Ever Oasis

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Ever Oasis Game Poster Image
Entertaining game fuses adventuring with city building.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Characters battle an ancient evil threatening peace in desert, positive intentions limited by focus on combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play a young, brave desert-dwelling character, Seedling, who bands with a water spirit to defeat evil. By performing missions for townsfolk, working together with other members in your party, you'll confront, destroy malevolent Chaos.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Your character, allies engage in real-time fights against monsters, boss characters (giant plants, bats, lizards, etc.) -- using swords, spears, magic attacks -- but combat is cartoon-like, without blood, gore. Some cries of pain, flashes of light to imply damage.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ever Oasis is an action-heavy role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS. You play as a young Seedling who must band together with others to destroy an evil force threatening life in a desert world. Against monsters and some wild animals, the real-time combat lets players use swords, spears, and some magic to destroy enemies. But even with the combat focus, there's no blood or gore, or inappropriate content to be found in the game.

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What's it about?

EVER OASIS casts players as a chosen Seedling, a young character whose mission is to build a prosperous oasis in the desert by working with your partner, Esna, a water spirit. By performing missions, solving puzzles, and battling enemies across the land (with swords, magic, and more), you'll eventually gain enough strength to confront a powerful malevolent enemy, Chaos. Throughout the process you'll earn "dewadems," a currency used to plant and grow Bloom Booths (buildings, including shops), and items to use in-game. Players can also craft gear and equipment at your home, a treehouse, along with collaborating with others to use in battle, by swapping between characters, each with their own abilities.

Is it any good?

This cute and charming game manages to balance action-heavy role-playing gameplay and town building to create an enjoyable, unique adventure. Rather than simply beating up enemies and collecting items, this game's town building mechanic gives you something bigger to work towards. It's fun to earn enough currency to plant a building on the grid, and begin to expand your town as you race against an evil force that wants to destroy it all. You'll start off with simple tasks, such as "talk to so and so" or "pick berries for this person" on a linear path that might feel restrictive at first. But if you stick with the game a little longer, you'll start to unlock new characters, partner with them in dungeons by swapping between each one during combat, solving some environmental puzzles, and evolve your Seedling over time like most RPGs. The pacing is good, and the combat and puzzles get increasingly challenging over time and experience. 

This third-person game is quite attractive, too, especially when played in 3D, and the orchestral soundtrack is also worth noting. There's no speech in the game, so be prepared to read a lot of subtitled text. Thankfully, it doesn't detract much from the overall immersion. But frequent load times might. You'll eventually zip around locations using portals, but it seems you can't walk more than a few feet without the game loading up the next patch of land. But overall, Ever Oasis is a fun and accessible game that successfully fuses combat and puzzle-solving with exploration and town-building.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Violence in Media. Are parents ok with kids playing a game that involves combat, if it's cartoon-like, or is there no way to sugarcoat the fact you're using weapons (including swords) to "kill" enemies? Is the violence acceptable since there's no blood or gore, and you're fighting "bad guys?"

  • Talk about friendship and teamwork. What are some ways that people of different backgrounds can work together and foster friendships?

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For kids who love adventure

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