Evoland (Shiro Games) is currently in my list of games that I must get everyone to play. Especially if you are one of the 20 to 30 something year olds that grew up with gaming.

Reminding me somewhat of DLC Quest, Evoland is a game that builds up from just the basics. You start out in a world that reminds me of an old Gameboy, unlocking chests to upgrade everything around you. The first thing you unlock is directional movement and it continues from there. In Evoland, you unlock just about everything, from game scrolling to color and sound (eventually HD 3D graphics and 16-bit music) and in doing so it pays homage to quite a few different games, including The Legend of Zelda , Final Fantasy and Diablo. If you played any of these games, you're sure to catch some of the references.

The story line is simple and sweet, echoing games where you are the one hero that can save the world. You do so with 3 weapons (a sword, bombs, and eventually a bow), all of which aren't always available. As you explore the world, you'll come across several puzzles which reward you wish chests. The chests include game upgrades, stars, or cards, all of which you can collect for special achievements. Keep in mind, this game isn't always easy. And you should expect to die (especially until you unlock save points) and at times, you'll get overwhelmed. The end boss fight can take several times to master but the mechanics are simple enough that you'll learn them within a few attempts.

The game play was surprisingly smooth, feeling like I was literally back in one of the old console games with stop/hit motions. The controls were stupidly simple and easy to learn, in a way that you could focus completely on the game play and beautiful graphics, rather than worrying about what keys to press and when.

The game is a little on the short side and I would have loved to see a longer more drawn out story. It only took me about 5 hours from start to finish, including having to backtrack once because I got lost (you also have to unlock your minimap!)

If you don't enjoy turn based RPGs, then there are several points where you will get frustrated with this game. There are quite a few zones that have "Surprise!" turn style combat. I personally, don't like that sort of game play and found myself running away more often than not.

I wouldn't recommend this game if you don't have any gaming roots that link back to the aforementioned games or 80s and 90s gaming in general, but if you have played these games, the nostalgia is great and this is definitely worth the play through. But keep in mind, this game isn't overly long. It took me about 5 hours from start to finish, so if the price to game time ratio is a deal breaker, wait for it to go on sale, but this is a game you have to try.

Nick_Donahoo wrote on 04/07/2013 at 10:39pm

I'm loving the recent surge of old-school gaming. I may have to give this a try.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/07/2013 at 11:20pm

This sounds pretty awesome an I plan on nabbing this when I see it on sale or am looking to play something new!

Thanks for putting this on my radar!

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/08/2013 at 12:54am

This one has been on my radar since I first heard about it. I didn't play it until the past two or three days though, battling the flu this week put a damper on everything.

Evoland had almost equal parts awesome fan service, and really disappointing/annoying mechanics. It's definitely something I'd put in the "recommend" column, for sure, but there were times I wanted to stop because I was frustrated or just plain bored.

CapnCurry   Supporter wrote on 04/08/2013 at 05:31pm

I've looked at this one a few times, but the "short story" piece was a bit of a warning flag. 4-5 hours of gameplay I can definitely part with ten bucks for, though; I was worried it was more "DLC-quest" sized. Shopping spree: engage!

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