Nightmarish twin-stick shooter NeverAwake Steam demo now available

“The girl fights against vegetables, dogs, school friends, and other things she hates.”

Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-20 18:04 (JST)
Translated by. Ryuki Ishii

Japanese game development studio Neotro released a demo version of their upcoming game NeverAwake on Steam. The demo version includes three levels from the early portion of the game. The full version is set to launch in early 2022, both on PC and consoles.

*Trailer from August 2021

NeverAwake is a twin-stick shooter taking place in a girl’s nightmares, dreams of a girl who never wakes up. The protagonist Rem resides within the dream world, and you the player must control Rem to take out the enemies.

The enemies aren’t your typical monsters, though. They are manifestations of the things the girl doesn’t like, such as wasabi, dogs, her classmates at school, dentists, and vegetables. They come from all angles, so you have to move the right stick of a controller to aim and shoot the monsters. “Souls” will appear when defeating an enemy, and you’ll clear a level by collecting a certain amount of them.

Rem has three lives, meaning she can take up to two hits and still continue playing. Each stage is relatively short, and if you find a stage to be too difficult, you can select the OVERSOUL option on retry to increase your life to four and power up your shots.

Although not included in the demo version, the full version will feature a variety of weapons and accessories that you can equip. The more mistakes you make, the better the lineup of weapons and accessories sold in the shop will become. This system is likely there to make the game beatable even for players who are not familiar with twin-stick shooters.

That doesn’t mean the game is tailored towards beginners only, though. There’s a system in place where the enemies and stage composition become tougher with each loop. The game consists of multiple levels that are relatively short, but if you hold back on soul acquisition and keep playing without reaching the requirement for clearing a level, the level will loop back to the beginning with stronger enemies and tougher stage composition. This will also enable you to fight tougher bosses.

More than 80 levels and “dozens of tricky bosses” are planned for the full release. The game will have multiple endings, and the ending will change depending on the players’ actions. In other words, depending on how much the players dedicate themselves to fight off the girl’s nightmares.

*The developer h.sawatari recommends experienced players to try playing the game in certain ways: time attack (collecting souls as fast as you can) or score attack (accumulating scores by repeating the loop and avoiding the collection of souls).

NeverAwake is being developed by Neotoro, a small studio located in Yokohama, Japan. The company has developed side-scrolling shooter VRITRA series and other mobile apps since it was founded in 2016. User reviews of their previous Steam release VRITRA COMPLETE EDITION, are all positive.

NeverAwake is set to launch in 2022 for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam). It will be available in English and Japanese. A demo version of the game is currently available on Steam.