iOS, Android, PC/Mac •
One of the highlights of last year’s Gen Con was seeing North Star Games‘ fantastic take-that euro game, Evolution, in digital form and looking like it was near ready for release. Turns out, the version we saw wasn’t fit to survive and, dare I say, is still evolving. That’s the word from inside North Star’s digital group, and it sounds like it might be a while before Evolution actually climbs from the primordial code-soup and onto our tablets.
Evolution is a euro game with the usual goal of chasing down the most Victory Points which, in this game, come in the guise of food. You’ll do this by creating a new species of animal and tracking its body size and population while adding new traits to it, making it a unique creation that can head to the watering hole and gobble more veggies than everyone else’s critters. That sounds interesting enough, but when you throw in the fact that one of the traits you can add is turning your species into a carnivore, the game gets a lot more interesting. The watering hole is for vegetarians only, meaning that your hungry carnivore will have to eat other players’ creations to survive. It can get bloody.
The version of Evolution we saw back in August looked nearly finished and highly polished and I was expecting to be playing it on my iPad by now. Instead, it appears that North Star is making sure their first digital title will be one of the best on the App Store. In a blog post last month, North Star posted that the game is playable and, frankly, pretty great. The problem lies in the fact that they’ve been getting this feedback from Evolution fans. What happens when they release it to a world where not everyone knows what Fat Tissue or Horns will do for your new species? As such, they’re diving back in and changing…well, a lot:
We’re revisiting every component of the art, gameplay, and user interface to make it faster, more intuitive, polished, and a better overall learning and gameplay experience. We have added a UI Designer, an Animation Programmer, a Special Effects Artist, and a Marketing Specialist, to help us take this game to the next level. We want to make not just a great board game conversion, but a great video game.
Sounds like an admirable path to take. That said, I’m one of those guys who knows how to play Evolution and I WANT TO PLAY IT NOW. Oh well, I can wait. I guess. Yes, I’m pouting as I type this.