Throughout the many years of gaming history, the RPG genre has gone through many phases.
From “Zelda” to “Final Fantasy,” gamers have a lot of great memories and “Evoland” will likely evoke similar ones.
Unfortunately, it also brings back just as many frustrating memories as it does good ones.
The premise is intriguing.
The temporarily nameless hero begins only with colorless, 8-bit graphics and works his way up to modern graphics expectations.
The hero discovers things such as movement keys, color, higher resolutions, 3-D rendering, a name (which is left up to the player), an experience system and other features until the gameplay mimics the most complex RPGs of today.
The unlockables are evocative of games such as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” “Final Fantasy VII” and even the “Diablo” series.
The game often makes self-aware jokes and references to these games, and these work well to deliver a lot of laughs.
There are some brilliantly funny moments here for old-school RPG fans.
Unfortunately, the game is extremely short.
This may not seem like too much of a downside, but this means the game evolves through these phases too quickly to appreciate each step.
The end result feels more like a collection of game tech demos rather than a complete experience.
Also, these phases feature the worst the RPG genre has to offer, from repetitive grinding to archaic puzzles to an absurdly steep spike in difficulty later on.
Everything that made games like “Final Fantasy” and “Diablo” flawed is preserved in “Evoland.”
The game feels repetitive, even with its short length.
Furthermore, the price-to-brevity ratio of this game raises the question, “Why does this game need to exist?”
If players want to quell nostalgia for their old favorites, they’d be better off playing the classics — or at least cheaper, better homage works, such as “3-D Dot Game Heroes” or “Cthulhu Saves the World.”
Those who really, really need a taste of video game history might get some enjoyment out of this, but others are better off finding a different vehicle for a trip down memory lane.
Developer: Shiro Games