Evan’s Remains – Game Review


Evan’s Remains

(Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC)
(PC version used for review)

Evan’s Remains is an Indie game funded through Kickstarter that combines a visual novel with a puzzle platformer. That alone gives you some reason to be intrigued by the mere concept and the visual style from the trailers reminded me a lot of Fez though the gameplay looked like it would mimic Braid. Evan’s Remains is a mystery thriller that puts you in control of Dysis who travel to an island after she receives a letter from a genius named Evan who disappeared years prior. I won’t give away any spoilers but that’s the main draw of the game is the narrative, to such an extent that the game will let you skip several puzzles in order to see the story out . you can tell the developers had a story they wanted to tell and are going to make sure you see it. the puzzle platforming is the other half of this game between story moments and they run on a simple idea that is surprisingly effective and variable. The way it works is that certain platforms will disappear after jumps so learning to time jumps and which platforms to aim for is key. The game encourages you to think about each action in order to reach the next area.

Pros

  • Gameplay: it’s very simple and easy to understand, the challenge comes mainly from figuring out how to tackle each puzzle. the early puzzle’s are easy but there’s some real head scratchers but the controls suit the game so you only have to concentrate on figuring out each puzzle
  • Soundtrack: the soundtrack is really good combing retro and modern sounds to give a both an electronic and acoustic sound that suits the environment (reminded me a lot of both Stranger Things and Life Is Strange) and I’m glad it comes as part of the package if you buy on Steam
  • Graphics: I’m starting to grow bit disenchanted of retro revival aesthetic but I thought it really looked good and there was some cool designs and the graphical style fit the genre of the game and it did really remind me of Fez.

Mixed

  • Skippable puzzles: I like games where the developers have a story to tell and I’m glad the option is here to skip a puzzle if you want to see more of this story. In fact you can skip the entire game and just play it as a visual novel. I do find it weird however that the game does essentially let you skip the game to keep the story going.
  • Game length: it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome but this is a 3 hour minimum and about double that absolute maximum. While that feels very short the game doesn’t overstay it’s welcome and it’s not as if this is a full priced game. that being said once you’ve experienced the story I don’t think the game has any replay value. My playthrough took 4 hours in total and by the end I was only missing 2 achievements and I have no intention of going back to get them
  • The story: without spoilers I feel it’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to the story. it does a good job building up and tieing up the mystery but the twist also left a few niggling unanswered questions that didn’t exactly mar the experience but did make early segments of the game make a little less sense

Cons

  • Has a few bugs right now: this only applied to 2 puzzles during my playthrough but I did run into 2 puzzles that forced me to close the game and start the puzzle again (glad there was an autosave). One of them I got stuck in an endless jump on a platform and was unable to move and the other one stopped the camera from working properly and was so much of a pain I skipped the puzzle and never ran into the issue again. hopefully in a few weeks or months these will be patched out

Overall thoughts

Evan’s Remains is a very good video game experience that is very short. It tells a good story that builds a good mystery even if it did feel like it was over a bit too soon and the twist feels like it’s messing more with the players rather than the characters. as a puzzle game it’s decent game that will test you to certain extent unless you’re me and you get them through dumb luck. If you like the idea of this game check it out but it lost some marks for a lack of replay value from me, this is a one off experience.

Score: 7.5/10

The game is remarkably cheap going for £5 on Steam and was only about a £1 more on consoles. It’s also a small digital file so if you’re looking for a short experience it won’t cost you much
 
Calvin
Nerd Consultant

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