Today I’d like to introduce a game that may appeal to some of you non-gamers out there.  Imagine if you had a small Petri dish and swimming about it were a dozen or so little amoebas, each one a different size and color.  Some of them move slowly; others zip around chasing the few sparse food particles also floating about.  Now imagine that the more successful food gatherers begin mutating into two or three new versions of their former self.  Elsewhere, if you look closely enough you realize that one of the amoebas isn’t chasing food particles at all, but rather other amoebas…it’s a predator.  Now you’re starting to get a picture of a creative life simulation called Evolites, by Martin Crownover.

This sort of title is often described as a ‘sandbox’ game.  Because although life in this tiny ecosystem carries on with or without your intervention there’s plenty of room to dig in and direct the course of things.  Key factors in the life of Evolites are food and radiation.  Beams of sunlight penetrate the surface of the water and provide the source of radiation.  Here’s how it works.  The game starts with several Evolites.  Each one, driven by hunger, seeks out passing particles of food.  In the process of searching for food they slowly expend energy.  When an Evolite runs out of energy it pauses for several moments to rest.  If it happens to do so while bathed under a beam of sunlight its mutation potential increases.  When the mutation potential reaches 100% the Evolite splits, producing two offspring.  These next Generation Evolites are what make this game so unique (and fascinating to play).  For each new generation possesses slight variations from its parent, making each Evolite distinct in some small way.  There are oodles of Evolites to discover and each one has the potential to evolve over time, or waste away into extinction.

The most enjoyable aspect of this game for me is seeing how many different Evolites I can discover and collect.  The way this works is you select on an Evolite and, if it isn’t already in your Catalog, a button appears letting you add it to the collection.  Your Catalog can be viewed any time and provides a nice snapshot (almost like a scrapbook) of the various Evolites you’ve collected.  More importantly you can reintroduce an extinct Evolite by simply dragging it into the water.  This provides a degree of control over which species will thrive and which will struggle to survive.

There are several other tools to play with as well.  For instance, the food tool lets you drop random bits around the aquarium, thus temporarily increasing the food supply.  The radiation tool lets you create momentary radiation blobs for boosting the mutation potential of nearby Evolites.  Feeling destructive?  No problem; just drop a few mines in the water and see what happens.  Then of course there’s my favorite tool, which lets you instantly create random new Evolites to shake up the ecosystem.

A review of this game would not be complete without mentioning the stellar interface and the amazing music.  I have to imagine the score was written specifically for this game and I’ll venture to say its some of the best and most fitting music in any freeware title I’ve ever heard.  The game supports full screen or windowed mode and even includes an online feature that I haven’t tried.  This is the kind of game that sparks the imagination with new discoveries to be made, experimentation, and the chance to build a unique collection of your very own.

Designer: Martin Crownover
Type: Original
Genre: Simulation
Format: Compression Pack
File Size: 3.6 MB
Control Scheme: Mouse
Portable: Yes
Version Played: 1.5

Visit the Official Homepage

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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