Immediately the game fired off memories of Limbo, but due to the vibrant use of colour, it’s perhaps more comparable with Toby The Secret Mine, though maybe not as brutal. Well, first impressions and all.
The premise is relatively simple; your character is longing for a place in the world, trying to find a purpose when they stumble upon a love interest named Hope. Their love blossoms until tragedy strikes…
Eternal Hope Review
It’s not a spoiler as this plays out in the Epilogue and the driving force for the game. Unable to save Hope, Ti’Bi (as their name is later revealed) returns to the same state of not belonging; finding their purpose – in this case, love, and then it’s prematurely taken away.
Fortunately, Ti’Bi is visited by the Keeper of Souls, an ominous fellow whose job it is to… well, keep souls. Only, they can’t return to their realm as Hope’s fragmented soul prevents them from doing so. This is where you learn your mission.
If Ti’Bi can collect the fragments from Hope’s soul, the Keeper of Souls will return her to the Land of the Living so that they can return to their realm and fulfil their duties. Sounds like a deal.
The certainty of restoring Hope is enough of an incentive, but the Keeper of Souls is granting Ti’Bi some of his powers. In this case, you hold down the right trigger (if playing with a controller), and your world will shift to an alternative dimension that co-exists.
Here you’ll find all manner of help with lost souls, looking very much like Noh Face in Spirited Away. They will allow you to climb up them or prevent evil from getting past. The only caveat is you have a gauge for the powers, and once it runs down, you’ll return to normal. Thankfully, it refills without the need to collect anything.
So that brings us to the meat and potatoes of Eternal Hope as it’s a fusion of platforming and puzzles. The platforming element is the weaker of the two as Ti’Bi can only jump yay high and there’s no option to add any aftertouch.
If you die, you’re returned to a checkpoint which isn’t very far away, but you’ll be facing the same sequence where a slight mistake will have you repeat a section. This happened to me in the first chapter (I believe there’s a dozen in total) where I had to jump on a log to get to another section but repeatedly drowned or overestimated the distance.
Trial And Error
Admittedly, I’m a bit hamfisted with some platformers and steamroll my way forward. You can’t do that so much in Eternal Hope as Ti’Bi needs to slowly descend off edges to soften the fall. They’re quite fragile.
But aside from the occasionally shoddy jumping, the puzzles are quite wicked – both meanings. Often, you have to expose yourself (oi oi!) to the elements first, then work out how to resolve it. Eternal Hope is quite a short game to some degree, but due to the sneaky traps, you tend to spend a bit more time exploring a scene.
These puzzles consist of triggering traps and switches by picking up items or shifting them to a new location. Later in the game will be a little bit of light manipulation, which is pretty cool, as well as a new ability that allows you to float across areas and over gusts.
Perhaps the most sought after ability would have been a dash as Ti’Bi is relatively slow, and if you’ve repeated a scene a dozen times, it can be quite infuriating. Early on in the game, in that log section I noted, I had to take a break for ten minutes.
In particular, the visuals are quite minimalist on the surface, but with the multiple layers and background colours, Eternal Hope is a literal stand out. Shifting to the unworldly realm was particularly good, and I was hoping to spend more time in it, which comes to fruition at some point.
During your adventure, which is a side-scrolling affair, other than working out the puzzles, there are a few hidden souls scattered if you’re down for getting all the achievements. Otherwise, there’s not much to Eternal Hope other than that, but it works in its favour.
Besides a few lines of text telling the story as you progress, many of the chapters are supported by a fixed sequence story. These are pretty short, but often powerful, and even someone as tough as me (right) conceded to how cute the two main characters are.
Eternal Hope Review Summary
Eternal Hope is a relatively short experience, but for the time you play, you’ll connect with the protagonist. Unless you lack a soul. The platforming aspects were the weaker points, and you can’t help but think the developers are getting a kick out of pulling off a few cheap deaths to make sure you’re paying attention.