Ever Oasis: Zelda meets Animal Crossing meets a magical, addictive fun time
After obsessing with my Nintendo Switch since March 3rd, playing the amazing Zelda Breath of the Wild, hundreds of hours of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the clever, “just one more fight” Arms, Switch eshop gems like Snake Pass and Tumbleseed, the kind folks at Nintendo presented me with a review code for a Nintendo 3DS game called Ever Oasis. And boy am I so happy they did! Now understand, my 3DS has been a tad dusty, plugged into a charger, looking on in jealously at it’s new big baby brother Switch getting all the love. Don’t get me wrong, the 3DS is still a bit of a charmer for me: I carried it on my journey to E3 gaming Expo this year, still addicted to collecting street passes with my number one obsession being to collect all 366 birthdays (yes I got leap year!) in the uber-obsessive Street Pass birthday game (I am at 349/366 now, after several years playing this). My 3DS has also been anxiously awaiting the new Pikmin 2D platformer game coming end of July called Hey! Pikimin (which I will play to completion, 100%ing everything because, well, I am obsessive like that!) So with that back-story out of the way, I downloaded Ever Oasis onto my 3DS, clicked the start button and off I went! Ever Oasis is a magical journey that starts off in a bare-bones desert, where it slowly opens up like the most beautiful flower you have ever experienced. The initial pacing does a great job of teaching the dynamics of the game while presenting the player with a great story.
You start off with a plot of land, then, over time, you begin to populate this with whimsical characters, shops, homes, plants, trees, etc . Sound familiar? Perhaps because it sounds like one of the greatest Nintendo franchise ever created: Animal Crossing. Nothing wrong with that!
To populate the land with “New Residents”, you must do things to make them happy like finding materials or ingredients for them to make things like rubber balls or ice cream. To do this, you venture off into a Zelda-like 3D over-world where you battle well-designed creatures and solve mind-bending puzzles to find the prizes you need to make your residents happy. And by making them happy, this causes your Oasis to level up. Leveling up your Oasis is important, as you will need all the strong forces around you to conquer the Evil Chaos, a nasty villain is slowly taking over your beautiful Oasis.
The visual design and use of the 3D effect was very well implemented. The music and sound design was melodic, and catchy. If I were to nitpick I would say the games flow was broken at times when I was forced to leave a dungeon to change out characters I was using, in order to get past a certain point. Also, the layout of the 5 vast worlds could have use a little more cohesive flow to the map design.
That being said, as my Oasis grew, the addiction to keep playing, to conquer evil, grew stronger, bigger (as did the smile of my face). Just when you think the game is coming to an end, its keeps going on, getting more grandiose, a story and adventure you feel compelled to finish, eager to see what new dramatic change will take place to your ever-growing Ever Oasis! At over 40 hours of play, none of it filler, Ever Oasis is a must own game for anyone with a Nintendo 3DS! 9 out of 10: Fantastic!