Each week our resident Indie Gamer Nicholas takes a look at a different Indie Game that you may or may not have heard about. Join him on his adventures as he sifts through the rubbish to find The Indie Game of the Week.
Hey there, ladies and gents! Today, I'd like to take a stroll down memory lane, with Evoland. That name might sound familiar to a few of you - it should. The original title - now known as Evoland Classic - was developer Nicolas Cannasse's entry in the 24th Ludum Dare competition - a 48-hour game jam where individuals and teams are challenged to toss together the best title they possibly can based on a particular theme. Evoland Classic, described as "a time lapse of early action RPG history," had a very simple premise: as the player wandered through the world, they could collect chests which would unlock new gameplay features, mechanics, and art designs; mirroring the 'evolution' of the genre in its earliest days.
It's easy to see why Canasse and his fellow devs took home first. The game, though short, felt incredibly polished, and the premise was both fascinating and unique. After the title reached over 300,000 players in just a few short months, the development team at Shiro games decided that there might well be a market for a deeper, more refined version of their (comparatively) slapdash entry.
Thus, the concept of Evoland was born. The title- which recently passed through Steam Greenlight - retains all of the original's ideas, and takes them to a much deeper level. Rather than simply focusing on Action RPGs, Evoland expands its umbrella to focus on the RPG genre as a whole, drawing inspiration from both the Zelda and the Final Fantasy series. Players can expect a blend of Zelda-styled top-down action and Final Fantasy-esque turn-based combat, with more features and mechanics becoming available as they advance through the game.
The gameplay - like the original - is a fun callback to the old days of gaming, and the whole experience is both enjoyable and thoroughly nostalgic. Where the game actually shines, however, is in the writing. No, the plot isn't particularly intense or unique - and that's the fun of it. Evoland is a game that doesn't take itself even the least bit seriously, and over the course of the game will poke fun at virtually every single RPG trope in the book, all while switching seamlessly between Action RPG and Turn-Based RPG, with Diablo-esque dungeon crawling action taking the helm in later segments.
The evolution is integrated in such a way that it feels like it naturally progresses alongside the story and gameplay - one puzzle even involves swapping between different eras and graphical styles.
Even better, anyone who grew up with old-school RPGs will find the title is positively teeming with references to pretty much every single one of the most popular RPGs of past eras. Thus far, I've been able to pick out Final Fantasy 6 and 7, several different Legend of Zelda titles, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana...you get the idea. Canasse and his team clearly love the titles they're riffing on.
As for the soundtrack and art design, both are actually...pretty easy on the eyes and ears. It's particularly interesting to see how the two evolve side-by-side as the game progresses, and as frustrating interface issues and minor glitches are smoothed out by the discovery of new mechanics and features. It's particularly amusing the similarities so many of the characters share with iconic protagonists from titles past.
My only gripe thus far is that the Steam version of the game seems to have a few issues playing nice with the overlay, and I've noticed a few intermittent frame-rate glitches here and there. Other than that, though? The game's polished, entertaining, and looks positively grand.
In short, if ever you were a fan of Role-playing games from the 8-bit or 16-bit era, you'll love Evoland. Hell, if you gain any enjoyment at all from either Action RPGs or Turn-based RPGs, pick it up and give it a try. It's only $10.00, and it's completely DRM-free. Nab a copy for yourself here.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Ten Fictional Settings That'd Make For Awesome MMOs
Let's look at a few settings, worlds, and stories I'd love to see made into MMOs. I'm sure you'll agree, all the entries on this list have the potential to be downright awesome.
MMO Year In Review: 5 of 2013's Biggest Dick Moves
People are dicks - particularly on the Internet. While that shouldn't come as any great surprise, occasionally we come across someone whose level of sheer dickery reaches legendary proportions. As we move into 2014, let's take a look at a few such individuals from the previous year.
Censorship Spells Trouble for League of Legends Patcher
Internet filtering has been a hot button issue for the past several years. With the slow gutting of protective measures like Net Neutrality, and with governmental powers seeking an end to online anonymity, it's rather harrowing to see the slow progression of political and social policing of the internet. Recently, after about a year of lobbying, the United Kingdom enacted a piece of legislation that many have come to call the "UK Porn Filter." What the filter requires is for British ISP's to implement filters and controls, which are on by default, that will block access to "violent material," not imited to "extremist and terrorist related content," "anorexia and eating disorder websites," and "suicide related websites."
Five Things Riot Needs To Do With League of Legends
The folks at Riot already have their work cut out for them moving into Season 4, and they?re doing a damned find job of weathering the transition so far. That said, here?s a few changes we?d like to see as the new season draws near.
The Five Best MMOs of 2013
2013 was quite a year for MMOs. Not only did we enjoy a whole host of strong releases; a bunch of already excellent games were made even better. Here's just a few of MMO Attack's favorite MMORPGs of the year.
Five Trends That Reshaped MMORPGs In 2013
It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? As we move into the first days of 2014, let's take a look back at how the world of MMOs has changed - and how that might impact the future.
Best Free MMORTS and Strategy Games List (2014)
A top 10 list of the best free MMORTS and strategy games so you can give them all a try in one place and not have to worry about scouring the internet to find the best ones
The Lack Of Quality In The Survival MMO
We've seen an abundance of new titles join the genre this year, most hot on the heels of the incredibly popular DayZ mod from ARMA II, but they all seem to share a certain lack of quality and polish