iOS, Android, PC/Mac
I heard about a digital version of Evolution way back when I attended my first Gen Con in Indianapolis a whopping five years ago. I’ve seen it in action at every Gen Con since, and it’s always looked polished and ready for prime-time. I was wrong, apparently, as its release was repeatedly pushed back as North Star Games tried to polish Evolution into the perfect digital board game. Did they succeed? We’ll find out on February 12.
Evolution is an award-winning board game from North Star that arrived in 2014 with talks of a digital version starting almost immediately. To make it happen, North Star created their own digital division with the sole purpose of bringing the creature-builder to our phones and tablets.
If you’re not familiar with Evolution (the board game, not the concept), here’s the skinny: Each player creates new species of animals and then gives those species different abilities via cards. Abilities can be traits like “long neck” which allows you to eat before the other critters, or “fat tissue” which allows you to store food between turns. There’s also the ability to create carnivores and traits to help defend your critters from those critters. The entire goal is to eat, eat, and eat [so it should be right up Dave’s alley -ed.] as much as you can, be it veggies or other critters, with each bit of food snagging you an even more delicious Victory Point.
From the sound of it, the digital version is going to be worth the wait. They’ve added so many bells and whistles to this that it might be the most feature-rich board game on the market. Ranked play, tournaments, animations everywhere, etc. Take a look:
Inspired by the award-winning tabletop game, Evolution retains the elements which made the analog edition so popular with more than 1.6 million players worldwide, but offers a swift pace and features only possible in a modern video game. Meticulously designed so even those who are completely unfamiliar with the original board game can jump in right away, the digital release features a learn-while-you-play tutorial, exciting campaign mode with Apex Species opponents to test your wits against, and cross-platform multiplayer that effortlessly matches players with others of similar skill.
Evolution brings stunning new artwork, animated cards, lush environments, distinct enemy A.I., and more than 24,000 possible species to the virtual table. The campaign presents varied scenarios and smart “Apex Species” requiring careful planning and strategy to survive.
Take survival of the fittest online and square off against live opponents around the world in fully cross platform, skill-based matchmaking. Rank up from a field researcher all the way to a Nobel Laureate in the progression system. Test yourself against others in the ongoing seasonal tournaments. Turn-based and simultaneous play options allow for fast and fluid multiplayer games in under ten minutes.
I’ve played a bit and it’s a blast to play, not to mention awfully pretty. Really looking forward to sinking my teeth into the solo campaign. One downside is the fact it’s shipping without asynchronous play. It’s coming, and should arrive via update shortly after launch, but it won’t be there when the app lands on the 12th of Feb. for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac via Steam.
If there’s any new news before the 12th, we’ll share it with you, otherwise look for our review to pop up right as the HMS Beagle pulls into the harbor. [And, with that crappy metaphor, Dave means when it releases on Feb. 12. -ed.]