NeverAwake – Review
Follow Genre: Shooter
Developer: Neotro Inc.
Publisher: Phoenixx Inc.
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Tested On: PC

NeverAwake – Review

Site Score
Good: Simple yet fun gameplay, Nice story; Beautiful graphics
Bad: Not really that good music
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Dreams have always been something mysterious. Most of the time it looks like a movie is being played in front of your eyes, while other times you are the one in control. The only difference is that when it goes bad in our dreams, we wake up, but what if this doesn’t happen? In NeverAwake we learn the story of Rem, who isn’t able to wake up after a tragic event, and she must now delve deep into her own dreams to find the strength to finally open her eyes again. 


The story is about Rem, who has fallen into a deep coma after a tragic incident and isn’t able to wake up. You meet the dream version of Rem, which is her alter ego who is tasked to defeat the many monsters that roam her dreams. She will need to collect their souls to help the real Rem calm down. The story starts rather vague but it slowly builds up with snippets of backstory which will gradually tie everything together. While at first, you might think that it was something innocent that turned Rem into this state, it gets much darker the further you progress. As you travel through the many dreams, you’ll uncover Rem’s history and puzzle together the events that led to her coma. You will defeat her many fears and give her new insights into her life and clarify the thoughts and misconceptions she might have had during her childhood.


Visually NeverAwake is a true gem, thanks to its beautifully hand-drawn graphics that give this game a friendly yet eerie vibe. Rem is a really vibrant dreamer and thus you will visit many unique dream realms that each has its own unique style. You will traverse through a dark hospital, the dog park, your old school, and many more. To commemorate these locations, there also is a wide range of different enemies that you will encounter, and especially the bosses are all very unique and stunning in their own creepy fashion. This makes it clear that you are not just enjoying some pleasant dreams, but are instead treading the realm of nightmares.


The sound design of NeverAwake suffers from quite a few missed opportunities. Like any other shooter, the sounds are basic and nothing special, but where other games in this genre mostly shine with their amazing soundtrack, NeverAwake falls quite flat. Sadly, it seems that the developers have opted for a more subtle approach and you’ll just have some toned-down music playing in the background. It would have been amazing to have some blood-pumping music playing during your many hectic battles, to give you a feeling of dread and fear, rather the calm soothing music that has no sense of urgency to it.


NeverAwake is a twin-stick shooter that can also be enjoyed with a mouse and keyboard setup. You are even asked if you want to use auto aim early in the game so you can focus more on dodging the enemies, granting the game some extra accessibility. The main point is quite simple, in each stage you must collect enough souls to dive deeper into Rem’s biggest fears. To do so, you’ll defeat many enemies in short stages. If you don’t collect enough souls in the end, then the stage loops around to the beginning. This means that clearing the stage with fewer loops will get you a higher score. After every few stages there is a boss fight, but unlike other games, you never actually defeat them, you just collect enough souls to move on. Not killing the bosses seems to have a deeper meaning, as you’ll literally be fighting off your inner demons.

The game also has quite a nice progression system as failing doesn’t mean the end. You won’t collect any souls when you fail a run, but you can unlock upgrades to improve your survivability. These upgrades include more shields or better offensive weapons. Playing the game is quite easy for players in all skill categories, as twin-stick shooters are mostly very easy to pick up and they also gradually increase in difficulty over time. To grant you even more chances on the battlefield, you are also in the possession of a powerful attack that has limited uses and a dodge that allows you to evade incoming attacks.

Content-wise the game initially shows us four chapters to complete, and after finishing these, you are only halfway through the story. After this, new chapters will be unlocked. Each chapter consists of ten stages, and each individual stage can be completed in a matter of minutes. This gives NeverAwake quite some playtime if you enjoy the game casually, yet it allows speedrunners to finish NeverAwake in a few hours if skilled enough. It feels like the game is nicely in balance for both kinds of players.


NeverAwake is a nice gem to have in your library and it is fun to play in short bursts, especially when you try to beat your high score. Thanks to its simple-to-understand gameplay and its different upgrades it can be a title that everyone enjoys. With its beautiful graphics, it is a true ‘piece de resistance’ yet it would have been even greater if it had some good music to back it up. From a content standpoint, it is a gift that keeps on giving, and with the story slowly unfolding itself, it can keep you engaged all the way until the end.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. | NeverAwake is headed for Xbox
    March 21, 2023, 18:59

    […] game NeverAwake is set to launch on Xbox consoles in Q2 2023. Developed by Neotro Inc and published by Phoenixx, […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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