Chibi City Sim the RPG
Ever Oasis is an RPG style game for the Nintendo 3DS. You're a child of the Great Tree. Only children of the Great Tree can speak with water spirits and create oases.
The story is fairly simple, but still engaging. There were a couple of small twists that I wasn't expecting, but I was also very well immersed into the story. The main player character doesn't ever talk, but a lot of the characters around them have character growth, both throughout the main story, as well as in the side quests with the residents of your oasis.
A lot of the storyline quests are quick talk to this person style, and then others are more in depth where you have to delve into a dungeon. You can get "side" quests from visitors to your oasis. These are required in order to gather more residents for your oasis. After they are residents they may have special requests used to upgrade their shops. The only issue is you can only have one of these special requests at a time. So if you have a lot of shops ready for upgrade, it might take awhile and a lot of trips back and forth from your oasis.
When you get to one of the few dungeons you need specific skills. For the most part it's skills that you've recently gained. You might also need multiple types of weapons. Luckily your chieftain character can equip different types of weapons which helps deal with this requirement, since you can only have 3 characters in your party and one always has to be your chieftain.
Labyrinths are essentially dungeons, but they're an optional mechanic. Throughout the game you find different slabs based on the types of enemies. To open a labyrinth you need at least 3. You then go to one of the labyrinth locations and use those slabs to open it. There are a total of 15 types of slabs, based on the 5 types of enemies and then 3 different level variations, bronze, silver, and gold. Every labyrinth has a single one that rotates through the enemy types and 3 empty spaces for you to fill. You then get to decide what types of enemies you want to face during each run of the labyrinth.
Labyrinths are different every time you go through one, even if you use the same 3 slabs the next time through. Doors can be one of 6 colors. The natural brown, that they are throughout the game, leads to a room that either has nothing or only has destructable gathering locations. Dark grey-black doors will have a purple emblem on them representing one of the 5 enemy types. The room through that door will have a mini-boss of the specified enemy type.
The other four colors are red, blue, yellow, and green. What is through each of those doors changes every time you go through but can be one of four types of rooms. There is a healing room where interacting with the orb in the middle fully heals your party. Another is a room with two or more chests, one of which contains enemies, while the others contain rare materials or equipment. One is a trap room with multiple switches. Hitting the correct switch or combination of switches allows you to move on, an incorrect switch will bring monsters down on you. The final type of room contains an enemy chest. These chests are big purple boxes with their own health pool that will appear randomly around the room and let out an enemy. When you first walk in the room it will always spawn two enemies. Depending on the type of chest they can spawn up to two or three enemies at a time and you can't deal damage to them while they spawn enemies. There's two ways you can stop them from spawning an enemy after the first pair are set free. You can stand on top of the area where it's about to appear, denoted by a shadow on the ground and a fountain of purple-black smoke, or you can do enough damage to it before it starts the enemy spawning process.
At the end of the labyrinth you will face a boss. These bosses can sometimes be rare enemies that are more difficult than their regular counterpart and are needed for some of the "achievements". These are more likely to spawn when you use 3 gold level slabs to open the labyrinth. After the boss is a chest with 3-4 items then you're warped back to the entrance. You can also return to the entrance after each of the mini-boss rooms and keep all of your items, however if you leave without using the special warp points you lose all of the items that you have found so far.
Throughout the game time passes, but it seems to be a very forced mechanic. It's only importance is to grow crops and the occasional quest that happens at a specific time. It can also be a pain though if you need a specific character. The shops close at night and then some of the characters wander through the town. But they move as you do and the quest helper doesn't point you to their current location, only their shop location.
The shop system is almost like it's own mini game, but also required to gather certain residents, as well as to complete a few of the storyline quests. Some residents won't visit your oasis if you don't have a specific shop, while others won't move in until you build their favorite. You supply the shopkeepers with everything they need for their shop and get the currency called dewadems from them on occasion. Dewadems can be used to help grow things in your garden faster, as well as to purchase certain pieces of equipment or seeds.
Gathering Supplies and Crafting
There's also the "exploration" system. In the game there are basically four different races of characters. Three of the four races can go on exploration missions for you, while the fourth are your shopkeepers and the main playable character. These can gather you crafting materials as well as supplies to stock your shops with. There are multiple different locations you can send your residents to, and they can either kill monsters or just scavenge for supplies. Each one has a different recommended level and gives differing amounts of experience to those residents.
The game has a fairly in-depth crafting system. There are a ton of different weapons you can craft as well as accessories and even clothing options. Some of the recipes build on other weapons, requiring you to build up from a base weapon.
While the game definitely had some points of contention for me, the story helped when the parts of the gameplay were putting me off. It's not the best game I've ever played, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable experience and worth a play through. HowLongToBeat has the average length at about 21 hours. The save file doesn't show you play time, so I'm not sure how long I've been playing but with 2 full play throughs it's well over 60 hours.
Writing a Guide
I completed this game pretty quickly, and decided that I wanted to write a strategy guide for it. I've never written one before, and so far mine is the only guide on GameFAQs. It's still a work in progress as I gather all of the collectibles and level up all of my shops, but the walkthrough portion is done and here if you'd like to read through it.
It was an interesting experience writing the guide. While I still have more to go to make it complete, and most likely another full play through of the game, I can say it's something I'd be willing to do again for the right game.