The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
The concept of the original Evoland ($2.99) is one of my favorite things ever. Basically you’re playing through an RPG adventure that recounts a large bulk of the history of video games. So you start out in blocky, monochromatic form a la the original Game Boy, and slowly through your journey you unlock things like colors, sounds, 16-bit graphics, and eventually full 3D polygonal graphics. All the while you’re being pelted with references to classic games and gaming culture that hit you right in the nostalgia bone. Being a gamer for over 30 years now, that trip down memory lane in Evoland tickled me to no end, and the gratuitous inside jokes and references to some of the biggest games in history didn’t hurt either.
Unfortunately, the actual game in the first Evoland was just so-so. Not terrible, just not memorable beyond its graphics-changing gimmicks. I think that’s fine for what it was at the time and I still enjoyed the game a lot, but I couldn’t help but wonder what might happen had the developer been able to explore the concept as far as possible. The answer is Evoland 2 ($4.99), which launched on desktop back in 2015 and has arrived on iOS this week. Originally the developer of Evoland 2 said it wouldn’t be possible to bring the game to mobile due to its complexity, but Playdigious, the folks who brought the first game to mobile, said “Yes we can!" and spent the next year plus porting it to the touchscreen.
And thank goodness they did! Evoland 2 is SO much more than the first game. Not only does it explore the “history of video games" gimmick even further with all sorts of gameplay types calling back to RPGs (naturally), fighting games, platforming games, puzzlers, shoot ’em ups, and many more. Unlike the first game though, visiting these different gaming eras doesn’t feel like you’re doing it just for the sake of doing it, but it’s actually weaved very cleverly into a much beefier storyline. This really does feel like an evolution (see what I did there?) and improvement over the first game in every way. So if you’re like me and LOVED the concept of the original Evoland, but were somewhat let down by the game itself, then Evoland 2 is just what the doctor ordered and I can heartily recommend this fantastic new mobile version.