EVE Online On Your Phone Is Enjoyable, If You Squint Enough

Space.  (Screenshot: NetEase)
Space. (Screenshot: NetEase)

Officially launching this week on iOS and Android, EVE Echoes is all of the mining, exploring, transporting, pirate-fighting, fleet-battling action of CCP’s venerable science-fiction MMO in convenient portable form. See all of that tiny text? I might need a bigger phone.

EVE Echoes wastes no time getting into the swing of things. Within the first 15 minutes players are introduced to the clone system, the EVE universe’s justification for respawning after death. They get into a fight with some drones for a crash course in targeting and combat. They learn how to dock and fill up the timed queue with learnable skills. If those players are anything like me, they squint a whole lot.

The final frontier. (Screenshot: NetEase)

This is no watered-down version of EVE Online. Developer NetEase has crammed as much of the PC game’s detail and mechanics into this pocket-sized universe as feasible. There are more than 8,000 solar systems to explore. The famous EVE player-run economy is in full effect. Players can make a space living trading items, mining, delivering cargo to far-off stations, or defending transports from pirates. That’s a lot to fit on a phone screen, and NetEase and CCP Games plan on adding more features from the PC version to this mobile sandbox on a regular basis.

It’s so big, I might need to switch to a tablet. The screens you see in this article are grabbed from the new Samsung Galaxy Note S20 Ultra. It’s got a 6.9 inch display. I am really struggling to see and read all the instructions. Either I need new glasses, or I need to start playing on my iPad.

These are the voyages. (Screenshot: NetEase)

I am keen on continuing playing EVE Echoes, at least. I’ve tried getting into EVE Online multiple times over the years, but couldn’t quite find a handhold in the massive ongoing outer-space adventure. Echoes seems like a lovely way to get a fresh start in CCP’s fascinating universe.

Yeah, iPad it is.

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