Evolution: The Video Game is inspired by a board game of the same name. It is an award-winning board game for 2 – 6 players in an ever-changing ecosystem, featuring hungry predators and limited resources. The game shows a lot of potentials to steal the field of the most popular games out there on the App Store.

Evolution The Video Game Free Download
Evolution is an award-winning board game, published by North Star Games in 2014.

General gameplay

Making its way to iOS, Evolution the card game is for 4 players. Each one takes control of burgeoning species from prehistoric times that simply want to eat everything to survive. In general, players will try to spawn hungry dinos and eat, eat and eat!  Of course, the best eaters take it all. Once the dinos are summoned, you can start evolving them over and over, and the way you evolve them decides the availability of the food source. You can choose to make your dinos have longer necks to reach higher plant food, or improve their armor for better protection. Your dinos can turn into carnivorous beasts, meaning that they will start eating meat, that is, other dinos. The strategy of the game is to acknowledge your opponent’s trait evolution, adapt and respond to gain an advantage. Below is a beta trailer for a closer look at Evolution.


Randomness is limited in Evolution

Evolution doesn’t have that much of a random factor like other card games. This could be the most spot-on feature of the game. Your decisions will always benefit you somehow and you won’t be wasting your turn with useless decisions simply because you don't have any playable cards. Since many cards are available for you, your choice of traits makes your deck multi-dimensional. You can always adapt to your opponents, such as adding body weights to fight off carnivores or learning to climb trees. Evolution appeared at Pax last November and the app has established so well through the time that 99% of game freezes, bugs or random disconnects are gone. It’s no doubt that North Star digital team has done a good job polishing the codes and tuning things.

How the game board looks like in Evolution.

Game pace and improvements

Many board game adaptations have problems with the pace of the game, but Evolution doesn’t. The game goes quite fast and you can choose to play your hand simultaneously to keep the game moving while the others are busy strategizing. There are not many issues going on with the game, but there’s always room for improvement. It would be much better to have more depth in Evolution: some reference for each trait or maybe some game interaction will fit right in. Also, it would be cool to see your ranking progression since it’s only available to see at the game screen at the end whenever you rank up.

Post-game screen where you can see your game wins and global ranking.

There is only a limited number of traits in the game, but it’s not easy to get what you want. For example, defensive abilities and the one letting you eat before the others are very hard to get. The card scarcity can sometimes frustrate you out, but the right way to play is to respond to cards played by your opponents. Another decent thing in Evolution is that there’s no way you can wipe out the entire board of your enemies like in other games, meaning nobody will be kicked out early and have to wait for the others to finish.

The future path for Evolution

Evolution is looking to steal the playground of the heaviest hitting card games out there like Hearthstone or Elder Scrolls: Legends. The offline version of Evolution lets you play 1 online game a day and it is totally free. However, to play more than that will cost you $8. It’s really a cost that is worth spending since Evolution is a no-brainer. For only a few dollars, you can get the full game and access to every card available immediately.

In other card games, there might be times you’re your draws are so unusable that it annoys you. But that is not the case here in Evolution, there will always be SOMETHING for you to do with every card. You’ll always get to play your round and not just straight up passing due to unplayable hands.

The 4-player configuration of the game might be a bit unusual compared to the conventional head to head gameplay. However, Evolution is immediately accessible as well as having longer-term viability among other card brawlers.

In general, with further development incoming, we might be seeing new formats, new adventures, ranking seasons and much more. Let’s just hope that the price won’t scare off players because Evolution is worth every penny.