I’ve been playing games all my life. I consider myself a die hard gamer. As a child, I reminisce about the Snes, Sega Genesis & the fat black & white Gameboy. I’ve seen the advancements in technology and the evolution games. It’s depressing to know that future generations might never get to experience unforgettable classics because it’s the games of the past that gave ground to the building blocks for present day gaming.
Evoland is a game where you get to play through & experience the history of evolution in video games that involve gameplay & graphics, from 8 Bit all the way to High Definition. But does that mean this game lets us enjoy our past memories? Or does it only repress them?
If you’re an 80’s or 90’s kid & you’re a true gamer, you’ll notice & appreciate everything. This game is a mini time machine that offers a small glimpse of how games have changed throughout the years. The game is around 4 – 6 hours the first time you play through it. A game can be short or long but it’s the unique characteristics that captures the players attention & provides refreshment to his or her casual gaming experience.
The whole game is stereotypical & that grabs different elements from various games, the most obvious inspirations are Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, Diablo & so on. You’ll notice every one of them as you play along. But as the cliché hero, you play as a young boy named Clink who starts off in the woods & you begin your adventure with very limited resources. As you progress, you come across a young girl who asks for your help to save her homeland that is being destroyed by an ancient evil that has come back.
As I said before, the game takes references & inspiration from many games. The movement & heart system is Zelda. There are Piranha plants, you get a copy of the Buster Sword from Final Fantasy, even the main enemies name is from FF7 & so on.
The gameplay evolves as the player finds chests that when opened unlock a new feature. It could be regarding gameplay & graphics, or stars & cards that are the games collectables for the completionists out there. As the player gets farther in the game, they’ll unravel the cliché story. The core design of this game is in the evolution in graphics. In the end they’re not like an impressive console game, nothing compared to Skyrim or Crysis but it’s the time & effort the creators did to give us the essence, a simplified perception on how things have changed & how far we’ve come since the Atari but besides that the controls are simple, WASD or arrow buttons to move while Space & Enter are the action commands.
So since the whole game is a reference to many others, all the elements are recognizable. You should understand everything if you’re a true gamer & if you get confused or lost then you should be ashamed of yourself. Everything is simple & planted out in a straight path. You can go exploring to areas much easier after obtaining the airship but for the majority of the game you’ll be walking around. You get your sword, bombs & arrows to attack enemies, open paths & solve puzzles. Gameplay changes & can be like in Zelda, in the overworld you will walk around & start random battles like in an RPG, during which your partner takes the role as a mage & medic. Once you reach the mountains, the gameplay will resemble Diablo and apart from all that, you’ll get to go through dungeons & solve a variety of short puzzles.
You have your health bar that changes depending gameplay. You’ll find a crystal that transitions you from 8 bit to 3D polygons & acts like a time machine. 8 Bit is the past, 3D is future so some structures play along according to that.
So why is this game good? It lets us all know that a great game doesn’t have to be high production value with multiplayer. This is a good game since it maintains your attention, you get nostalgic. It lets you appreciate the evolution of games. It’s an art that coexists with technology. As we advance through time, our imagination does as well, our perception on how we want to play a game changes. We begin to develop new ways to experience. Evoland is a remarkable game because its short & only presents a few errors. There’s not that much replay value but the whole game is beautifully sewn together. You don’t get bored since nothing stays repetitive, it keeps things fresh & at the end of walking down memory lane, it makes you feel proud to be a gamer.
Indie games are able to create more variations of gameplay and present a new style of design since they’re not funded by another corporation. They are able to play and create what they want without any restrictions. A good game is one that changes the way we play & how we perceive things distinctly. Evoland recycles old designs but it refreshens it, gives it a new look & feel & at the same time, brings nostalgia, fond memories of the past. Ignoring the minor flaws the game presents, There are not that many errors since the game is limited in what you’re able to do. But there’s no denying it’s walk down memory lane.