Neon White Review friv game - Your Place in Paradise

From the indie games promoted by Annapurna Interactive, you expect all sorts of miracles. It could be a competitive anime-style FPS, or a humorous visual novel with spicy scenes, or a card friv game in a paradise setting, or it could be Neon White and be all of these at once. We talk about the Friv2Online project in a review.

In Neon White, we appear as a young man who dies under unknown circumstances and goes to heaven, immediately losing all memories of his past life, except for specific combat reflexes. In the common hall, where other similar “ascended” gathered, the young man meets heavenly servants.

The messengers of the will of God report that all those present are mortal sinners, who have died and were condemned by the most terrible judgment, but who have received a chance to achieve salvation in the divine annual competition of the Ten Judgment Days.

During the event, the sinners, who are now called Neons, will have to use their "special talents" to exterminate the demons that invaded the Holy Lands, and the most skillful of them will receive the highest reward, which is God's forgiveness and eternal shelter in Heaven.

Each neon is given personal masks, according to the colors of which they are now called. Each mask is booby-trapped and will be immediately activated by the heavenly servants if anyone tries to take it off or dares to escape.

And yet everyone gets a personal soul card with a weapon that matches their earthly past. So, the protagonist, who is now neon White, gets the soul card of Katana, after which the hero, along with the rest of the neons, hurries to the Port of Mirrors in order to catch the boat going to the Central Heavens.

The gameplay of Neon White is a fast-paced first-person shooter with shooting, jumping and platforming on obstacle courses that you need to overcome as quickly as possible, collecting secrets and eliminating all demons on the way.

As a reward, medals and insight points (insights) are issued - the more there are, the more opportunities for re-passing: the first level of insights opens gifts and reward tables hidden on the cards, the second gives access to the player’s ghost and tips along a short path.

Having achieved the highest ace medal, the player enters the world leaderboard and can compare his result with other users. Gold and Ace medals also promote the Neon account, which is tied to campaign progress.

Unlike many other speedrun shooters, the protagonist does not fight with weapons, but with cards depicting weapons. But this is not a "bagel" with CCG elements - all cards are located in strictly defined places and are designed for very specific purposes, as if they were ordinary guns.

Meanwhile, cards are really cards: they are stacked in the hand, summed up, and even have special properties. For example, a pistol with the "ascension" effect gives a second jump when dropped, an assault rifle with the "cleanse" property turns into a bomb when dropped, a "rifle" allows you to dash, etc. There can only be three types of cards in a hand.

In fact, in the Neon White campaign we have two tasks that require a different approach: the first task for speed and reflexes is to find the shortest possible path, shoot the enemies and finish the level as quickly as possible; the second, and no less important, is to get a gift at a level that is much easier to find than to get to it.

After completing the chain of introductory levels, we find ourselves in the Central Heaven - a local hub with several areas of interest. At this point, the friv game stops being an action game and turns into a fun visual novel with a romantic flair, archetypal anime characters and satire.

In Heaven, players can take a walk to the beach, visit the Neon Bar, visit the Cathedral or the park where you can meet new characters, chat with friends from a past life (who, by the way, perfectly remember all your joint deeds on earth) and give them gifts.

Just for these gifts, we will return to the levels already completed - each of the souvenirs is designed for a specific character and allows you to move along their social scales, opening up new dialogues and their personal tasks - small and complex levels that reflect the characters of the heroes: the fatal Red - these are the most difficult jump puzzles, the insane Lilova has sadistic obstacle courses, and so on.

By improving relationships with newfound and old but forgotten friends, you will be able to discover shared memories that will help the White to find his former self. For special diligence, neons are also awarded prize coupons. They can be exchanged at the Special Delights Shop for some nice little things to get even more fun story scenes.

Neon White is a great representative of every genre she represents. Wonderful, stylish art in the spirit of jRPG, excellent music in the style of sci-fi Japanese action friv games, interesting puzzle levels, wonderful stories and challenges for players of all levels - from mere mortals to speedrunning demigods.

Even if the speed of passing friv games is not your thing, Neon White is still worth paying attention to. This is one of those Annapurna projects that just needs to be played. You need it and that's it.