Evolve Companion App - When mechanics doesn't match tone


#1

So when I saw that Evolve’s companion app was a match 3 game, I was really confused. Or, perhaps taken aback would be a better phrase.

See, Evolve is a really amazing game to me. Its fresh, fast paced, tactical, and it has a killer style. Everything feels dark & gritty, with an air of terror, mystery. Its peppered with humor, but the primary feeling it evokes is fear. (not literally, but that’s the tone) Evolve’s tone perfectly matches the gameplay, and that’s something to get really excited about.

On the other hand, this mobile app feels really out of place in the Evolve brand. Even though they’re doing some cool things like cataloguing the various animals in the game, the fact that I’m playing a cartoony match-3 game really doesn’t jibe with me. Its like if someone made a memory game to go with The Hobbit - Desolation of Smaug. The mechanics simply do not fit the tone, and that creates a disconnect for me.

Now, this isn’t as bad as Assasin’s Creed, where the mobile app is required to unlock certain content. And I also like that you can view past matches in the app. Really hoping that you’ll be able to save, or upload those replays as gifs. But I appreciate that its not required to play Evolve, and that the in-game unlocks are fairly minor.

However, I think the developers of this app missed what’s really cool about Evolve, and missed the mark when it comes to matching the brand. I would much rather have seen the Planet Guide that MacMan spoke of, with creature sketches & descriptions. Or something that doesn’t reduce a fundamentally scary game to something… silly and juvenile.

What if instead of a match-3 puzzle game that simulates turn-based combat, instead we had to manage the evacuation of Shear from a top-down level, looking at the planet and managing resources, escapees, and deploying hunters. It would make the plight of the colonies really apparent, it would create a sense of urgency that’s really missing from the current game, and it could be a really unique way to tell a correlating story in Evolve. It could still provide opportunities to say, learn about the wildlife of Shear, and also meet the hunters.

What are your thoughts on the mechanics of the app vs. the tone and brand of Evolve?

(Here’s a video from Extra Credits for context)


#2

Extra Credits = Awesome

I should add: this is more like a game my wife would play, so not being in a Candy Crush (or whatever the model is) kind of frame of mind, it’s kind of a goofy distraction in a genre that I don’t normally play. One could give them points for going polar opposite to the genre – sort of like if they’d done an EVOLVE Cart Racer. I agree with you, though: tone counts. And speaking of micro-transactions …


#3

Yeah, I think an RTS-lite or even a tower defense style game would’ve been better choices than a match-3, but regardless of what the game is I won’t be spending much time playing it. The map replays are the star of the show.


#4

It is the only Evolve I am able to play right now, therefore I am required to love it eternally.


#5

I like to think of this as a special shout out for all those who wanted a free to play evolve. Here you go. XD


#6

well i guess the bonus would be mastery progression would be 1 match instead of 2