TL;DR Avoid this abomination like the plague. Buy Sparkle 2 Evo instead.
I completed 2 Evo and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I bought this expecting more of the same but I was sorely disappointed at the stark contrast. It’s as if the devs sat around a table and compiled a list of ways to ruin the atmosphere of Evo. Where Evo was a gorgeous relaxing experience with a few gentle puzzle elements as an afterthought, Genesis is a brutal, frustrating, rage-inducing grind.
Evo: Wide variety of organic deepwater colourful transparent prey animals; Sparkle has distinct evolutionary stages, everything has satisfying flowing movement and is visually stunning. No performance issues.
Genesis: Robotic modular affair with awkward, jerky pecking movement. It grows larger with no noticeable changes in development. Prey animals are few and uninspiring. The theme is overly bright, garish and uncomfortable on the eyes. It constantly stutters, poking you in the ribs to remind you what a miserable time you’re having. I have a good midrange graphics card and never had a problem with any other games no matter how intensive the visuals.
They’ve attempted to transform this into an objective-driven challenge and failed spectacularly. It’s tedious, extremely repetitive and there’s no brainwork involved, just endless grind. Spikey Rivers is frankly impossible unless you “cheat” by grinding your points backwards to switch to green and use the Protection powerup. This is not a spoiler because a) you’re wasting your time trying to do it any other way and b) nothing can spoil the game any further than the devs have already managed to do.
Unlike the flexible spine of the Evo Sparkle which lets you double-back and swirl effortlessly around the screen, Genesis won’t turn sharply (which is necessary to catch prey) unless you keep the pointer close to the head at all times.
The noise when eating a jellyfish is INSANELY LOUD to the point where you have to brace yourself for it. The first few times it happened I nearly soiled my underpants. Remember what I said about the dev’s ruination list? This is a prime example of the methods they’ve used to destroy the relaxing ambiance of Evo.
In Evo you can go deeper/shallower any time you like to catch your prey, which also moves up and down and has a wide range of terrain so you have to properly chase it. In Genesis you can only switch levels via whirlpools which often involves swimming long distances through barren wasteland. As far as I’ve progressed the prey never deviates from its limited position on the same level.
Most players discover that the whirlpools are broken and you can’t switch levels. This is because it’s set to use a controller, whether you have one or not. Every time you play the game you have to enter the settings menu and disable controller mode. Pretty inventive addition to the ruination list.
The in-game quests and achievements lists do not scroll so you can only see the first 4 items. FFS.
It has trading cards and achievements. I got 100% achievements on Evo 2 and every minute of it was a pleasure. With this I really did try and kept grinding for 10 hours but in the end I just couldn’t stand it any longer and threw in the towel with less than 50%. Life is too short.
I didn’t enjoy this game. Can you tell?