Evan’s Remains presents itself as an adventure / puzzle platformer game, with a very strong story that will make anyone eager to know its end.
This title, produced by just one person, Matías Schmied, started as a project on Kickstarter and after a year sees the light of day.
The player wears the skin of Dysis, a girl with a mission to find the young genius Evan who is missing. Rumors indicate that he is located on a desert island. For some strange reason, the company Up-Link decided that Dysis was the only person suitable to end this strange mission.
On an apparently deserted island, the player quickly unravels his secrets and discovers that there is really more at stake than just finding this genius.
In terms of gameplay Evan’s Remains is a mix of a puzzle with visual novels. The formula is simple, the player finishes a puzzle and is presented with a short cutscene with a story, without voice acting, just small lines of text.
The puzzles themselves are simple in the sense that there is no great complexity of actions or movements, but they are sometimes quite challenging. The aim of all puzzles is to overcome the barrier present on the right side of the monitor, since the whole game is presented as a side scroller, therefore from left to right, and thus continue on your way. For this, the player has platforms for different purposes, such as switches that slide platforms up or down and even left to right, or platforms that disappear when the player jumps.
No special skills are needed nor are new skills presented as the adventure progresses, it is only necessary to think and try each platform presented in the puzzle. After a few attempts, the feeling of overcoming is quite rewarding and enlightening in the face of a heavy and quite touching story.
It turns out that each puzzle is a monolith with a secret message that is unveiled after its completion, not by the player himself, but by his “friend” on this island. Yes, it turns out that this is not an island completely devoid of human contact. There are a lot of twists and turns, and on several occasions, I stuck to what was going on in the small text boxes. There are traces of narrative about family which leads to some exciting and even tragic changes.
All the pixelart in the game is incredibly detailed, like Dysis’s hair waving as she jumps or runs, as well as the entire created environment that serves as the backdrop for each new location on the island.
Evan’s Remains is a very accessible short puzzle-platformer game that tells a very touching story.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by Whitethorn Digital.]