In Everything you play as everything. A fleet of flying sofas, a tiny ant, a string of DNA floating on the wind. You can play as giant trees, erupting forth from the ground as you sprout and slither your way across the land, or perhaps you’d prefer to lead an entire orchestra’s worth of musical instruments through the purple, unending void inside an alien spacecraft. You can even do a little dance to spawn other trees or trumpets (or pebbles, or beetles or a drawer full of spoons) to grow your empire of assorted sentient objects until you can see nothing but trees and trumpets (or rhinos, or giraffes or ten-pin bowling bowls). As that old-fashioned saying goes, the world is truly your oyster in Everything, and I absolutely love the idea of being able to see the world through a million different pairs of eyes. The only problem is that some of those eye sockets are more fun than others.
Despite having a whole planet’s worth of things to play with, for example, Everything actually takes place in a surprisingly small bit of real estate. It doesn’t seem like it at first, but you quickly realise there are edges to your particular play space, and that they infinitely wrap around each other to create the illusion of a never-ending landscape. That’s fine if you’re a zebra catapulting themselves head over tail toward the horizon. Less so if you’ve accidentally jumped inside the mind of a sunflower seed whose closest neighbours are equally small microbial bits and bobs that take an age to get anywhere. It’s a clever trick, but I wish everything moved at a slightly snappier pace.
Speed issues aside, though, it actually reminded me a lot of Keita Takahashi’s wonderfully bizarre bulldoze ’em up, Katamari Damacy (recently re-released on PC as Katamari Damacy ReRoll). As you career your titchy katamari ball into objects of ever greater size and height, the world around you gradually opens up until you’ve got everything from elephants, office blocks and entire space rockets getting caught up in the fracas as well, the camera pulling out further and further as your chaotic monster ball continues to gobble up whatever stands in its path.
Everything has a tinge of that mad surrealism, especially once you get inside the dimensional void where those aforementioned sofas reside, but for me, the pace of the game was just a bit too languid to really capture the same sense of fun and excitement. Katamari also has the added bonus of having proper objectives and timed stages to help give a bit of structure to your tiny Prince’s never-ending reign of terror. Everything, on the other hand, seems quite happy to just let you enjoy the ride as you hop between ants, armadillos and asteroids. Some people will probably dig that, though, and that’s fine. Why not have a gander yourself on Steam? After all, name me one other game that lets you play as both an infinitesimally small pollen spore and an entire galaxy?