TEVI – Review
Follow Genre: Metroidvania
Developer: CreSpirit, GemaYue
Publisher: Neverland Entertainment
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

TEVI – Review

Site Score
Good: A high degree of customisability lets you tailor Tevi to your playstyle
Bad: Opening hours don't show the game's true potential
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Back in 2016, developers CreSpirit and GemaYue released the beloved Rabi-Ribi, a game that combined Metroidvania-style platforming with bullet hell action and anime bunny girls. While it didn’t necessarily resonate with the mainstream crowd, Rabi-Ribi found an adoring niche audience and the game proved to be a sleeper hit. The developers are now hoping to perform the rabbit trick again with TEVI, their spiritual successor to Rabi-Ribi. While core gameplay elements are retained, TEVI isn’t a sequel in any way, shape, or form, but a full-fledged standalone title. The absence of Rabi-Ribi’s cast may be a disappointment to fans of that game, but fortunately, the excellent blend of gameplay more than makes up for that. Read on to find out how TEVI hopped to the top of our list of must-play Metroidvanias.


Decades prior to the events in TEVI, a massive conflict caused a rift between the three factions of the world of Az. Even now, the balance between Beastkin, Humans, and Magitech is shaky at best. The cause of this? Magic. Unlike Beastkin, Humans are able to wield magic, and they used this power to create the Magitech. Magic is powered by Mana, however, and the best source for Mana are Astral Gears, which is where our protagonist comes into play. When we first meet the titular Tevi, she has infiltrated the base of a criminal gang, where she intends to steal a stash of this precious resource. Shenanigans ensue, however, and our heroine finds her destiny bound to that of both the dim-witted demon Sable and the angelic Magitech Celia. Over the course of several chapters, this unlikely trio is tasked with preventing the Beastkin from establishing world domination. But wait, I hear you ask, isn’t Tevi a Beastkin herself, being a bunny girl? Well, not quite. She’s actually a cleverly disguised human. We won’t spoil the story behind her disguise or how things unfold, even if the overarching plot isn’t the most original one.


Although the anime-style character portraits are without a doubt TEVI’s visual highlight, a lot can be said about the cutesy 2D pixel art as well. The environments are varied and filled with details that bring them to life, and character animations, including those of enemies, add a lot of personality to the game’s cast. The game’s performance on the Switch is buttery smooth too, thanks to the inherent simplicity of its visuals. However, the seamless integration of the much more detailed character art in dialogue scenes, including the occasional full-screen CG, fleshes out the world of Az and its inhabitants.


The anime-inspired design choices that make TEVI stand out visually are present in its audioscape as well. The soundtrack in particular wouldn’t sound out of place in an actual OVA, with memorable character-specific theme music and quite a bit of variety. The tunes range from high-energy electronic music that plays during boss fights to more soothing tunes befitting the forest environments. The Japanese-only voice cast also does a fantastic job. The character cast comprises many stereotypical over-the-top anime characters, and the voice actors can ham it up and go wild, resulting in performances that really emphasize certain character traits. It all adds up to a game that sounds as good as it looks.


It takes a while for TEVI to really open up and showcase just how fantastic the game really is. When you get to that point, you’ll discover that TEVI is one of the best Metroidvania/bullet hell platformers that’s come out in recent years, but unfortunately, you’ll need to make it through a very sluggish first hour or two. It’s perhaps inevitable that the game eases you into its mechanics, and so Tevi herself is quite slow and underpowered early on. Luckily, there is a sense of growth as you unlock better weapons and combat upgrades. Unfortunately, the slow progress in the game’s opening hours didn’t quite motivate us to keep going, even if the game becomes incredibly rewarding if you stick with it. The initial stages feel like your standard Metroidvania title, with plenty of out-of-reach pathways that are just begging to be explored after you unlock the necessary tools to reach them. Fortunately, there is a portal-based fast travel system in place, as well as a very handy in-game map, so backtracking isn’t too egregious.

What makes TEVI stand out from other Metroidvania titles, however, is how those tools are handled. Where most standard Metroidvania games simply reward you with specific upgrades and skills by achieving certain objectives, TEVI cleverly incorporates a crafting mechanic, giving you an unprecedented amount of customizability and allowing you to tailor Tevi’s prowess to your preferred playstyle, provided you gather the right materials. In addition, equippable sigils provide passive buffs to Tevi and debuffs to enemies. Rounding things out are Sable and Celia, who are constantly by your side in the form of floating orbs that can be fired at enemies.

You’ll need all the help you can get, however, because TEVI is far from an easy game, with boss battles in particular standing out as fantastically crafted challenges. Early-game bosses aren’t really all that special, but once you get past the opening stages, you’ll find that the bullet hell-style gameplay really comes into play as you need to figure out attack patterns and dodge their attempts to send Tevi to the afterlife. Fortunately, controls are snappy and responsive, and if you enjoy bullet hell battles, then you’ll absolutely adore what TEVI brings to the table. While a single run will take roughly a dozen hours, the varying difficulty levels provide TEVI with a lot of replayability, especially since you can experiment with different builds for the protagonist. The only real downside here is that you’ll have to get through those slow-paced early game sections on subsequent playthroughs, but given how fantastic everything becomes afterwards, that’s a small sacrifice to make.


Although our first impressions of TEVI were that the game wasn’t anything special, it grew on us as we unlocked the titular character’s true potential. Coupled with a strong audiovisual presentation and expertly designed bullet hell boss battles, TEVI quickly cemented itself as one of our favorite Metroidvania titles in recent years. If you’re a fan of the genre, you owe it to yourself to pick up TEVI and give the game an extended chance.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
TEVI - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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