Evan’s Remains
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Evan’s Remains is a puzzle platformer that combines logic-based platforming challenges with visual novel-style storytelling. Playing as a young woman named Dysis, players are tasked with making their way along a tropical beach and solving puzzles while searching for a vanished man named Evan. Although very linear, the beautiful 2D pixel art visuals and moving soundtrack make the game a joy to play. However, the focus is very much on the story, so frequent cut-scenes punctuate the brief puzzle platforming sequences. The game is not without its flaws, but overall it is a moving and memorable title.

Gameplay: The puzzle platforming sections are fun, but only serve as brief interludes for the main focus of the game, which is the story.

Graphics: The pixel art looks beautiful and the game features some excellent backgrounds and fluid animations.

Sound: The soundtrack remains calm and soothing throughout while the sound effects are crisp and clear

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
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Summary 0.0 Terrible

Evan’s Remains

Developer: maitan69 | Publisher: Whitethorn Games | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Platformer / Puzzle / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Dysis, the protagonist of Evan’s Remains, has been hired to find a genius named Evan. Since his disappearance years ago, nobody has been able to locate Evan, until one day a letter arrives stating where he is and that Dysis should come to find him. This location turns out to be an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, which is where the story begins.

As players take control of Dysis it becomes clear that she is as perplexed as her mysterious employer, Up-Bring Labs, about Evan’s request. Nevertheless, it’s not every day she gets to visit a tropical paradise, so clad in a sundress and wearing a floppy hat, she sets out to accomplish her mission. While she doesn’t find Evan upon arrival, Dysis does make a couple of interesting discoveries on the island. The first is some mysterious monoliths left behind by what appears to be an ancient civilization, and the second is the presence of a man named Clover, who is exploring the island for his own reasons. Dysis and Clover soon agree to work together to accomplish their goals, but each continues to hide some secrets from each other. There’s obviously a lot more to the story than this, but Evan’s Remains is a very narrative-focused game and to reveal any more would spoil things.

From a gameplay perspective, Evan’s Remains is a combination of puzzle platformer and visual novel, but the puzzle elements take a backseat to the story. Players are presented with a series of logic-based platforming puzzles, where the goal is to clear a tall green monolith on the right side of the screen. Each puzzle is only a single screen wide but requires some logical thinking and a bit of planning from players to clear. The path to clear the green monolith is usually very obvious, but the presence of platforms that disappear once touched twice as well as special platforms that influence the surroundings complicates things somewhat. For example, some platforms teleport Dysis between two points when jumped on while others move or reset the surrounding platforms. In addition, some platforms bounce Dysis higher depending on the height from which she jumps on them. Some levels combine these in interesting ways to ensure that players can’t just breeze straight to their goal. The new mechanics are introduced every two or three puzzles but the overall complexity remains quite low throughout.

While the puzzles are quite clever there’s nothing here that is going to seriously tax fans of the genre. Since the focus of the game is primarily the story, it even allows players to completely skip any puzzles without any penalty. This makes sense from an in-universe perspective as Dysis can simply walk past the monoliths without solving them. However, we recommend not doing so as the game is already quite short, and solving the puzzles is very rewarding. Some of them can look a little daunting initially, but all of them are very logical and can easily be solved with a bit of trial and error or careful observation.

The game also does not have any timers or enemies, so players are free to play at their own pace. Another interesting element is that for narrative reasons the puzzles don’t always increase in difficulty and some even repeat.

Interspersed with the puzzles are scenes where Dysis chats with Clover as well as a few flashbacks highlighting what Clover was up to before his arrival on the island. These can be quite lengthy but remain intriguing enough that we never had the urge to skip any of them. The story becomes even more convoluted toward the end and some suspension of disbelief is required, but overall we found it to be quite moving and very memorable.

Visually Evan’s Remains is a beautiful-looking game and the 2D pixel art not only looks great but also features some impressive animations. The frequent cut scenes combine the impressive 2D sprites along with some nice character portraits for all the characters. The effect works quite well, especially for conveying the emotions of the characters. Like the puzzles, all the dialogue can be skipped, but doing so would mean missing out on the entire point of the game. The puzzle sections, by comparison, look a little plain, but as Dysis travels between them there are some nice backgrounds and visual effects, such as reflective water. Although everything takes place on the island there’s a decent amount of variety when it comes to the backgrounds.

The audio in Evan’s Remains complements the look and feel of the game nicely and the soundtrack remains nice and mellow throughout. The sound effects are crisp and clear too and while the game doesn’t feature any voice-acting it makes up for this with great animations and portraits. We also found the controls to be very responsive whether played with a keyboard or a controller. Dysis can move left or right, jump, and look up or down, but the most frequently used button in the game is definitely the one used to advance the dialogue.

Overall, Evan’s Remains is not exactly the best puzzle platformer or most in-depth visual novel, but somehow the combination works to create a unique and memorable experience. The game is very linear and players going in expecting to be challenged might be disappointed. In addition, the story is quite moving and definitely took a few unexpected turns along the way. However, it’s not perfect, and some elements will cause a love-it-or-hate-it reaction among players. We would have liked to see a few more puzzles as well as more room for the story to grow instead of the very exposition-heavy last part of the game. Nevertheless, especially considering its budget-friendly price, Evan’s Remains is easy to recommend despite these minor flaws.

iframe src=”https://store.steampowered.com/widget/1110050/” frameborder=”0″ width=”646″ height=”190″>

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 x86 or x64
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q8200 (4 * 2330) / AMD Athlon II X4 645 AM3 (4 * 3100)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX10-compliant card with minimum 512 MB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10 x86 or x64
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 (4 * 2666) / AMD Phenom II X4 965 (4 * 3400)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM MB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTS 450 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q8200 (4 * 2330) or equivalent
  • Memory: 3 GB RAM GB RAM
  • Storage: 550 MB available space MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 (4 * 2666)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM GB RAM
  • Storage: 550 MB available space MB available space

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1 Comment

  1. bionoid September 16, 2023
    Reply

    ** SPOILERS **

    Good story ahead !

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