Evoland Review
6.0our score

Imagine if you left your copies of Zelda and Final Fantasy without their protective cases in a drawer somewhere, right on top of each other. And imagine they would take this as an open invitation to engage in coitus. The end result would not be unlike Evoland – which is a pure trip down memory lane, heavily sprinkled with a huge quantity of nostalgia.

Evoland is a game about evolution, which quite literally takes you on a journey through the history of RPGs, and in this case quite specifically JRPGs. The game pays tribute to both Zelda and Final Fantasy in different ways and throws in a ton of amusing references to both. Any gamer who enjoyed either or both of these games in the past will enjoy Evoland as they watch the world change right before their eyes.

The game starts in the old 8-bit era, with the ability to only walk right. You find your first chest and unlock the ability to walk left. From there things evolve quickly, and before you know it you’ve found colour, music and much, much more. There really is too much to mention, but suffice to say that you pretty much go from the very first incarnations on the game boy all the way to the fully fledged PS1 style Final Fantasy with HD graphics and all.

Evoland 8-Bit

Evoland starts extremely old school. Feel old yet?

The story is extremely simplistic, and is meant to be a humorous reference to aforementioned games by itself. You can expect dungeons not unlike the original Zelda, filled with little references and jokes, some fairly interesting puzzles and even a quite nifty game mechanic which allows you to switch back between 3D graphics and an old 8-bit mode. This mechanic is heavily used to solve a few puzzles and obstacles at a certain part of the game and is very well done. It’s one of the most fun sections of the game.

Unfortunately, it’s not all positive. Whilst Evoland is a great trip down memory lane the first time you play, there really isn’t any replay value whatsoever. Once you’ve played it through once – there isn’t any reason at all to do it a second time, unless you’re maybe wanting to unlock a few Steam achievements you may have missed. The game also isn’t very long – so a session of a good number of hours will pretty much get you through it in one go.

Evoland HD

Things quickly evolve in front of your eyes. This will seem more familiar to younger readers.

Last but perhaps most frustrating, near the end of the game you can’t walk further than 3 steps before the game throws another random encounter at you. If you ever felt frustrated in Final Fantasy by endless random encounters, this will drive you close to insanity. It’s extremely repetetive and an extremely boring part of the game – at that point I just wanted it to be over. Fortunately, the dungeon and town sections are very interesting and amusing enough to save the game as a whole.

So my recommendation? If you can find this game on sale, for perhaps a maximum of $3 / £2 – it’s worth playing through. You’ll enjoy yourself the first time around and as long as you know in advance that you probably wont ever touch the game again afterwards, you wont be disappointed. But at full price, I can’t really say Evoland is worth buying – you just wont get full value out of it. For those interested, check the slider below (click the first image for a slideshow!) for a journey through the various stages to get a good idea.

  • evoland-1
  • Evoland 8-Bit
  • evoland-3
  • evoland-4
  • evoland-5
  • evoland-6
  • evoland-7
  • evoland-8
  • evoland-9
  • evoland-10
  • Evoland HD
  • evoland-12
  • evoland-13


Pros:

  • Pure Nostalgia
  • Charming and Amusing
  • Zelda meets Final Fantasy
Cons:

  • No replay value
  • Too short
  • Repetitive combat

System Requirements

Minimum:
OS:Windows XP SP2 or later
Processor:1.7 GHz single-core
Memory:1 GB RAM
Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
DirectX®:9.0c
Hard Drive:100 MB HD space

Recommended:
OS:Windows 7
Processor:2.5 GHz dual-core
Memory:2 GB RAM
Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
DirectX®:9.0c
Hard Drive:100 MB HD space

the author

Managing Editor of ManaPool, Peter lives in York, UK and is a great fan and master of turn-based strategy games. If he isn't playing one of those, you'll probably find him in a role-playing game instead. He's definitely not afraid to provide a straight up opinion on any game and has a strong like for indie developers. We all start small, after all.