Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Day 37: Evolution

Evolution is a touchy subject. Some refuse to accept it. Some refuse to accept anything else. The only debate the game Evolution ever sparked was likely one between those who thought it was awful and those who thought it was terrible.

Evolution is made up of six mini games following the progression from amoeba to laser-wielding human with stops at frog and beaver along the way. All of the games are predictably simple and borrow heavily from previously established games.

Stage one is the amoeba, which must eat all of the DNA on the screen, avoiding the spores and microbes, to evolve into stage two's frog. If the frog can eat five flies without being eaten by a fish, he evolves into stage three's rat. The rat has to tunnel through the earth Dig Dug style to avoid snakes and eat five pieces of cheese to evolve into a beaver.

The beaver must collect twigs from across the lake to build a dam while avoiding a family of hungry alligators who all look like they've already been made into boots. Success means evolution into an ape, who must defend his oranges from monkeys by chucking coconuts. KO enough monkeys to make the final evolutionary leap to human, who must defend the earth from alien invaders.

I won't spoil the ending by telling you what happens, but I will tell you it involves a certain blue planet and an explosion, then the whole game starts again.

All six mini games are a chore to play. The collision detection is abhorrent. The amoeba can pass completely over DNA without eating it. Meanwhile, spores can kill the amoeba from an entire spore's width away. The sprites are all monochromatic and have at best two frames of animation. The sound effects are all generic 1980's video game beeps. Why does only the amoeba stage have a time limit? And why the hell are flies flying underwater?

Evolution managed to pretend to inventiveness by linking six very uninventive games together with the shakiest evolutionary chain concocted by a human mind until Remoraid -> Octillery. I thank the Intelligent Designer that my beaver ancestors didn't live to see this abomination.

No comments: