Neverout review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PC
Publisher: Gamedust
Developer: Gamedust
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

The fact that Neverout originally came out as a VR game last year before recently making its way to the Switch kind of boggles my mind. It’s a first-person puzzle game, and its constantly shifting camera leaves me feeling a little queasy even on the smaller handheld screen. The idea that anyone could play it in an even more immersive environment without immediately throwing up seems almost unbelievable.

Nonetheless, here we are. Or, at least, here some of us are, because Neverout is definitely not for everyone. In fact, I suspect it’s only geared towards a very small number of people — specifically, those who watched Cube, the claustrophobic Canadian cult horror film from the late ’90s, and came away from it wishing there was a video game adaptation of it.

While I actually have seen Cube (I don’t love horror movies, but my horror-loving brother begged me to watch it), I’d be lying if I said I had fond memories of it. However, even if I was an uber-fan of the film, I still don’t think I’d enjoy Neverout all that much.

This is because even though Neverout shares a general premise with the movie — you’re trapped in a cube, and once you escape that cube you find yourself in yet another cube — it’s not exactly easy to love. As I said, it’s a first-person puzzler, and every time you walk into a wall your perspective suddenly changes, as the wall becomes the floor and everything shifts accordingly.

If the transitions between those shifts in perspective were smooth, Neverout might work. Instead, the transitions are abrupt and you aren’t always facing the same direction once the transition is over, leading to those aforementioned feelings of queasiness — realistic, sure, but not exactly fun. On top of that, it’s often hard to judge exactly where one side ends and another begins, which means you never quite know when the shifts will happen.

In other words, the whole thing is disorienting and unsettling — a lot like the movie that inspired it. Neverout isn’t the easiest game to love, but I imagine that those people who do love it will love it a lot.

Gamedust provided us with a Neverout Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+