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?