How do you keep a game that has the potential to be repetitive from actually feeling monotonous? It’s a difficult question. In some games, like Stardew Valley or Civilization, doing the same thing over and over can be reassuring. In RPGs, it can get tedious. Fortunately, Ever Oasis feels like it has a way with keeping things from getting too redundant. There are little elements and systems in place to make things a little easier to bear.
A number of various warp gates is one such accommodation. One of the first things you’ll learn to do in Ever Oasis after going on your first few expeditions, is make use of Warp gates and Aqua gates. When in town, you can warp immediately to your home. If you find yourself in a dungeon with no Warp Gate nearby or some NPC that insists on temporarily joining your party, you can make an Aqua Gate to zip back to the Oasis, fix your party back up again, and head back to what you were doing. Of course, Warp Gates themselves appear frequently in Ever Oasis, especially in dungeons where you’ll be facing some sort of boss.
The features within a dungeon make return visits attractive too. There are so many accents with actions tied to certain weapons or skills. Drauks come with lances that are a must-have for many dungeons, what with their abilities to pull switchs and flip pottery. Serkahs have hammers that lets you smash rocks without using Green Gale to pluck bombs from plants in the ground or guide balloon cactus bombs to destroy blockades. Lagoras dual wield swords, which let you hack through webs blocking passages. Different characters may have practical abilities, like mining or digging. You can even have Seedlings with rolling or gliding abilities, which are needed to reach new areas. Each dungeon will have multiple gathering spots, have areas where various weapons could provide access to new places, and might require multiple Seedling abilities.
Since these abilities can lead to extra rooms in dungeons, or perhaps eventually give you access to new areas if you return there, your world is constantly expanding. It isn’t like you’re returning to only see one or two new things. When an Ever Oasis dungeon has these extra gathering spots or triggers, there are usually more than one. And your first run through a location usually opens doors and activates Warp Gates, allowing you to usually go through with two entirely new partners without having to worry about bringing along someone else to clear obstacles tied to them.
Then, there are the Hieroglyph Labyrinth. You’re constantly collecting these tablets you can place in the pedestal to create new dungeons. These vary based on what pieces you put down, with difficulty changing depending on the materials of the pieces. Like copper slabs won’t be too bad, but putting down gold ones are going to give you a real challenge with bosses that appear at level 30 or even level ??. You might run across puzzles and situations that seem similar, but in a different order or slight variations. Again, it keeps things interesting.
Sure, Ever Oasis is a game with various fetch quests for materials or return runs into dungeons to reach certain places or find everything. However, the game does everything possible to make the prospect of repeat visits to spaces more appealing. It is easy to get to and from places, especially should you need to swap party members to do things or access areas. We get an assortment of abilities based on characters’ equipment and innate skills. There is even a system to create new dungeons, should find you’ve done all you can with what’s already there. It’s a really full game that makes coming back seem quite attractive.
Ever Oasis is available for the Nintendo 3DS.