Reverse 1999 Preview: An Evolution of Reverse Tune, Coming Soon!

Written by Lyn Kyoumei

August 30, 2023


“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”

  • Steven Moffat

Time is a messy subject for most people, some may think that it’s as simple as reading the clock, while others think otherwise, but what if time suddenly moved backward? Will you notice or will you be drudged upon by the storm that came and went?

Reverse: 1999, a game I had most grown attached to in the short week after the CBT Test was announced. I had been given a good hand and was given CBT [Closed Beta Test] access in regards to being a contributing journalist for The Reimaru Files. I would once again like to thank the team at BluEpoch for giving me the chance to play and review the game in their CBT!

Before we get into the actual game, let us talk about Bluepoch, the creators of the game.

“Established in 2020, BluEpoch is a young and affectionate Internet company. The founding team delves deep into ACGN and female-oriented games and has developed many successful works. We are dedicated to producing creative, heartfelt games that immerse our players in dreamy worlds full of joy and pleasure. Our inspirations will shine brightly in the starry universe of games.”

  • Directly off the BluEpoch development team site

The team at BluEpoch is quite new to the gaming scene and has only released the CN [Chinese] Version of Reverse: 1999 and a system theme for Xiaomi phones that is themed on the characters of Reverse: 1999. Sadly, as someone who can’t really read a smidgen of Chinese, I can only speculate what their official websites have. Nevertheless, even with seemingly their first game, they have hit the niche right on its head with their beautiful casts of characters, some of the better storytelling that mobile-centric games have to offer and an intuitive yet familiar combat system.

[Do note that everything talked about here may be subject to change by the final release.]



“The St. Pavlov Foundation has appointed you Timekeeper; observer of eras. With the aid of a powerful Arcanist, your mission is to travel through eras to where the ‘Storm’ is most active, find other Arcanists who can sense the coming ‘Storm’ and save them from being ‘sifted out’ of the timeline.”

Let’s get all the questions out of the way first such as:

“What are Arcanists?”

  • Arcanists, who are to be believed, are concepts or items given physical human forms. Think of it as another form of the popular type of content, namely “Gijinkas”.

“Who do you play as?”

  • You play as Vertin or a Timekeeper, someone who observes the eras of the 20th century. Your goal is to travel through different eras to save Arcanists so as to not let them get sifted out by the storm.

These questions pave the way for the story of Reverse 1999, understanding the basic premise is key as the following stories are told with these keynotes in mind.



The CBT Gameplay is cut into 3 parts:

  • Story Mode
  • Artificial Somnambulism
  • Wilderness

Story Mode is the central gameplay portion of Reverse 1999. It is a linear progression system with 2 modes: normal mode and hard mode. Normal mode is needed to progress, while hard mode is an optional challenge.

To proceed in Story Mode, players must interact with the miniatures in the backdrop and solve puzzles. They may also meet certain requirements to get 2 stars, which are needed to obtain teardrops for the gacha portion. These requirements may include not letting any arcanists die, clearing the stage in a certain number of turns, or a combination of both.

The main gameplay of R1999 in the battles is where the player is tasked to pick cards from a random list of 6 based on the 3 Arcanists that are placed on the team, you are also able to place a backup Arcanist in the 4th slot as to replace the Arcanist that may die in combat. You are able to move, merge and use the cards given to attack, defend, heal, buff, or debuff the enemies or allies. The gameplay reminds me of a mix of the classic RPG formula of 2 different actions and an ultimate with the more modern take of deck-building games where the player can fuse two cards together to create a stronger/better card, I can’t exactly pinpoint what it reminds me of so kudos to BluEpoch for making such a unique and interesting game!

There are also sub-game modes if you’ve already finished the main story mode:

Artificial Somnambulism: A stat-check game mode akin to the abyss in Genshin where the player must traverse through different set pieces, called miniatures, to defeat enemies and get 10 stars per set piece, also similar to the 9 stars that one can gain per abyss level.

Wilderness: A Dorfromantik-inspired game, a half-strategy puzzle, half-lo-fi calming game where the goal is to match hexagonal pieces together to make a cohesive map. Wilderness also functions the same as Dorf but the pieces and their sets that make up the island are not infinite but are buyable in the shop with its currency. The main purpose of the Wilderness is the offline functionality, where players can accumulate passive Gold and EXP income even when they are away.



The characters in the game are nothing exactly to write home about as they are something that you should genuinely experience for yourself. As this is a game that is rooted in the concept of the real world, most characters have a nationality befitting of what their appearance/personality is. An example that comes to mind is An-An Lee, a ghost exterminator in Hong Kong who has that endearing accent that shows that she does not have a good grasp of English but she’s trying her best. The voice work is phenomenal as well and even in the CN version of the game, the voices are mainly focused on both English and Chinese. All the characters seem to be voiced by a person of their own nationality, with all their quips and lines delivered with both perfect emotions and semblance to the character they act as.

The designs for the characters themselves are nothing short of stunning and well-detailed, as they mix both aesthetics and functionality quite well to convey and show what fashion could be like for this fictional version of our world. My only gripe with the design is that the color is too muted, I don’t like oversaturation as well but the coloring of the clothes feels a little too realistic/dull. Other than that, I love all of their clothing, most of my favorites are from the 5-star lineups like Dikke, Click, Bkornblume, Sonetto and Sweetheart… 

And Speaking of 5 stars…



As with all the games that I cover, this one also has Gacha to collect all the characters! As it was only the closed beta test, we did not have any rate-up banners but the developers graciously gave all beta testers a 10-pull daily until the final few days when we were given both pulls and character materials to upgrade and strengthen the characters we used. Nevertheless, the gacha mechanic of this game is quite similar to most other gachas that are being released, you are given a free, premium and item currency to try and pull for the characters you wish, each pull costs 180 teardrops [Free currency]. You can convert your teardrops to Unilogs if you wish to save up your pulls for future characters. The premium currency meanwhile is the rainbow drops, Beta testers were not able to purchase these as the accounts that we have used will be wiped in the end, the only knowledge about this is that it shares a good 1:1 ratio with the teardrops when exchanged.

The gacha itself is far easier to explain as it works like any other gacha would, you pull either 1 or 10 and you have a chance to get a 2-star, or up to a 6-star character. The pool is very diverse, meaning that it is very unlikely that you will be able to get the same character twice back-to-back. The rates are as follows for each rarity:

  • 6☆: 1.5%

  • 5☆: 8.5%

  • 4☆: 40%

  • 3☆: 45%

  • 2☆: 5%

As you see, the 2-star characters are also very rare to get, but they are not really recommended as the 2 stars that we had are mostly gimmick characters.



To wrap it all up, I love how this game feels right now, the Closed Beta Test did not have any major bugs as they made a finished and perfectly working version of the game on the CN side, they just had to port it over and translate to global for the wider market to see. Do I recommend this game to everyone? Nope, not at all as I do believe this game makes its players use more than half their brain power even if they just want to play relaxed. Nonetheless, I wish for those interested the hope that it would draw you in as I did and I haven’t even talked about all the features it had such as the Resonance, Portray and Psychube of the characters, the interesting lore of all the characters, their interesting conversations about one other, and other chock full of tidbits that would be very interesting to those who are like me, who love knowing lots about the character more than the overarching story.


Reverse: 1999 will also be showing up in the Tokyo Game Show by September as well so do keep your eyes peeled for any exciting news that comes out of it! Do follow their socials as well @Reverse1999_GL on twitter to catch up with what they post daily.

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