When it comes to playing games, one of the best kind of story-driven experiences are the ones that take you on an emotional roller coaster and make you feel a certain way. Evan’s Remains accomplishes just that.
Developed by Maitan69, who’s based in Argentina, Evan’s Remains is a mystery-thriller puzzle game with only one objective: find Evan. This is his first game, and it’s an excellent one that‘s worth experiencing if you want an emotional story-driven platformer with a fun challenge. Did I mention it‘s also a puzzle game!
Told in a visual novel style, the story goes something like this. You are a young girl named Dysis. You’ve been ordered to go to a mysterious uninhabited island to look for a boy named Evan. It seems that he has been missing for years.
As she goes to explore this mysterious island, she is faced with solving multiple monolithic puzzles that are stopping her from continuing.
Throughout my whole time playing Evan’s Remains, I couldn’t put the controller down. I was completely immersed in the story and needed to find out what’ll happen next. The narrative makes you wonder why Dysis is on the island in the first place. Or who exactly is Clover, and why was Dysis tasked with looking for Evan? How is everything connected? As the story progresses further, she slowly puts the pieces together and when it gets to this critical point in the story — it made me shout “holy crap”.
The story progression between Clover and Dysis really add a lot of emotional depth to the story and really flows naturally. As the story continues, you can really feel the bond between the two as they venture together, find out more about each other, and answer the mysterious question’s about the island.
Although the story packs a punch, my only little gripe is that the story does take a little while to pick up, but once you invest a little more time, it is worth it.
As much as I‘d love to explain further, this is all I can say without ruining the unique story experience. The more I go on about it, the more I‘m taking away what truly makes this game special; the mystery behind the boy Evan, Clover, and the island. I would even say that the story is at the forefront of the game. The puzzles are just an added element. If you’re not a fan of puzzles and want to experience just the story of Evan’s Remains like a typical visual novel, you can skip the puzzles altogether.
Overall, even if you take out the puzzle segments, playing the game just for its story is worth it.
Part of the gameplay of Evan’s Remains is it’s platforming puzzle segments.
The whole way that this works is you step on a special piece of block that activates or deactivates the other blocks. When you step on the other normal looking block pieces and jump to the other block, it disappears making it hard to turn back around.
This is the core mechanic of the puzzle segments that make you think about how you’re going to complete the puzzle, and the way you do this is by figuring out how they work with each other.
As you progress through the story, more blocks are introduced to make the puzzles more challenging. Some other types of blocks include:
- A teleporting type block
- A block that resets the whole puzzle
- A block that moves the other blocks around
- A block that makes you jump higher
When all these different types of blocks get combined, it does add a little more challenge to the puzzles and variety.
As I played the puzzle segments, it was really fun and I had a blast figuring out how to continue. Although this is the case, I did feel that most of the puzzles were pretty easy to figure out and only a few were challenging. The good part is, if you play the game and find most of the puzzles challenging, you do have the option to skip. I did run into one glitch though where the puzzles couldn’t reset so I had to restart the game, but that was the only occurrence.
In the end, I do feel that the puzzles really add on a lot to the experience and more playtime. If you like a nice fun challenge, but not too challenging that makes you want to quit the game, Evan’s Remain’s is perfect for that.
Graphics and Music
Let me tell you, the pixel graphics in this game are really impressive. You can really tell that there was a lot of work put into the detail when crafting the look of the game. As I was playing, I had to stop and just take a look at the scenery for a bit because it was absolutely amazing. Not only that, but the little details that were put into this game was also astonishing.
When you walk, you can see a little dust trail behind you and your reflection from the water. Even when it comes to the night time segments, the background scenery was really impressive especially with how the stars in the background flickered as you walk through the island. You can even see the plants moving in the background from the wind and the leaves flying in the sky. Every piece that you see in this game has movement. These sort of little details really add a lot of life to the game’s environment.
When it comes to the music, it really added onto the atmosphere with a calming and relaxing soundtrack. There wasn’t any music that made you feel anxious or despair. The music is so calming that it could put me to sleep!
When you put the gorgeous graphics together with the calming and relaxing soundtrack, it adds a lot to the game’s experience.
If you are looking for a bite-sized mystery-thriller story puzzle game that makes you go “holy crap” and takes you on an emotional roller coaster, then I would extremely recommend this game.
Even if you aren’t into puzzles and just want to experience the story, I would still recommend this game as well. The great thing about this game is you can skip the puzzles entirely or play the game as-is.
In the end, experiencing this game is worth it.
EVAN’S REMAINS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
If you like to read about games where narrative is important, you might be interested to read this review of Children of Zodiarcs.
Many thanks go to the publisher Whitethorn Games for the review copy.
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Ryan only has one goal in mind — to spread the joy of video games. He also loves a variety of games, especially those that have major plot twists. Ryan loves rice and can cook a killer scrambled egg.
Follow @ryanjfabian or email him at [email protected]