2D brawler ‘Never Gone’ iOS review

never gone

In a world where demons, vampires and humans all co-exist and is involved in a never-ending war, you are tasked to bringing balance by wreaking havoc across the lands. NeverGone, by Hippie Game, brings back the old-school 2D side-scrolling brawler in a game inspired by Devil May Cry. A simple game turns into an innovative quest where you defeat wave after wave of demons while gathering materials for weapons and gear along the way.

For starters, NeverGone is beautiful. Each character comes to life with amazing anime style artwork. The characters are placed on top of rich backdrops that add to the gothic-style world. It is designed to be simple with button-mashing tactics. By linking attacks and increasing combos, you can unleash devastating attacks and even special attacks that bring an onslaught of damage. With its simplistic controls, combos are made easy to achieve. In true 2D-style action, enemies can maneuver up or down from your attacks, leaving you open. This brings a level of challenge that hasn’t been seen for ages in 2D-style brawlers.

Photo Jul 13, 9 38 53 PM

You start off choosing a character that has been sealed away. You play as either Blood Knight Dawn or Dark Sister Higgs. Both are equipped with their own fighting style as well as weapons and gear to gather. Each level is designed to be quick and challenging at the same time. By completing each level, you are scored on several factors like time spent and damage/combos done. The higher the score, the better chance at getting better gear. The downside to this is NeverGone becomes a grind for gear as you progress each stage. You can find new weapons, but at times I found myself going back a stage or two to complete materials needed for a weapon to make. Since each level gives you a potential of loot to be found, you’ll play the same levels over and over for that one last item needed to gear up.

This doesn’t hurt the game as much though since clearing out wave after wave of enemies is fun and amazing, especially with the game’s visuals. Each level just gets harder and harder, giving you a reason to be strategic rather than smashing buttons. A block/dodge and jump buttons give you an edge when attacking enemies, attacking from several angles while dodging incoming attacks. Dodging attacks can be your downfall, as too many maneuvers, and you leave yourself open due to low stamina and the inability to block or dodge. Many enemies have ranged attacks that need to be blocked or dodged, which then leads to a counterattack with devastating results. Linking combos is the key to success as it prevents yourself from being overwhelmed. Plus the added damage is enough to get through even the toughest bosses. Don’t expect the fight to get easier as you gear up though. With the potential of crafting hundreds of weapons and skills, sometimes the battle depends on the precise gear and skill set to achieve success

Final Reaction

Using the in-game recorder, I recorded a quick brawl with a group of enemies. What looked like a sure defeat, I was able to turn it around with strategic dodging and swift attacks. The challenge is clearly notable, even in the early stages, but this separates NeverGone from other 2D-style fighting games with strategic attacks and combo links to succeed. Coupled with the anime-style artwork and rich backgrounds, NeverGone is true retro gaming to the next level. It’s definitely a wild ride that can be hindered a bit by the grind, but taking that path for gear is worth the battle as each wave of demons crumble by your blade.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

You can download NeverGone at the iOS App Store for $0.99.

never gone higgs

The game was reviewed using a digital copy provided by the publisher.

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