A short and sweet review for a short and sweet game. Honestly, when I was first approached to review this, I felt a bit hesitant. I am honored to be considered one of the mobile game specialists, but a title like this one seemed a bit off. I’m going to just skip to the end a bit: there is nothing mechanically wrong with E.V.A.L as a whole. Plus, the entire experience is FREE! (no In-App Purchases!). But you get what you pay for: a relatively light game that I really can’t see most players sinking more than a few hours into. That being said, I do think those couple of hours are pretty fun: there’s a mini campaign of sorts, and a rather humorous voiceover to boot. That being said, allow me to delve deeper into the mechanics of the game.
E.V.A.L is a quick reaction-based puzzle arcade game that tasks you to quickly recognize one of three shapes and colors moving across a conveyor belt at varying speeds depending on the difficulty. You are helping change an adorable amorphous blob to properly fit the molds that are speeding across the screen. There are two control layouts to master: the drawing one, and the button press. The button press method has you quickly press the two buttons corresponding to the next color and shape for the corresponding mold. The drawing method partitions the screen into three different quadrants for each color. You then draw the shape into the appropriate quadrant. Simple enough.
The game will begin to throw out different modifiers to the gameplay, such as slow-mo/fast forward, scrambling the button layouts, and a few others that I won’t spoil; they help spice up the gameplay.
I’m not sure who this game would necessarily appeal to in the long run. I think you could potentially use this as your moment of zen in little quick bursts. But to me, it feels like a rhythm game without the music to jam out to. Perhaps using the game as a hand-warmer of sorts to help sharpen your reflexes could be another possibility?
Lore-wise, you are working at a cynical factory, and the gameplay can indeed feel exactly like that: a job. Fortunately, your manager is deliciously evil, which can help break up the monotony of the few story levels. There are even little bite-sized cutscenes that are fully voiced by a couple of charming and witty British blokes. And I think that dry-wit comedy really helped motivate me to put that extra 110% in every job just to shove it to those posh bastards. USA! USA! Ahem, I think my nationalism was showing. Anyways… yeah that’s about all I can mention. After the story, you do unlock challenge levels and endless modes like most arcade inspired games, but it’s mostly the same core gameplay. It’ll be up to you to decide if E.V.A.L has its hooked grabbing you.
At the end of the day, I don’t see how I can shy away from giving this game the Seal. It’s always refreshing seeing a game on the App Store not be a blatantly shilling clone or money sponge for poor saps to whale on. The game can be addicting in that flappy bird sense, and I think it’s quite a ways deeper than that as a whole. Just realize when you enter the gate that the game is mostly filler: something to play as an appetizer to your meatier affairs.
Price: Free to play