Edited by: Tiffany Lillie
Swords & Souls: Neverseen is an RPG developed by SoulGame Studio and published by Armor Games Studios. As opposed to most RPGs where you grow stronger only through battling, you take the reins here for your character’s development through a training camp. How quickly you level depends solely on your skill in relevant mini-games. For training archery, you use a bow on targets — stationary at first, but once you rank up they're mixed with moving targets. Each of your core stats (defense, melee, and so on) you train this way; and each increases in challenge upon ranking up.
The grind might border on tedium, for the enemies you encounter outside of the town grow noticeably stronger from one area to the next and the most effective way of combating this is constant training. At times, you might feel as though you’re playing an idle clicker game (the similarities lie in how the grind is felt). But, unlike the typical clicker, your path to improvement is far more active and engaging. You can’t simply idle a stat-training task and expect to become overpowered in due time. Further, you may upgrade the training grounds to yield higher increases to any stat, shaving off some of the grind. There’s also a house you may build, providing a boost to your XP gain with each section built. The costs to make these improvements, not unlike most other ones you may make within this release, quickly increases.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE IN FIGHTS.
After certain battles outside of town, you may recruit the foe you’ve just beaten. Each time you recruit someone, the price increases next time, but so does the recruit’s power in the form of stronger moves. You may also tame certain enemies and equip them as pets. They aren’t the most durable companions during a fight, but the extra damage output is useful, and they grow stronger by battling and leveling. Combat also provides your character with XP, which, upon leveling up, grants you points to place in your various stats — but this method of getting stronger is far slower than just using the training camp.
What else assists you in your fights are skills and equipment. Every so often you acquire skill points to increase the effectiveness or power of some skill. These are divided by the stats they deal with (e.g. agility has a different tree than soulcery or defense). Ranking up a stat offers new abilities into which you may invest these points and also permits you to invest in them further. Some abilities require a stat to be of a certain rank before you can level it up further. Focusing a good deal of your time on training, then, lessens the likelihood that you won’t be able to clear an area. The active skills are what offer depth to the combat. Your active skills (including your bow charges) and ability to dodge and block are limited by cooldowns. Waste too many too soon and you might find your health quickly diminishing at the final stage of an area against a boss with no way to stun it or block its attacks.
WEAPONS AND ARMOR.
The equipment system is quite straightforward: at the town’s blacksmith, you may upgrade your melee and ranged weaponry. For melee weapons, there are several types; since you don’t have to buy them individually but as a set, swapping out a weapon you happen to dislike for something else won’t cost. For armor, you find these out in the world map. Each time you clear an area, a chest drops, within which you might find something better than what you have equipped now.
At particular milestones, other facilities within the town open, or you might stumble across a fishing pond. These feel like the most rewarding aspects. Fishing doesn’t feel too rewarding, but it does seem to factor into your portion of the museum’s daily income, which is your main source of money. The museum also hosts books you’ve acquired along the way, trophies you’ve earned, lost kids you’ve found, and more. On occasion, it’s just nice to take a moment away from the grind to look at your overall progress — and the progress found in the museum is rather comprehensive.
The Verdict: Great
While the grind of training might seem tedious, it avoids that fate by being engaging. The combat itself has enough depth, and the equipment system, despite how straightforward it is, features enough items to not be simplistic. Fans of RPGs looking for something that mixes things up to play every now and then — or to spend who knows how much time just training — can’t go wrong with Swords & Souls: Neverseen.