Friday, June 28, 2013

Evilot [Syrenaica] - $0.99

Since Plants Vs. Zombies hit the AppStore there’s been a whole slew of lane based defense games. There are a few that have stood out among the crowd, Total War Battles: Shogun, Defense Of Fortune: The Savior, Hero TacTics and others are pretty good examples of this. Well, last week another title hit the store, and it’s mechanics and the strategy involved make it another Lane Defense game that’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre; Evilot, from the development team Syrenaica. 

Evilot puts you in the shoes of the ‘evil’ mastermind, Count Dolfus. With adventurers and knights trying to come and steal away his gold and treasures, he’s forced to use whatever methods he can in order to keep from succeeding. Now, what really makes Evilot interesting is the way that you can combine your defenses in order to level them up. Placing 3 like-defenses on the gameplay area will make them all merge onto the area where your last piece was set. This can be done horizontally as well as vertically and while that in-itself is a pretty cool mechanic, if you’re not careful, you could wind up accidentally placing a defensive piece next to two others in the heat of the moment and wind up letting a group of knights through your barricade. However, once you get use to it, it’s something that definitely winds up setting Evilot apart from most of the games within the genre. 

As you progress through the game, you’ll be given more and more defensive pieces to work with. Starting off you’ll only have rats, but as you move on you’ll be given wooden barriers, skeletons, frogs, green blob things and more. While you’re not able to choose which pieces to use in each stage, they are mixed up from stage to stage, and depending on what you’re given, the strategy for each stage changes as well. 
The game contains 50 stages spread across 5 different areas with a boss battle at the end of each area. The graphics, while at first kind of seeming a bit dull when compared to other titles within the genre, have really grown on me. The gothic type look and feel of everything is something that’s not seen too often in the gaming world, and here, Syrenaica has done a great job of not going overboard with it, but still keeping it graphically appealing throughout the game. The comic-book type cut-scenes between each territory are very polished and well done, helping to add to the overall feel of the game while also injecting a bit of humor.

The user interface is simple to use as well. Placement is done by tapping on the piece you want to place on the bottom of the screen and then selecting the tile you want to place it. When a piece is selected, it’s icon at the bottom of the screen will be highlighted in green, making it easy to quickly glance down and know what piece you have selected. Defeating an enemy or having one of your own pieces defeated will drop a ‘card’ which you can pick up by tapping on it and then use again by placing it anywhere in the gameplay area. 

Unfortunately, there is no GameCenter support, so there are no leaderboards or achievements to go after. There are also no in-game achievements, all of which kind of takes away some of the replay value that can be found with other titles that do incorporate these features. But, with the difficulty of the last 30 or so levels, there’s always a nice sense of accomplishment once you do complete a stage and area and this does help drive the game along. It would also be nice to see some sort of additional gameplay mode, maybe something where you control the knights and adventurers and try and steal the treasures, or an endless mode, maybe even a hardcore mode where you can just jump straight in to some insanely hectic gameplay. With these things not found here, Evilot can, at times, feel like it’s lacking the overall fullness that would make it totally stand out within the genre, but the core gameplay is solid and the main campaign that can be found here is definitely worth the $0.99 entry fee. Even if more modes were only made available through IAP, I’d love to see this game grow in the future, and sincerely hope that it does. If you’re still on the fence about purchasing it, there is a lite version available for free in the AppStore. 


Post a Comment