[Nintendo Switch] Harmony: The Fall of Reverie Review

by EdEN, Owner

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie from DON’T NOD is a solid narrative-driven visual novel experience on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Harmony: The Fall of Reverie review!

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie from DON’T NOD is a solid narrative-driven visual novel experience on Nintendo Switch. It’s what you’d expect from the studio that brought us games such as Life is Strange, on top of acting as the publisher on Nintendo Switch for gems such as Gerda: A Flame in Winter – and it’s DLC, Liva’s Story. As you can tell from the trailer and screens in this Harmony: The Fall of Reverie review, the game is gorgeous. I love the art style, and the animation during the initial cutscene really helps to give you a good idea of what type of world you’re about to step into. The other cutscenes in the game are also of great quality.

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In this Rated M for Mature experience, you’ll take on the role of Polly, who returns home after years of being abroad. Why is Polly back at Atina all of a sudden? Because it turns out her mother has gone missing! Ursula is MIA, and it’s now up to you to find any clues that can help bring you one step closer to finding her whereabouts… and what has happened to her. Your first stop will be your mother’s room, a place that feels all too familiar and yet very strange at the same time.

Since this is a visual novel experience – with a dash of choose your own adventure branching story paths – I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game had voice acting! A visual novel not having voice acting is a deal-breaker since many visual novels can’t afford it due, so it was great to hear how along with the game’s story and lore, there was also a voice cast. Speaking of the lore, as you move from dialogue to dialogue, you’ll sometimes spot special terms that will be added to your Codex, which you can access right away by pressing the – button on the Joy-Con.

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The Codex is split into different sections so that you can easily find the stuff that you want to check out as you take a moment to let everything sink in. The sections in the Codex include Citizens, Society, Aspirations, Sanctuaries, and Mythology. The first entry you’ll unlock will be for Atina, and it will give you a good idea of how the game’s Codex will make it possible to gain some valuable additional information on a variety of subjects. It’s thanks to its entry in the Codex that you’ll learn that Atina is the oldens inhabited city in the Mediterranean Sea and that it’s now the most technologically advanced city-states in all of Southern Europe!

And then, the main plot twist hits you with all its might: you’re transported into Nexus, a city in a world beyond imagination set in a parallel reality, the titular Reverie. Reverie is an intangible realm in which ideas and concepts become real. It’s directly tied to Brittle, which is the name given to what you would call reality. Without Brittle’s physicality, hopes and dreams would shatter and wither away.

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You’ll be able to plan your journey a bit thanks to story nodes, which offer some information about what is going on or what can possibly come to be. By selecting each one and interacting with it by pressing the A button, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into the future! Do know that you’ll find special symbols that mark a branching path, which means you can only play one of the nodes, which will then block the other forever… or until you do a new full playthrough and decide to choose the other one. Time is usually linear, right? Well, that is all thrown out the window in Harmony: The Fall of Reverie. All of this will be explained to you by Bliss, the first character you’ll meet after arriving at Reverie. Bliss is an Aspiration.

Aspirations are incarnations of humanity’s yearnings, desires, and intelligence. They are immortal beings that watch over humankind, interacting with it through dreams and, well, inspiration! There aren’t that many Aspirations, but each one plays a valuable role in how the world carries on spinning and how its people evolve. Without spoiling things too much – since this is a journey worth experiencing – Bliss is the incarnation of primal dreams and childhood, embodying the need for joy and protection. While she’s one of the oldest Aspirations, her presence is that of an eternally innocent child. Bliss was born from the earliest dreams of humankind and continues to seek more of everything – more love, more comfort, more laughter…

And what’s Polly’s role in all of this? Aspirations need a Heart to be able to exist. Unfortunately, their Heart is weak. It’s up to Polly, in her new role as Harmony, to make some very tough choices along the way, choices that can end up feeling ruthless and even painful. But it will be these choices that can reward you with Egregore, the powerful energy needed for Aspirations to exist in Reverie. Egregore is the texture of dreams, the energy that flows freely between worlds, and it’s this luminous substance that will prove to be crucial for the future of Reverie and Brittle.

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Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is a solid narrative-driven visual novel experience on Nintendo Switch. It once again showcases the strengths of DON’T NOD, a studio that has previously given us great games such as Life is Strange, as well as publishing games like Gerda: A Flame in Winter. The premise for Harmony: The Fall of Reverie, the different plot twists you’ll experience, and the duality of Polly as she moves from Brittle to Reverie and back with great ease, all while searching for her missing mother. It’s a journey that you’ll enjoy from start to finish. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is out on Nintendo Switch with a $24.99 price tag.

This Harmony: The Fall of Reverie review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by DON’T NOD.

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