Mini-Review: Forevolution for Vita (PlayStation Mobile)
I picked up the game Forevolution for my Vita today and thought I would do a quick review.
(Disclosure: I don't know the developer of this game in any way, and don't have any vested interest other than I would someday like to put my own games on Vita, so I'd like to see the Vita do well, in general.)
I've only played for a few hours at this point but I'm happy with my purchase. I've played only the "Challenge" mode levels so far, I'm not sure what the campaign mode will be like yet.
Cute Aminals For U 2 Kill
Each mission gives you a fixed field with some number and distribution of starter creatures, along with a goal (e.g., "create three greenleafs".) Your only control is to choose which creatures to kill, which you do by tapping them.
You can drag the view around somewhat, and tap-and-hold to get a magnifying-glass-type zoom-in which can let you more precisely target which creature to kill.
Creatures eat each other, and periodically spawn more of their own kind in the form of seed pods or eggs. These seed pods will absorb nearby "food" which comes in two varieties: red, which appears when you kill creatures, and blue, which appears when you kill plants. If you don't feed them while seed pods, they will be born as the same type of animals or plant.
The strategy comes in understanding how to grow herds without exhausting the food supply, and when to cull them, creating new types of creatures in the process.
What's To Love
It's fun watching populations of creatures explode, and the strategies for managing populations are not always obvious.
For instance, creating a certain type of plant (palm) requires feeding some red food (i.e., meat) to another type of plant seedling. However just a few pieces of meat aren't enough, so to get this to work you first need to get a small herd of animals and then cull them all at once near some bushes. Other times you end up cutting swaths of plants out in order to give room for other types to grow.
What is also cool is that your only control in this game is choosing what cute creature to kill :) Circle of life, yeah.
Designs for all the creatures are fun and there are a lot of them.
There is a battle element too which means destroying robots and machines but I've barely scratched the surface on this.
I don't like the font they used for the dialogs, it doesn't quite match the quality of the rest of the game but then I think that it's a translation of a Japanese game so that's likely why.
It can also be a bit hard sometimes to select the exact creature you want which is frustrating at first until you realize it's more "macro" and less "micro", really.
Finally, there is a certain amount of just sitting back and watching the plants and animals do their thing, however because the designs are so great (and pretty nicely animated) this is really part of the fun.
Content * Quality = $5.49?
The question most people are probably asking is, "is it worth it?"
Short answer: I definitely feel I will get my money's worth.
Since I've only played for a bit, I can't really say for sure how big this game is yet but it seems like there is a lot here. I have only played the "challenge" mode which is set up like something of a tutorial. It's quite a feat to figure out how to encourage the right type of creatures to grow, so challenge mode has been quite rewarding so far.
There seems to also be a campaign story mode, which I haven't even touched. If this is the "meat" of the game, then the game is surely quite "meaty"!
EDIT: I've since played some of the campaign, and I think it's fair to say that actually the challenge mode is in fact the meat of the game. I confess to being a little disappointed here, I had hoped for e.g., some hand-drawn story panels and an interesting level progression. Instead the campaign is really just a series of three levels, which is each an extended sequence of waves of enemies. The enemies themselves are great but this mode feels unfinished. Campaign mode is a bit tedious.
Quality-wise, I think it's a really solid effort. As a developer, I'd like to see just a little more refinement on the controls, for instance a proper pinch-zoom and possibly a "drag and kill" which would slaughter everything you drag your finger over.
The actual creature animations are great, and the designs are fantastic. There looks to be a LOT of creatures so that is no small feat!
Some particle effects would be a nice plus but due to the literally hundreds of creatures onscreen I'm not sure if that can be safely done. Tweenier menus would be another plus, but they are definitely sufficient.
Read The Tutorial Pages. There isn't really a tutorial mode so just read them, they aren't long!
Hundreds of cute plants and creatures onscreen, munching on each other and laying eggs. Your job is to cull the herds or pull out the weeds so that other, equally cute plants and creatures can take root.
EDIT: A lot of tapping (which gets tedious in campaign mode) and not too complicated once you figure out how to get the various creatures to spawn, but overall it's Cute Fun Stuff!