A very neat fangame, even while very obviously one, still had be enjoying it throughout each of my playthroughs.
The story of this game is an interesting case, as it's a fanmade prequel meant to fit into the story of the original game. It adds plot points of past events never mentioned in the game made by Toby Fox, and it gives us a glimpse of the past of the Underground. It focuses on the yellow (who would've guessed?) soul's original owner, a child who willingly fell into the underground in order to search for the missing children (that being the other souls). That being how it starts, the way you go through the game determines how the child, Clover, ends up reacting to the monster world around them. There's the neutral route, pacifist route (neutral not being mandatory to pacifist, and pacifist having 2 different endings depending on a decision at the end), and the genocide route. Although, the only one of the routes that can be considered "canon" to the original game being the pacifist route. I found the pacifist route to be fairly interesting with it's story, delving into ideas about monster and human souls not explored in the original game. The neutral route is a little similar, though getting very empty near the end (the game basically expects you to go pacifist first), but the final act I might've enjoyed even more than pacifist. Finally, there's the genocide route, which I viewed as about as interesting as a genocide route can be, which means being similar to the original game, with the final fight having neat ideas.
The gameplay is basically the same as the original Undertale, with fighting against monsters by either attacking them directly, or confronting them on more peaceful terms and resolving the fight like that. I love Undertale's gameplay. so I enjoyed it quite a bit, and each enemies unique moves I feel were on par to the original (most of the time) and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The bosses were also fun, except for maybe the latter half, where the fights got a little unfair and was a bit trial-and-error-y to be able to beat them. I didn't mind too much though, as the game is pretty generous with checkpoints. The boss fights were of course pretty brutal during the genocide route, but the final boss in the neutral route I found super fun and awesome. My only big complaint with the actual gameplay would be the shooting mechanics near the end, not really enjoying them and not thinking it was really up to par with actual shmups.
Want to know another reason I didn't mind fighting bosses again too much? The music is great! The overworld music is good, the boss music is great, I think it lived up to the original Undertale's "score", if not a smidge less forgettable.
You may have noticed that I didn't really criticize much of the game throughout the review, and that's because I'm doing something a little bit different with this one, as the main problem I have with it having to do with the game as a whole. The problem is simply just that you could very well tell it's a fangame. I'm not sure how to explain it, but the characters being off from now Toby Fox would right them, to the music, while great, feeling a bit off, to the sprite art and animations being TOO good, it's obviously a fangame. I know this isn't really an issue, it was bound to feel a bit off only unless they got Toby Fox to work on it with them, but it's still something I felt throughout playing.
Besides that, the game is great! I enjoyed it with each route playthrough, and could definitely see myself playing it again something. This game truly shows how quality fangames can be, with as much love and soul and what it's inspired from.

Reviewed on Mar 30, 2024