A lot of big card based games now have video game adaptations, from Magic to Pokemon. Many are well thought out, put balance in, and makes it so that you don't get pissed off easily. Evolution manages to make a fun card game in the wrong way.
The story is that you are a species instructed by a very annoying professor to evolve. And with the help of cards, you decide to go carnivore, grow a long neck, and basically use evolution to gain abilities, grow and take everyone else out, probably leading to total species collapse. I remember playing the card-based game, and I found it fun, if a little challenging. And as a plot device, adapt or die is good. I just wished the game would let me attack that professor who assumes you don't know anything. Seriously, he's worse than Clippy.
Controls are point and click. I didn't even look up if there were any hot keys. Point and click was all you needed. Ok, sometimes with a drag option. Its simple and keeps the flow going.
Graphics are a mix of realistic and fantastic, and honestly, with what the game does, its a good combo. Some graphics don't do anything. Like plants growing when your animals feed. Nice touch, but it was really a lot of unnecessary graphics. But overall it kept in the theme of it. Except for that goddamn professor icon. He was horridiously cartoonish, didn't fit in graphics-wise and really dampened things whenever it started getting fun. No mascot is better than a mascot. Or better yet, why not have the animals be mascots? I don't know why I'm so hung up on this, but my God. He's that bad.
Gameplay is basic card royale. You have animals, you build them up, add new ones, add new traits, have them eat, have them fight, and basically make it like a microcosm of life. The only problem is, while it works (and works quite well), the AI is just ridiculous. Every game whichever AI was the carnivore attacked me and only me, even if there were weaker opponents. Every time. Even if he was for sure going to lose to me. Like the professor, it stopped fun right in it's tracks. Even with different difficulties, nothing would deter it. I swear, some parts I think the makers wanted you to get pissed off by.
Music is cartoonish. Think Kratt's Creatures meets Tycoon-franchise games soundtrack. It's repetitive, but again, fits the game nicely. Sound-wise I was hoping for more animal sounds, but most of it was a variety of clicks for moving cards. Although I did appreciate the carnivore card making attacking sounds.
There was plenty lag or slow down to speak of. The game was pretty fluid sometimes, but did stall when clicking a card wouldn't work, or I had to click and move it 5 times for it to move. Oh, and sometimes the professors screen when he explains things to you patronizingly will just freeze up for minutes. Little lag on play, but definite lag and glitching in other areas. For some reason, it often occurred when that professor guy came on. Maybe that's where the hatred of him is coming from.
Evolution takes a fun card game and buries it with needless add-ons,parts that slow it down, parts that make it annoying and an extremely unfair AI. I really wanted to like this, since this sort of thing is usually up my alley. But man. I swear they were trying to make it a worse product.
Final Score: 5.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.