Indie Review: Evoland
Evoland is an action-adventure game from ncannasse created over a 48 hour period for the LD24 indie game competition under the theme of evolution. Is it worthy of being at the top of the competition?
- Worth The Time?Yes, without any doubt.
- Things LovedThe awesome and original concept, the way the world changes as you advance through the years of gaming, the charming visuals and music, the fantastic design, the humour, the brilliant execution.
- Things HatedThe on-screen text disappears too fast.
- RecommendationEveryone, play this now. It's short. It's free. It's amazing.
- Name: Evoland
- Genre: Action Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: ncannasse
- Publisher: ncannasse
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can play the game for free here.
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Evoland is an action-adventure game from ncannasse created over a 48 hour period for the LD24 indie game competition under the theme of evolution. It was given an astonishing first place overall in the top 50 games submitted for the competition under the evolution theme, and in this review I’ll tell you exactly why it deserves that honour. The idea of the game is that you control a little character who bares a resemblance to Link from Zelda, and you start off way back in time in the era of monochromatic low-resolution computers, and this is reflected in the game’s visuals. Then, as you proceed and pick up treasure chests, you’ll basically grow the entire game, moving through time and changing the world based on how graphical technology, controls and the gameplay rules of the action adventure genre evolved in gaming history. It’s simply amazing to see in motion, and it packs quite a nostalgic punch.
Things start out really primitive. There’s no sound, no colour, no checkpoint system, no actions and basically none of the luxuries we’re so used to in modern gaming. Very quickly though, you’ll pick up treasure chests and gain access to control inputs, introduce 16-bit colour graphics to the world, acquire a smoother camera, spawn monsters, gain a weapon, discover the revolutionary checkpoint system, get NPCs inside the world and lots more that I don’t want to spoil. It’s truly the evolution of the action adventure genre and technology in a tiny nutshell, and it’s incredible to watch as you build an entire world. It’s wonderfully unique. Playing the game is really simple. You’ll move with the WASD keys, and attack and use with the space bar. It’s extremely comfortable to play, and its simplicity is never an issue as the game is the perfect length. You do need to be a bit careful in the start though, because before you gain access to checkpoints, dying will force you to restart from the beginning. Fortunately if this happens you’ll only lose about a couple of minutes of progress, so it’s not bad at all. The one and only issue I had with the game is that on-screen text disappears too quickly, so you can miss it easily.
Perhaps the best thing about Evoland is the amazing concept of the game. I find it to be an incredibly exciting and intriguing idea to build and evolve a game world as you play. Take note that I’m not talking about creation in the Minecraft or The Sims sense, I’m talking about pure evolution. Changing a world from being primitive into being modern. Turning ordinary into extraordinary. Wouldn’t it be pretty cool to play a game that started out in a medieval world and eventually grew to become futuristic or post-apocalyptic? If you disagree, then at the very least you have to admit that this game is a pretty awesome use of the theme of evolution. It’s very creative, and exceptionally well executed.
Visually, Evoland is a treat. It’s just a joy to watch it grow as the game advances its colour depth, resolution and detail. If you’re a lover of the classic Legend of Zelda titles, then you’ll love the nostalgic feeling you’ll get playing this and watching it in action. Animations are well done, and deliberately primitive, appropriately giving you that old school feel. And the game just becomes too charming once you gain sound effects and music. The work done on this game makes it astounding that it was just 48 hours or less of work. It’s shining with effort and attention, and it’s just great to experience.
Evoland is an extraordinary game when you consider that it was made in just two days. It’s wonderfully original, deeply interesting to play and as charming and nostalgic as you can get. I’d have to say that it’s a five-star experience in all areas. If you need any more reason to try this out, then let me clearly say that it’s free to play, it’s short and sweet and it’s just amazing. This is a definite must-play.