Fishing for Fantasy
Big Fish Games has reeled a fantasy mash-up onto the Android gaming scene with EverMerge. You play as Sleeping Beauty, with the difference that this Sleeping Beauty totally embraces her slothdom. Wrapped up in her bathrobe and clutching her coffee mug, your character is a Disney princess with a penchant for baking. Unfortunately, the idea of taking characters from classic fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty or Puss in Boots is overdone. The TV show Once Upon a Time already proved that.
The point of the game is to lift a cursed fog from the fairy world you inhabit. In order to do this, you combine items in order to create combos and “super combos.” These bundles of identical objects, such as logs or candy, can be joined to create cabins, candy trees, and so forth. They also serve to rack up coins and points that you can spend on carpentry, baking, or cutting down trees. Once you have enough coins and points, you can move on to the next section of cursed fog. The idea is that by covering enough ground and earning enough points, you can lift the cursed fog from your magical realm.
EverMerge doesn’t exactly try to set itself apart. It looks like the standard for low-tier games. It’s shockingly colorful, repetitive, and the level-ups are near automatic. The flow of the game is so annoyingly hypnotizing that it’s easy to forget your mission: clearing patches of fog so that you can collect points and supplies, as well as free your realm. You get the vague feeling that this fantasy world is somehow loosely connected to Candy Crush Saga, given the sheer amount of candy that appears in so many of the boxes lining the rows of each fog patch you explore.
Creative Copy and Super Combos
Surprisingly, the main upside to reviewing EverMerge was reading the dialogue between Sleeping Beauty and her two carpenter dwarves. The back and forth is witty enough that it can get a wry chuckle out of you. There’s Sleeping Beauty’s coping mechanism of dealing with her sleeping curse by drinking coffee. Or her observations that Puss in Boots has an unhealthy addiction to shoe. They’re all iconic features of fairy tale characters that most people never question.
This, and the fact that you can mindlessly make super combos—such as combining five logs into a bundle of wood, bundles of logs into houses, and groups of small houses into bigger homes—can keep you playing the game for longer than you thought you would. Once you snap out of your reverie, you become disgusted at your need for instant gratification.
Nighttime Notifications and In-App Purchases
Unfortunately, like any sub-par game, EverMerge comes with in-app purchases. It doesn’t actually prevent you from playing at a steady pace, although you can spend money on the game if you choose to. Honestly, it’s games like these that seem a bit out of touch with the general gaming audience. When I think of EverMerge, I picture my grandma playing solitaire as if it was just released last month. It’s a game that doesn’t ask for anything but your time. If you like dull games like these, then you might actually even spend a dollar or two on it. There’s just something about it that, while familiar, seems so out of place. With so many great games to play, I can’t imagine why anyone would willingly spend their time on this one.
Not only that, but you’ll quickly realize that you’ll need to silence the nighttime notifications on your phone. That’s because the game will try to coax you into buying nonsense props at one in the morning. While EverMerge delivers exactly what it promises, its lack of originality in game play and design sends it straight to the Junk Pantheon.
Is it Hardcore?
EverMerge is the digital version of that bland pudding you never liked. It’s got no pizzazz and zero personal touches aside from the dialogue.