Eternal Hope is a puzzle-platformer where the game is based around shadows, everything in the world for the most part is a black shadow. You play as ‘the boy’, you’re alone in the world with no other of your kind, until you find ‘the girl’. The two of you quickly fall in love and you meet with each other every day to spend time together, even though both of you are otherwise alone and you both most likely live in large areas where both of you could live, but that would be too convenient and sensical and would kind of ruin the premise for the game so neither even thinks hey we should stick together constantly. So yes, you meet every day, well… until a bad storm goes through; you see, they meet on a cliff, one of those cliffs where there’s a big chunk of it that overhangs just sticking straight out over vast nothingness, that’s where these fucking geniuses decide to spend their lovey-dovey time. Well the boy is going to meet with the girl who is punctual, good on her, but he sleeps in that day and when he finally gets to her, “BAM!” a lightening strike hits the ground between them and wouldn’t you know it, that chunk that just sits over nothing, well that’s where the girl is standing, it just crumbles. Now, you know, I’d usually say that after that they learned not to run and play over a fucking minefield, buuuuuuuuuuuut she kinda, sorta, dies a lotta bit. The Soul Collector shows up and tells the boy that her death has for some reason weakened him, AND for some reason her soul exploded into pieces. If you collect all the parts of her fragmented soul and any collect all the souls you come across along the way, he’ll help him restore the girl to life, so off the boy goes.
Most of this game plays along the lines of games like ‘Limbo’, ‘Inside’, and to a lesser extent ‘Little Nightmares’, you use the environment to get around, occasionally using physics but not often or much thankfully. Most of the time the boy has to pull or push things around to activate items or to climb onto them and get to new areas. However, there’s also a new idea in this game, the Soul Collector gives the boy a shadow mask to help him find souls, this brings the boy into the shadow world. In the shadow world are different animals and the like, the rest of the world is usually there as well, though some aspects of the normal world disappears sometimes. In this shadow world the animals are seemingly already dead, so you can’t kill them with traps or arrows or anything in the few instances you can, but you can use their bodies to get to higher places as well. The boy however can only sit in this shadow world for a limited time, around like maybe ten seconds I think, but it immediately starts recharging and recharges fairly quickly.
The puzzles in the game are fairly easy but good, most of them are just trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B and nine times out of ten are fairly straightforward, there were a couple times where I had trouble figuring out how to move forward, one I had to ask the devs about and I’m not even going to pretend like I didn’t have to ask them. Sometimes parts of the puzzle are a little more difficult but usually come to you if you’re paying attention, those parts where hard for me because I have the attention span of a donut. Nothing about the game is particularly difficult which is part of the fun of the game to me, I don’t like games that challenge me too much, I just wanna sit down and enjoy shit, this is something you can just sit down and enjoy.
The story, what little there is, outside the opening, there’s like three or four gut punches in the game that made me cry, only one or two will likely make you cry but still, that was more than I expected out of the game. My snark in the opening, yeah I cried about that, hence my snark about how stupid the boy and the girl are, cause if they had an IQ above their age I wouldn’t have been forced to cry. But yeah, I was really not expecting much from the story, I was just expecting a story the likes of the games I said this was kind of like, a barely there, nothing story. I was gonna be fine with that cause I liked the visual style of the game and the gameplay looked okay, then it hit me right in the fucking feels man, not fair, you can’t do that guys, that’s not nice, you can only hit me in the feels if I expect to be hit in the feels, otherwise it’s cheating, it’s not right, how dare you.
Anyways, I… I can’t think of any real problems I had with the game outside of two puzzles that were annoyingly hard to understand, namely because, as stated, I have the attention span of a donut. Beyond that, I felt nothing but love for the game, besides the gut punches. One word, “Hedgehog”, fuck you devs, how dare you, that was suppose to be my friend, my pet, my bestie, just how DARE you. The rest of you, you’ll understand, by all things holy you WILL understand. And you know what, that’s what I’m going to end on, I’m not even doing an overall paragraph, this ending works just fine as one. All I can think of now is “‘hedgehog’, how fucking dare you”. I might just go cry a little more.
A review copy of the game was provided by the publishers Kwalee.
darkmikasonfire awards Eternal Hope the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval, but how DARE you with the hedgehog, you monsters.