Evoland is a short and sweet adventure game that takes you through a history in the evolution of adventure and role-playing games. Created by indie developer Shiro Games, this adventure brings you through a museum of gaming history. Although you’ll feel a strong sense of nostalgia as you forge ahead, your adventure doesn’t come without a price.
As an indie game I wasn’t sure what to expect with Evoland as this is really my first experience with a Steam Greenlight title. After watching the trailer and glaring at a few screenshots, I decided to take my chance with this promising title and fell in love instantly. The game is very simple in both control and objective. Just seconds after starting the game you’ll start laughing and enjoying the bits of humor added into the chests you unlock giving you the ability to walk, unlock music, or even progress the art style of the game. By far the most charming feature of Evoland is the idea that you progress from a small 8-bit adventure to a lush high-definition world. It’s easy to enjoy the combat as it changes from something reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda series, to a turn-based Final Fantasy battle system, and finally to combat similar to Diablo. Humor is also a big part of Evoland as you’ll find characters and chests that poke fun at these older games as well as the idea that the entire environment gets upgraded in both visuals and audio. I also quite enjoyed the little card game they added bringing me back to my Final Fantasy days. As much fun as I had with the game, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the end result.
What Evoland does right in its charm and nostalgic ambiance, it doesn’t come without its faults. The characters are one-dimensional, even though it’s less than a handful of them, so you never quite get a feeling of concern or an idea of who they really are (including our main character). The story also suffers from being flat, short, and ambiguous. Towards the end you’ll start to feel like you’re getting into the middle of something a bit larger when the game ends. As stated before, there is disappointment to be had with the final result of Evoland, but it’s not the end of the world.
It’s clear that the intention of Shiro Games is to give the player a trip through history and trigger those memories of adventure and role-playing games that shaped the games we play today. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing something bigger that could have been developed but fell short. In the end, Evoland brings a fun trip on a historic stroll down memory lane, but doesn’t do much more than just that. Evoland delivers a unique feature not seen in any other game, upgrading the visual and audio aspect. You’ll enjoy your experience through and through; however, I wouldn’t suggest this game to anyone looking for a deep, rich story. If you’re looking for a game to waste some time with and take a trip through a time machine, Evoland is just that.