When it comes to shoot ’em up or twin-stick shooter games, you might have a certain set of expectations, including fast-paced action, relentless waves of enemies, and intense bullet dodging.

These are the hallmarks of the genre, and for many gamers, they offer a thrilling and challenging experience.

But there is a game that breaks away from the mold and redefines the genre — NeverAwake.

We’ve listed down all the reasons why NeverAwake gameplay stands out and why you should strongly consider picking up this game to embark on a unique gaming adventure.

Developed by Neotro Inc. and published by Phoenixx Inc., NeverAwake was released on September 28, 2022. 

It can be played on multiple platforms, such as Steam, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X.

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Why the NeverAwake gameplay is a game worth your time

A nightmarish twist

NeverAwake gameplay image taken from the game's official Steam page
Credit: Neotro Inc.

One of the most striking aspects that set NeverAwake apart from typical shoot ’em up games is its narrative and thematic approach. Instead of battling alien spaceships or robotic armies, you’re thrust into the nightmarish dreams of a young girl named Rem.

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The enemies you face are not extraterrestrial invaders but manifestations of Rem’s everyday fears and aversions. Vegetables, school friends, dentists — things she hates become the adversaries in her dream world.

This thematic shift is a breath of fresh air in a genre saturated with sci-fi and fantasy settings. NeverAwake challenges players to confront and overcome common fears in a surreal and visually stunning dreamscape. 

It’s a game that encourages you to look at the mundane aspects of life in a new light, a welcome departure from the usual shoot ’em up narratives. It also makes you empathetic to the struggles you might not even know existed.

Not a mindless shooter

NeverAwake gameplay image taken from the game's official Steam page
Credit: Neotro Inc.
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In NeverAwake, your path to victory is not solely reliant on reflexes and rapid firing. While it retains the core elements of a twin-stick shooter, it introduces an unexpected layer of strategy. 

You’re not just mindlessly mowing down enemies. You need to carefully select special attacks and accessories that suit each stage’s unique challenges.

The game rewards you with soul points after each stage, allowing you to upgrade your character. This customization element adds depth and replay value to the game. Your upgrade choices significantly impact your gameplay experience, making each playthrough distinct. 

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You’ll find yourself adapting your loadout to match the specific hurdles each stage presents, a far cry from the one-size-fits-all approach typical in the genre.

Artistry and atmosphere

NeverAwake gameplay image taken from the game's official Steam page
Credit: Neotro Inc.

NeverAwake is more than just innovative in its gameplay mechanics — it’s a visual and auditory masterpiece. The hand-drawn graphics and beautiful animations breathe life into the nightmarish creatures. The game’s aesthetics are unsettling yet captivating, staying with you long after you’ve put down the controller.

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You’ll explore more than 80 levels, each carrying a unique encounter, building up to a significant confrontation. This narrative approach, combined with the hauntingly beautiful artwork, tells a story that touches upon real-life issues such as school problems, dentist appointments, and the complexities of family dynamics. It’s a game that manages to evoke emotions and create an immersive atmosphere rarely seen in the genre.

Endless exploration

NeverAwake gameplay image taken from the game's official Steam page
Credit: Neotro Inc.
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The most appealing aspect of Neverawake is its replay value. With its evolving difficulty levels and countless combinations of upgrades, the game promises endless challenges.

Unlike many shoot ’em up games that are over in a flash, NeverAwake offers a substantial gaming experience. Completing the story is just the beginning; bonus stages and extra challenges await those seeking extended gameplay.

A fresh change of pace

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For gamers accustomed to hyper-competitive titles, NeverAwake provides a refreshing change of pace. It’s a game you can enjoy at your own pace, offering a different challenge. Rather than the relentless pursuit of high scores and rankings, it invites you to explore, strategize, and enjoy the journey.

If you’re looking for a game that’s innovative, emotionally resonant, and filled with surprises, ‘NeverAwake’ is a must-try. It’s a game that is a testament to the creativity and evolution of the shoot ’em up genre.

So, why not give it a shot and see where Rem’s dreams take you?

NeverAwake is priced at US$19.99 on Steam, where it holds a 9/10 rating. Additionally, you can purchase the game digitally for US$24.99 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox Series X.

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