From Grezzo, the company that brought us the 3DS ports of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, as well as Triforce Heroes, comes a new IP for the Nintendo 3DS – titled Ever Oasis.

This new action-adventure-RPG was announced and shown off for the first time today during Nintendo’s E3 Treehouse presentation. Directed by Koichi Ishii (Final Fantasy, Mana Series), the game blends a mixture of exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving into a brand-new setting inspired by Egyptian culture and mythology.

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Players take control of Tethu, a young Seedling tasked with building an oasis with his/her partner spirit Isuca. Tethu’s older brother was kidnapped by a mysterious force, and now a malevolent Chaos is infesting the creatures of the land, turning them into vile monsters. You, as Tethu, must search for your brother while building up your oasis and thwarting the chaos throughout the land.

Aesthetically, the game takes a very cartoony, quasi-anime bent towards its middle eastern world. Characters are bright and expressive, designs are unique and colorful, and the environments look surprisingly diverse for a game based in the desert. The charm of the presentation comes across immediately, with the closest parallel probably being Fantasy Life, but it definitely stands out on its own.

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Gameplay in Ever Oasis is reminiscent of a cross between Zelda and Secret of Mana. You control a party of three characters as you venture out into the wild desert. Switching between your party is easy, and the three units all work together to attack foes in a standard Action-RPG fashion. In addition, there are dungeons for the player to explore with various puzzles to solve within them. To solve these puzzles, the player must use every tool at their disposal, switching between party members.

The Treehouse demo featured two party members besides Tethu – Miura, a spear-wielding snake woman, and Roto, a flower-using pillbug. Various puzzles were shown off, with all their solutions requiring the party’s various abilities (Tethu’s wind powers, Miura’s reach and strength, and Roto’s ability to curl into tight spaces). Several fights, including a boss, were also shown off, with rapid fire switching between the party used to survive.

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Besides combat and puzzle solving, the Treehouse demo showed off a variety of other mechanics as well. The presenters emphasized scavenging, forging, and synthesizing items as often as possible in order to build your oasis. Unlike most RPGs, Ever Oasis’s shop system is more based around creating and selling items than it is on buying them. Players can earn dewadem – the game’s currency – to build and expand the shops within the oasis. The e3 website also details that you can complete missions to add villagers you can explore and team up with, each with their own personality, shops, and quirks.

Despite a somewhat rough ending to the Treehouse presentation, Ever Oasis looks extremely promising. It’s an original IP in a unique setting by a company that seems to be playing to its strengths (Zelda and RPGs) to create an experience that seemed delightful. It’s due sometime next year in 2017, and I’m looking forward to more of what this game has to offer.

Check out the E3 trailer below:

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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.

Amelia Fruzzetti