At first glance, Reverie: Sweet As Edition has the distinct look of Super Nintendo classics from days past. Aesthetically, it looks like Startropics and The Legend of Zelda had an indie lovechild and named Earthbound the godparent. It was developed by the small team at Rainbite, a group of only three core developers. The “Sweet As Edition” of Reverie contained a few updates for the Nintendo Switch version: A Nightmare Difficulty, a new minigame, an updated quick select item wheel, and the Stamp System (which is an in-game trophy system equivalent).
The setting is a fictional place in New Zealand, Toromi Island. According to legend, the entire island was fished up by one of four fishermen in the middle of the night. Because of the other’s jealousy of his accomplishment, they threw him overboard. As the betrayed man drowned, his spirit cursed them, causing a storm which shipwrecked them on Toromi; eventually claiming their lives. It is said that to this day all of the fishermen’s spirits cause disruptions and strife over the entire Island. This story is told to the player’s character, Tai, as he arrives to spend the week with his family on the legendary island of Toromi.
Gameplay is tight and responsive. Reverie plays like a Zelda title, with a few modern enhancements. Slashing with your cricket bat and rolling to quickly dash past enemy attacks are your main combat options. The range of the bat is limited, forcing dangerously close combat with enemies. Equipment that enhances your puzzle solving, combat, and traversal options are found as you make your way through the game’s six dungeons. A dart gun gives a ranged option with limited ammo, a yoyo helps stun enemies, and a snorkel gives access to waterways all over and around the island. The in-game map clearly marks the destination of the next main dungeon maintains a great pace throughout the 4 to 5 hour adventure.
There are a lot of positives to say about Reverie. The environments are varied and interesting; Toromi’s small landmass had lots to see and many inhabitants had amusing things to say. The main dungeons were challenging and offered clever puzzles, although they had fairly standard boss encounters at the end of each. Tai is tasked with finding feathers around the island for a scrap book; finding them encourages and rewards exploration, great fun and entirely optional. Reverie’s length is perfect for what it offers. Too often games feel padded with unnecessary backtracking, gathering, or lengthy combat arenas. This title has none of these dreaded mechanisms.
I was left with a few complaints after finishing the adventure, however. The yo-yo, which can be used to flick switches, is unable to pick up health powerups or coins. The cricket bat’s attack can pick them up just fine, which added to my confusion. Speaking of coins, they are only used to buy health items, dart ammo, and to play one arcade minigame. I understand that games of this genre often have some sort of currency, but I found myself with a full wallet of useless coins for most of the game.
While there isn’t much to complain about, Reverie: Sweet As Edition doesn’t hit the highest of highs while avoiding all the lowest of lows. The slick 1 to 2 second loading screens keep you adventuring and smashing foes with the cricket bat, as the map keeps you on task and headed toward your next dungeon delving challenge.