Evo Explores – A Review by Warwick Janetzki
EVO EXPLORES is an educational logic and geometry based puzzle game that is aimed at younger gamers but is one that adults will also get a lot out of. The object of the game is to guide your little Evo dude throughout each level by manipulating structures, constructing optical illusions and defying the normal laws of physics. It was inspired by the popular game, Monument Valley.
I want to share a little story with you about the response that I received from the developer when I made my request for a press copy. Kyrylo Kuzyk was very concerned with the type of audiences that he would receive with his title. He asked me to not be overly harsh on his game as it was an educational title and not something that I would arguably normally review. In other words, it’s not a typical hack and slash action adventure game. I dare suggest this was a constant theme in accepting press requests.
However, as some regular Steamified readers may remember I grew up the only child of a primary (elementary) school teacher whose mission in life was best serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She fully embraced technology long before it was commonly accepted as a great educational tool – when the then considered best practice of learning was good old pen and paper with copious amounts of reading and writing. Kuzyk’s game is the type I was taught to embrace and to utilize throughout my entire life. As such I was very open to an educational title.
- Intelligent level design: One of the great things about Evo Explores is the fact that it makes you think both inside and outside of the box. For example, you can travel anywhere that has a logical path. However, some of the paths are broken by design. If you can manoeuvre one of the mechanical objects where the visible problem is and block it from your view the problem ceases to exist.
- Mechanics that work: I love the variety of the game mechanics that are implemented throughout the game. They all make logical sense and they work in a way that keeps the player wanting to play. Just as the game may appear to be becoming repetitive a new mechanic is introduced. The amount of thought and focus that has gone into this system is extraordinary.
- Great utilization of a simple colour palette: I hope it isn’t too weird of me to say that the graphics at times can be a little too simple. However, I actually do enjoy the colours used. They’re relatively simple on the eyes and helps make the game a pleasure to play.
- Achievements: There are 8 Steam Achievements for the achievement hunters to unlock.
- Controls can be a little awkward: From time to time I found that using the switches became an awkward experience. Getting them to manoeuvre in the correct fashion was a little problematic. At other times I didn’t have an issue whatsoever.
- Broken English: Unfortunately, this game features some broken English between the levels. For the grammar and spelling Nazis out there this will be an irritation. I personally did not have a problem with it but I regularly see people complaining about it on Steam discussion threads and other forums and that is why I felt the necessity to mention it.
- No trading cards: Please add trading cards to the game. This is one of the few games I’d proudly level to 5 and aim for foils. I believe that it would also increase the amount of people interested in your game.
Kyrylo, you shouldn’t have been so concerned. I love your game and it is one that I will be showing off to many friends and incorporating into Steamified’s upcoming project. It’s a fantastic example of an educational game that has been developed to perfection. Unfortunately, I doubt you’ll get the coverage across some of the larger gaming sites that you deserve but believe me when I tell you that those who need to know about your game will undoubtedly find it in the future.
EVO Explores is easily among the best logic and geometry educational tools that I have ever played. There simply isn’t enough software – games and otherwise – that will teach young students to think both inside and outside of the box like this game does. It is among the easier recommendations.
Evo Explores – A Review by JimDeadlock
You have to turn sections of the 3D puzzle to create a path for Evo to reach doorways and the buttons to open them. Surreal optical illusions are created to make physically-impossible pathways, for example if a gap is obscured then it no longer exists so you can walk over it. There is upside-downery, rubiks-cubery and all manner of fun to test your spatial awareness.
There’s the standard cutesy storyline about Evo’s journey and then he takes off in his rocket at the end, as expected.
It’s clearly a mobile port, it even tells you to “tap”. I don’t have a problem with this except fullscreen doesn’t work properly – windowed is fine though.
No glitches and cross-platform (I’m on Linux).
This is a casual puzzler, not too easy but certainly not hardcore. There is some challenge towards the end but it really doesn’t take long to complete the 14 3-part levels. This is mostly due to the fact that there are relatively few options you can take, so if your brain can’t handle it you can usually just muddle through by trial and error.
If you’re easily disoriented then you might struggle. Personally, I’ve played The Bridge which is a hard-as-nails puzzler with the same concepts and this was a walk in the park in comparison.
The level design is crisp and clean with good use of pastel colours, pleasant to look at, and who doesn’t love a little robot with goggles?
No trading cards. 8 achievements, 3 of which are ‘specials’ that don’t drop during normal progress. These will give you an extra hour or so of playtime.
The quality/quantity is more than adequate for the low price. I would buy it.
A nice short puzzler to keep you entertained for a couple of hours. No replay value but who cares.