If you're still struggling to overcome that post-Hollow Knight blues, then you'll be glad to know that there's a new type of metroidvania knocking about — and it goes by the name of Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse. Announced earlier this week, the upcoming IP will reportedly bring “authentic 2D action” across a myriad of multicoloured landscapes and dungeons. What's more, it'll stem from the same team that brought us Craftopia, so expect a treasure trove of survival and sandbox elements to bleed through its freshest roots.
Introductory spiel aside, what more do you need to know about the upcoming metroidvania title? Well, here's everything we've been able to collect based on the press release and additional details developer Pocket Pair has provided to date. Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse: what is it, and when can we expect to see it hit the market?
What Is Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse?
Going by what Pocket Pair has said, Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse is a hybrid of two subcategories of action — metroidvania, and roguelite. To this end, players can expect to delve into an action-packed 2D side-scrolling experience that leans heavily towards dungeon crawling, exploration, and scavenging for loot. And that's barely scratching the surface, from the looks of it, with elements of base building also expected to feature in the overall concoction.
“A Metroidvania x roguelite, where you advance using a cursed hat,” the description adds, rather mysteriously at that. “Use a variety of magic or possess your enemies to reach the lowest levels! Bring back loot, build new facilities in your village, make a living and strengthen yourself for the next battle!”
Details surrounding the plot are still a little cloudy. That said, the blurb appears to cast its attention on a cursed hat of sort sort — a mystical object that needs to possess its enemies to help gain new abilities and, with them, rebuild a village from the rubble up. As for what this will actually entail is still unclear, though it appears the bulk of the narrative will be centered around re-establishing the roots of a fallen society. It'll be your role, as the hat-sporting magical being, to embark on a slew of quests in auto-generated dungeons, and forage for supplies and abilities to help breathe life into a quaint hand-drawn village.
A metroidvania at heart, Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse will adopt a tradiofonal auto-generated dungeon crawling blueprint. What this means, really, is that players will need to navigate various 2D terrains, use various magic-based attacks to defeat a variety of enemies, and collect loot to further expand their abilities and hub area that'll serve as a home between levels.
“Identify enemy attacks, fight with magic, and sometimes use the terrain to win!” the description adds. “Dungeons such as ruins and botanical gardens are auto-generated and change each time you play. Furthermore, there are obstacles and puzzles waiting to block the player's path in the dungeons.”
“Possess enemies using a cursed hat,” the description continues. “Use unique abilities from your possessed enemies to open up avenues of action and gain an advantage in battle!”
“Use materials collected in the dungeons to clear the rubble of ruined villages, build new facilities and cultivate crops in the fields. Produce food and potions in the village to prepare for the next battle!”
In addition to the core features that Never Grave will adopt, the game will also open the doors for a four-player multiplayer mode. So, if you're feeling inclined to build bases and rummage through dungeons as a team, then rest assured that this will also be a possibility on launch.
Pocket Pair, a firm best known for its sandbox survival game Craftopia, first announced its plans to bring Never Grave: The Witch and The Curse to consoles and PC on May 20, 2023. It's believed that, with a little luck, the game will launch in Winter 2023. If all goes according to plan, then we should see it arrive on all major consoles and PC via Steam by year's end. Here's hoping, anyway.
Wondering whether or not there's any footage to help flesh out this vision? The good news is, there is in fact a trailer to compliment it. You can see it for yourself in the video embedded above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Unfortunately, this is where things get a little cryptic. As it stands, Pocket Pair has yet to announce any release date or platforms outside of its base PC launch on Steam. That said, we'd be surprised if the game didn't roll out on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and Switch. We can't say the same for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, though.
As far as editions go, it's a little too early to say what'll be announced and what won't. Providing the game releases at some point later this year, then in theory, both editions and pre-order bonuses should come to light by Q3 2023. That is, if there are any to speak of already in the pipeline.
Interested in keeping up to date with Pocket Pair's latest venture? If so, be sure to check in with the studio's official social feed for all the latest updates here. We'll be sure to let you know just as soon as the game receives a finalized release date. Until then, it's over to Pocket Pair to cross the t's and dot the i's. You can go ahead and add it to your wishlist on Steam here.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Never Grace: The Witch and The Curse when it releases? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.