EVOLUTION from North Star Games is a really enjoyable game of creation and survival of the fittest and fed-est.
The clever computer whizzies at North Star have now turned their popular boardgame into a computer game that runs smoothly on the PC using the STEAM media.
The Online game can be enjoyed either solo or with other players. I use it to hone up my skills for whan I play the boardgame. As a PC game it is very good but in my experience it is like all games that aren't single combat or detective style experiences, especially when played solo; the lack of human response and basic gaming chatter around the table is a large piece that is missing. In combat and detection games you can immerse yourself into the mindset of the character you are controlling (or being) whereas in a card based game where the character under your control is some kind of animal you really do not have the love and affection, the affinity, towards it.
EVOLUTION is a very skilful card game that requires players to know what their cards are capable of, when to use them and when to ditch them. There is luck of the draw, as expected, but it is in the playing of your hand that the direction the game takes will either be for or against you.
The Tutorial is the quickest, easiest and best way to learn the game even if you know how to play the original board game. It is also an easy way to help people new to games playing learn the importance of reading and understanding the cards they are holding.
The Pool of Life. This is where Carnivores come to look for weaker animals they can eat. Weaker herbivore animals come here to feed and grow stronger so the Carnivores cannot eat them.
A Carnivore (see by its claws) has arrived for the A.I. player plus there are two pieces of food floating in the water for the Herbivore about to arrive via the cards you hold in your hand.
Your cards have allowed you to discover two herbivores - note the non-aggressive paws.
You have added cards from your hand to make the carnivores stronger
Now both sides get to place a card into the pool, the value of the card determines how much Plant Food is produced this round.
The Herbivore needs enough to feed all of his animals, the Carnivore wants to play as low as possible in the hope there isn't enough food for the Herbivores. Of course a tactic is for the Carnivore player to add as much food to the Pool that the Herbivore player gets complacent and relies on their opponent to fill the pool for them. Not a great tactic, but a tactic nevertheless. In the screenshot above both sides have Herbivores and going forst makes a heck of a difference if you get to sccop enough food from the pool to leave a defecit.
Here are my 2 animals faced by 3 opposing animals (top) but luckily all animals are Herbivores and there is a lot of food in the pool, enough for all.
In cases like this you can 'burn' cards to grow your family or bulk up the size of your animals; you can even use Evolution cards to create new species or more of the same.
It is possible to change (evolve) from being a Herbivore to a Carnivore but there is always the possibility that doing this may starve you unless you eat one of your own Herbivore animals.
The game ends and this screen pops up with the necessary information from the just played game
The names on the screen flip around to show that the Field Intern (that was me) has won 1st Prize - Go Me!!!
Fun and challenging, like doing a crossword. Nice artwork that does the job it is supposed to - it is all visually clear and easy to read or differentiate. If this is available on a phone or hand held device it would accommodate a lot of your time travelling on buses and trains and leave you wondering or frustrated when you arrive and have to put it away while you are at work - lunchtime cannot come soon enough.
Yes I prefer the board game but that's only because I like to see into the face of the person who is stabbing me in the back.