I feel like this is the millionth time I’ve said this, but there are so many games that I know about because they were big hits on other platforms but didn’t really know about them until they made their way to mobile. And when games like that do make their way to mobile and I finally get a chance to experience them, I usually end up saying “Wow, I see why this game was such a big deal on other platforms!" Well, here we are again with Evan’s Remains from developer Matías Schmied and publisher Whitethorn Digital, which made its way to mobile late last week after making a name for itself on other platforms the past couple of years.
Evan’s Remains is part puzzle platformer and part visual novel. I’d actually say it’s probably two parts visual novel, as the story and characters are very much an important part of the experience. The puzzles are very important too, and actually are woven into the story in a neat way, but if you’re the type who doesn’t care about story and just wants some puzzle platforming this probably isn’t the game for you. The two very much go hand in hand.
Speaking of the platforming puzzles, they are almost entirely based around disappearing blocks and teleportation. You’ll need to learn when to make certain blocks appear and others disappear, and despite solving them by literally moving and jumping like in a platformer it feels much closer to solving logic puzzles than anything that relies on platforming skills. Additional elements come into play and overall there’s nothing too difficult here, but there are some parts where you might be stuck for a while wondering what to do before that “Aha!" moment hits and it all clicks. It’s very satisfying.
As I said though I wouldn’t come to Evan’s Remains just for the puzzle platforming, even though it’s quite good. The story is what matters most here, and holy moly is it a wild one. It also deals with some pretty heavy elements, despite the colorful and cheery visuals in the beginning, so be prepared for that. There’s no voice work but there is a lot of dialogue and some excellent character portrait art, very much like a visual novel. The rest of the game is fantastic pixel art, smooth animations, and an excellent soundtrack. It all comes together to provide one really unique experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome at just a few hours or so long, and it’s one of those experiences that will leave a lasting impact once it’s complete.