Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird Game Spotlight: E.V.O. The Search for Eden (Super NES)

I would highly recommend that anyone who likes games try out E.V.O. The Search For Eden. It's an old school Super Nintendo game, which aren't too hard to find these days for free online. Just search for "emulator" (free software versions of the game systems) and ROMs (freecopies of the games). I haven't tried this search for a few years, but I'm assuming you can still find them somewhere.
Nintendo Wii also allows you to download certain games for a fee, but I would guess this is not popular enough (because it wasn't that well known) to have made it on the list.

This is the only game I know of that's (loosely) based on evolution. You are the chosen one selected by Gaia to remove obstacles to evolution. You start the game out as a lowly minnow, tiny and toothless, swimming slowly and with barely any hit points. By attacking and eating other animals you can gain evolution points which allow you to upgrade your body bit by bit. You can update various pieces, such as:
1. body size: you can upgrade size, which makes you slower but gives you more hitpoints
2. armor: slows you down but decreases the damage you take from attacks
3. jaws: bigger teeth, faster kills
4. tail: swim faster
5. horns: ram enemies (or give special traits, like the angler horn that attracts smaller fish right to your jaws

So the first world, which has a couple dozen stages, is you as a fish. Then there's another world as amphibians. And another for lizards where you can evolve into a big armored dinosaur with huge teeth. And then the final couple worlds are for mammals.
Each type of animal has its own evolutionary possibilities. For instance, the fish, amphibians and reptiles only have one attack--the bite. But when you become a mammal you get a second attack--the kick. It isn't very impressive in your starter form, the mouse. But later on you can get quite a nasty creature with the strong kicking legs of a horse, big sharp-toothed jaws of a predator, the armored body of a rhino, etc...

It has quite a bit of replayability, because each evolutionary choice you make takes you down a branch of the evolutionary possibilities. For instance, there are certain tracks that allow you to become a bird. You can even be a human, through an obscure track that most people will probably only find if they look it up online. Being human isn't all that impressive because humans only have one kind of attack while other mammals have two.

The unique premise alone is worth checking out, but the gameplay and the strategy is also really fun. Well worth the time. :)

If you want to see some images, there are a few at the wikipedia page:

No comments: