Nobody Saves the World is an indie action-adventure from Drinkbox Studios. The world was at peace until the ominous Calamity re-awakened. Only Nostramagus, legendary sorcerer and a master of magic, could defeat the monster. But when the world needed him the most, he vanished.
And while everyone tries to find the famous wizard to give him more work to do, a completely unremarkable Nobody accidentally comes into possession of a unique magic wand. With this powerful artifact in his completely unremarkable hands, Nobody gains the power of shapeshifting and sets out on a mission to save the world.
And have some fun along the way!
Our brave expressionless protagonist is Nobody. In fact, complete Nobody that can do anything other than… Other than what is something that the game will tell players over the course of its event.
In the beginning of the story, Nobody wakes up in a tiny hut with no memory of his identity, how he came to be where he is or even where he came from. Immediately after that, he learns about the disappearance of the greatest wizard the land has ever known, the great master of magic Nostramagus. The suspicion immediately falls on our unexceptional protagonist.
To the great disappointment of the master sorcerer’s apprentice, Nobody manages to find a magic wand that belongs to the legendary wizard and uses it to escape captivity. If you imagined a grand magical duel, explosions of arcane and clashes of sorcery, you’d be disappointed. But the reality is no worse than fiction: Nobody gets turned into a rat and scurries away from his would-be-captors.
This is how you get introduced to the game’s main mechanic, transforming a featureless, unexceptional Nobody into a variety of forms from a common rat to a fearsome fire-breathing dragon and anything in-between.
The escape from the mage’s apprentice introduces nobody to the Calamity that is taking over the world. This is the danger that Nostramagus was supposed to take on but, alas, he is nowhere to be found.
And now Nobody saves the world, because he feels something from the Calamity. Something… familiar?
The world of the game is a parody to the max. The greatest wizard in the world lives in a cottage with an antenna and a satellite dish, his apprentice is dumb as a stump, and so much more. Every little detail in the world, every character, is comical in its own way and beautiful in this absurdity.
Absurdity in the battle system, in the locations, in the game’s characters, even in Nobody. The further you press on, the more absurdity you encounter, and it’s wonderful. It is not tiresome to see the abundance of jokes and jests, inconsistencies and parodies, even mockery of the player.
By himself, Nobody can only pitifully slap opponents with his hand. But having received the wand of Nostramagus, he begins to shapeshift into other forms: a rat, an archer, a knight, a gambler or even a battle robot… or a horse. Try to complete the quest with the mare in love, you won’t regret it 😉
Each form has its own unique attacks and features, one can swim, one can climb into narrow spaces, another will be able to destroy obstacles. Playing through the game, you will find having to combine forms frequently to overcome certain elements. And not just changing from one to the next, but combine: during the game you will be able to imbue one form with abilities and elements of another one. Every form has its uses.
The horse form can kick the enemy but only after you turn your, errr, back to them. Uncomfortable? For sure! But pushed enemies can get extra damage upon colliding with a wall or other opponents. The rat form can poison an enemy and then consume them to restore health. Circus performer can summon an entire circus of animals as long as you have mana.
Each form can be improved, strengthened and leveled up. This process is one of the weaker sides of the game. Every form needs to be brought up from zero, and it is a lengthy way to the top.
For example, the rat’s quest includes poisoning a hundred enemies and consuming hundred and fifty poisoned ones. Each subsequent level of a shape demands increased requirements.
However, by upgrading the forms you get to combine their abilities in others. Make up for the weaker sides of your chosen form with passive effects from your other choices, create powerful combo attacks by using two elements, experiment with combinations to find overpowered options – you won’t regret putting in time to upgrade your abilities.
The game will take a bunch of time even without diving into leveling. Huge locations, a variety of quests both sad and funny, randomly generated dungeons – Nobody can expect all of this!
Every region and dungeon have their own unique design that won’t get on your nerves with constant copy-paste repetition of themes and assets. Various guilds and NPCs will give you absurd quests that, in turn, will help Nobody learn how to deal with interesting mechanics. The game is filled with hidden paths, shortcuts and secrets that might not become apparent right away.
There are certain shortcomings, of course.
First of all, the game is incredibly dragged out. To open a dungeon, you will have to grind out special in-game currency that is given for completing quests, leveling up your forms or bartering with vendors.
Grinding those out like you would in an MMO or a mobile game is something you will have to accept. Finishing a dozen quests while upgrading various forms 5 to 8 times might just be enough to open one dungeon.
A related problem is how long it takes to upgrade your forms.
Thirdly, the process of shapeshifting. The game features a button for a quick change of form. Upon clicking it, you call forth a wheel that contains Nobody’s available shapes. Except it doesn’t pause the game.
So you might find yourself in a situation where you are facing a hundred enemies, losing health by the second and frantically trying to swap to the rat form to restore some of those lost HPs – and physically having to way to pull it off. Sure you could go through the menu but why would you need a quick change if you get stuck doing that anyway?
Even those weaknesses don’t spoil the impression from the game. Nobody Saves the World is a cool, successful experiment from DrinkBox Studios. Not without its blemishes but with its own exceptionally absurd humor.
Note: the game is a verified purchase by the author.