EVOLUTION: THE VIDEO GAME
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on February 5, 2019
How awesome would it be if you favorite board game would come alive? All the crazy creatures and amazing adventures you enjoyed while playing the board game, alive and kicking on your TV screen or mobile device? For everyone who knows and plays the board game Evolution, this dream has come true!
Unfortunately, I have to admit, I didn't play the board game itself. And to be honest, when I see a deckbuilding card game (be it with real card or the digital version) I become a bit nervous. I know this is not my strong point and it normally takes a lot of time to learn the rules, even for an average player. I always seem to stay sort of in the noob phase, at least that's how I feel while playing it. But to be honest, it also depends on the people you're playing with and if they want to help you by properly teaching you the game, or if they're just looking for an easy target to beat. For today, my opponent is the PC. Plus, the developers explained how they tried to build the single player campaign with inexperienced players in their mind. So, I'm still a bit nervous, but above all excited to try out Evolution!
The intro video is exactly the reason why I became interested in this game. I saw all kind of reptiles and even dinosaurs, but instead of their natural colors, their skin had bright and neon colors, so they look awesome! After the introduction, the first question you're asked is whether or not you're familiar with the board game. This of course lead me to a tutorial in which I could learn about the basics of the game. Your goal in Evolution is to adapt to your surroundings as well as you can and to make sure you get food. In this prehistoric world, Darwin's Law is definitely true; The strongest ones survive and the weakest ones die.
So before we continue, I need to clarify a couple of things. Evolution is a strategic card game and our game takes place in a prehistoric environment. Every match has a maximum of five rounds and during those round there are a couple of phases: Select food, Play Cards and Feeding time. During those phases, you can perform a range of different actions.
At the start of the game you get a certain species, which shows a picture of a dodo in a sort of prehistoric footprint. The picture of the dodo is placed in the center of three card slots. Next to it on both sides are two empty slots. You can add population in the left one, while the right one is used for body size. In the front row you can place traits. These traits can enhance your species, so you'll have a better chance of eating all the food in the area. While in the Select Food phase, you will first receive new cards, after which you select one card to select food and place them in the pond as a bet. Each card has a food value in the left upper corner.
After this, we enter the second phase; Play Cards. It's time to make sure you have a strong pack of species by placing your cards. You can perform different actions during this phase. You can choose to add population, which will increase the population of your species and makes it more likely to survive. In other words, there is strength in numbers. Another way to increase you chances of survival is to increase the body size of you species, so it will have a better defense when bloodthirsty carnivores enter the stage. Both of these actions can be done by placing one of your cards either on the population or the body size area. Another action is playing a card as a trait. If a card has a trait description, you can play it as a trait, which can give you a certain advantage and hopefully results in gathering more food or being more resilient against predator attacks. You can also choose to create a new species, but be careful, because that also means another set of mouths to feed.
Last but not least, every round ends with feeding time! In this round, the available points will be collected and divided. You can score points by eating food or eating other creatures if you have been able to become a predator! At the end of the game your number of population and traits are also added to this score. If your, or your opponents', species can't get enough food, they will eventually die out. So the principle of the game is basically: eat or die.
The available matches can be found and visited by using the map. In this evolutionary adventure, you start off as a field intern and you'll have to explore the first area on the map, which means visiting three ponds until you reach base camp. If you manage to survive all three ponds and reach said base camp, you will level up and go from being field intern to being biologist. Not bad for this rookie, right?
I have to say, it was actually quite a lot of fun to play Evolution. It's a challenging strategic card game, which demands that you to pay attention at all times. I even ended up attacking my own pack one time, because every other players' species had a better and higher defense than my own. When you become (or maybe you already are) a seasoned evolution player, the game offers the Brutal mode, in which will put your skills even more to the test. So, are you ready to start an Evolution?
EVOLUTION: THE VIDEO GAME
North Star Digital Studios
February 12, 2019