If you just can't get enough of Monument Valley, then Evo Explores will likely be love at first sight. This casual puzzle game is made by indie developer KyryloKuzyk and it features a familiar blend of surreal landscapes, quirky puzzles and gravity defying platforms. Inspired by ustwo's award-winning masterpiece, the basic rule here is ""if something looks real, it is"" so there's no need to think twice about walking past an obscured hole or walking underneath instead of on a flight of stairs. Can't imagine how to do it? Evo Explores is something that's best experienced instead of explained. In case you're still unconvinced, read on to find out if this puzzle title is worth your downtime.
Explore the Unknown
So who is Evo anyway? In a nutshell, Evo is a space explorer. Although there are countless planets in his world and each one of them is unique, the Byte planet is, by far, the most interesting. The Byte planet is filled with interconnected areas that allow brave explorers like Evo to go left, right, over or even beneath structures. At first glance, you might get the impression that you're stuck and that there's nowhere to go. Well, you're not. Turn that camera and look harder. You may be surprised to find that it is possible to clear the way towards the exit.
Every level you conquer brings Evo closer to understanding the mysteries of the Byte planet. What makes this game so interesting is that the laws of physics don't work in the world. Gravity is defined more by visual cues rather than logic. Basically, you'll need to rely on your imagination to get where you want to go. As we've mentioned before, Evo Explores follows the footsteps of Monument Valley right down to its surreal game design. Master the art of rotating the camera, switching platforms, raising pillars and don't let the terrain confuse you. It's really quite satisfying once you get the hang of it.
Trust What You See
What sets Evo Explores apart from other puzzle games is its emphasis on visual solutions over outright logical ones. While most require you to show off your skills and find ways to overcome obstacles, this title encourages you to think outside the box. To get past a hole, for instance, you can turn the camera around to block said pitfall from view using a pillar. Now, all you have to do is to direct Evo past the structure and you're all set. He'll stroll past that as if the hole doesn't exist. And why should it? It is, after all, sight unseen. As you might have guessed, the main draw of this game lies in its various optical illusions. To get past levels, you can walk over, under and on the side of each architectural puzzle. Although it may sound like there's plenty (or too much) to do, there's no need to be intimidated. The basic goal remains the same for all 35 mind-blowing levels -- find the exit and proceed to the next one.
As with games such as this covered at Friendly Robotics, the difficulty increases as you progress through the game. You start out with one Evo to control and then, later on, he gains the power to duplicate himself for double the fun. The 3D structures get increasingly jumbled and the solutions aren't always obvious at first glance. It might get a bit frustrating towards the end of your journey but that's really part and parcel of the genre.
No Time Limit
If you've been stuck for a while and you're just about ready to give up, take a deep breath and look at things from a fresh perspective. We do love the fact that there is no time limit to solving the puzzles. Without the added pressure, the tricky segments are a lot more manageable and the easy ones are much easier to appreciate. The game is also great for puzzle lovers of all ages. There's no need to worry about inappropriate or graphic content. Oh, and have we mentioned how beautiful this game is? The 3D landscapes are surreal, with soft colors and adorable, blocky models. Having stars for a background certainly contributes to its dreamy feel too. It's not quite Monument Valley level but we have to admit, it's pretty close.
Speaking of which, the developer does go through the trouble of implying that, while, Evo Explores was inspired by it, it is a step up from Monument Valley. We're not really big fans of this type of advertising but at least he does recognize how closely it resembles the original. The puzzles are unique to each game anyway and if you liked either one, then you will love the other as well. Play Evo Explores if you haven't gotten enough of the topsy turvy wonderland that is Monument Valley. You need only to pay once to play as it features no in-app purchases.