I killed a few hours this morning playing Evoland, a new JRPG/Action RPG released on Steam. It’s a strange thing. It’s a game, sure, but it’s also a history lesson and a love letter to two classic and venerable genres, all of which makes it well worth the $10 asking price.
Evoland is, as its longer title suggests, a “short story of adventure video games evolution”. Its early tutorial sections unlock mechanics, yeah, but also unlock genre progression, each opened chest and learned command changing the very world you’re in and your representation in it, as you journey from monochrome 8-bit kid to 3D polygonal avatar.
The trailer above pretty much tells the story: you don’t just journey through your own quest, but through the history of games like Final Fantasy and Zelda, meaning for younger players — or those just after a walk down memory lane — it’s as enjoyable for the education/recap as it is for the way it constantly jokes about the genre’s various tropes.
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