Hands on with Evolution the Video Game at PAX Unplugged 2018

One of my biggest complaints about board games is the setup and explanation of rules. At the board game nights that I attend on a regular basis, nearly a 3rd of the time spent with a title is setting up and explaining the game?s rules. So whenever a board game embraces the digital format, I?m always more than willing to give them a look. North Star Games was showing off their digital port of Evolution at PAX Unplugged and I met up with the VP of their Digital Division, Scott Rencher to check out this iteration of the title.

Evolution the Video Game has you creating creatures and added evolutionary traits to ensure the creatures feed and survive. The digital version on display was the app version and it supports up to 4 players. The basic creature type in this game are herbivores. At the start of a turn the players contributes a specific amount of food to the food pool. You can be generous and play a lot of food to ensure both sides can feed or you can provide little to no food to force hard choices. After food has been added to the pool players can add additional species, add to the body size or population of an existing species, finally a player can choose a trait to add to an existing species. Once that is done the amount of food in the watering hole is revealed and players will begin to feed their species. The round ends when all the food has been consumed or all the species have been fed.

Animals who don?t feed by the round?s end loses population and if that species? population drops to zero that species is rendered extinct. The game continues until the deck of traits which all the players draw from have been depleted. Scoring consists of the amount of food a player has collected during the course of the game as well as the amount of species left remaining.

The digital version takes this base games and adds several modes. A story mode which has you taking on AIs with varying playstyles. Defeating them will add these AIs to your collection and will allow you to take them on outside of the story mode. A multiplayer mode which will allow you to play against any player who has this title regardless of which digital platform they purchased it on. This is quite an impressive feat for a studio who is releasing their first title. The multiplayer mode will have a ranking system and North Star Games plans on rewarding those who reach the upper ranks.

When asking my board game friends about this title they had positive feedback to provide and I can concur with my experience of the digital version. I will be monitoring their social media feeds as they will be announcing a launch date in January 2019. Evolution the Video Game will be on iOS, Android and PC/Steam.