Apr 18, 2011A must-play for any video game aficionado. The Neverhood is an amazingly original and creative point-and-click puzzle/adventure game. Beautiful graphics, story, sound and music. Although probably too bizarre for mainstream gamers, those that were lucky enough to stumble upon this gem have enjoyed a truly unique gaming experience. For anyone who is looking for something off the beatenA must-play for any video game aficionado. The Neverhood is an amazingly original and creative point-and-click puzzle/adventure game. Beautiful graphics, story, sound and music. Although probably too bizarre for mainstream gamers, those that were lucky enough to stumble upon this gem have enjoyed a truly unique gaming experience. For anyone who is looking for something off the beaten path, The Neverhood is your game.… Expand
Oct 27, 2015This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Neverhood is a “point and click” game with no inventory or dialogue, made with clay animation and original soundtrack.
First of all, if you plan on playing this wonderful work of interactive art, stop reading now. Take a day to play until the end, and then read this review.
The game starts when you wake up with no clue about his past: you do not know who you are, where you are and why you’re here. You are in an inhabited world, but cannot find other people, only messages of someone named Willie. From these messages, you find your own name, Klayman, and some tips on what to do.
Throughout the game you explore this world, looking for information, but you need to solve some challenges, which are usually memory games.
Early on you have a puzzle related to the letter “H”, which is the first letter of Hoborg, to have access to a terminal where you can watch the disc messages that you have already found. They are recordings of Willie, a being who looks very silly but has awesome things to say, like: “These discs are all that’s left of the true story, (…) once you know this truth, you will know what to do ”.
After finding all the discs, you’ll know that Hoborg created this world, and that his intention with this was benign. The first being that he created was Klogg. But Klogg envied Hoborg’s crown, the only thing he could not have. Klogg stole the crown, declaring himself ruler of the world, and thus becoming evil, and making Hoborg go into an eternal sleep. Klogg then transformed the world, dividing it into two parts that must be reunited by Klayman before the end of the game. The last part talks about his own birth. Klayman was created from the last seed that was in Hoborg’s hand. So when Willie speaks of “truth”, he is referring to the knowledge about the past, from the creation of the world to your own origin, passing through the “fall”.
Note that the player does not really need such information to finish the game. But the idea is that we need this knowledge to know what to do about a moral choice that is presented at the end of the game. We need this wisdom to answer the following question: can a creature exercise dominion over creation?
The importance of history is represented by the great wall of memories, composed of 38 screens. Since the character does not run, it takes a good few minutes to go. On the wall are written the Chronicles of Neverhood, a text that takes a long time to read through, and tells the story of creation and the life of the first beings of that world, in the style of the Bible. Imagine stopping to read about 40 pages of text when what you want is to have fun with a computer game … But I think the game designers had a good reason. The text is long, but it is the preserved tradition of that world, and explains many things you find in the game, and it is very funny. At the end of the wall you find the message that gives access to your own history.
An interesting detail is the room that contains statues of several characters whose stories are told in the wall. The only way to enter the room is using a machine that reduces your size. Decreasing size to gain access to this room does not seem to be something random. It is a metaphor for humility. Another detail is that there is only one way to die in this game: jumping into a drain. The drain has three warnings: “Do not jump”, “It’s dangerous” and “certain death”. Yet, I know that most people who play jumps the drain to see what happens. This also does not seem to be random. It is about following directions, about the danger of transgression.
When you get to the castle, Klogg says “All that you see is mine”, which is a distortion of what Hoborg told him. He then says: “And I want you to rule this world. Simply place the crown on your head”. At this point, you have two options: click on your own head, or click on Hoborg’s head, who sits on the throne in the background. The second option is significantly less visible.
This is the choice between being the ruler of the world or let the creator be the only ruler of the world. If you choose to wear the crown, you become evil just like Klogg. If you choose Hoborg, Klayman faces a number of obstacles placed by Klogg, but in the end manages to return the crown, Hoborg wakes up from his long slumber. Klogg then decides to kill him stabbing his back, a symbol for treason, but when trying to do so he destroys himself.
Neverhood seems to be the denial of two covenants: paternity (fatherhood) and fraternity (brotherhood).
In a way, we all live in Neverhood. And our choice between being the ruler of the world or not, depends on the knowledge of our true history.… Expand