all else, I must stress that if it’s a scary horror game that you’re looking for, you may want to look elsewhere as Nevermind plays it safe when it should be pushing limits further. If I had to give one core reason to try out Nevermind, I would simply say that its unique concept makes its problems bearable. Diving into others’ memories does allow for some truly bizarre areas.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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