Evan’s Remains – Review

In Evan’s Remains, we solve puzzles on an uninhabited island while looking for a genius named Evan. How did we find it? Here’s what we think.

There’s nothing about Evan’s Remains that feels like it’s been done before. It’s a mystery thriller set on a bright, sunkissed island, where the protagonist solves puzzles built into ancient monoliths, all while wearing a breezy sun dress and a straw hat. When she’s not hopping around, she’s trying to tease out the mystery of the island and why she’s on it, with the help of a boy named Clover. It’s a striking image, and the game capitalises on it very early by immersing you in a world that sparks curiosity at every turn. Who sent Dysis? Who is her scientist-y remote handler? Who is Clover and why is he on the island? The more answers that come through, twice as many questions are raised.

The story goes that boy genius Evan has gone missing. He’s been missing for years, in fact. This changes at the start of the game, when he supposedly resurfaces with a message that points to the coordinates of an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Along with his coordinates is a message, asking for a girl named ‘Dysis’ to be sent for him. Whatever mysterious organisation Evan was a part of, it has decided to comply. Dysis is sent in with her straw hat and superhuman jumping abilities, and shortly after reaching the island, she makes two discoveries. One, the island was once home to an ancient civilisation that left behind messages on puzzle-infused monoliths. Second, there’s someone else on the island: a boy, Clover, who is translating the monoliths to uncover a secret. The discoveries tie into the game’s hybrid of genres. It’s as much a visual novel as it is a puzzle game—which I think is an appealing combination. Thankfully, Evan’s Remains is good at both genres.

Evan's Remains screenshot

The puzzles of Evan’s Remains are chiefly based on platforms that disappear once you step off of them. It might sound like something you’ve done before, but Evan’s Remains crafts a whole game out of them, requiring you to use logic, experimentation, as well as forwards and backwards thinking. As you progress, more mechanics are put into play, such as teleporting platforms, and platforms that serve as switches to toggle whether ‘regular’ platforms are accessible or not. The game slips in these mechanics at a steady pace. I never found myself overwhelmed with the puzzles of Evan’s Remains, nor did I find them too difficult or too easy. If ever I could describe a game as the Goldilocks of puzzle challenge, Evan’s Remains is it.

Evan's Remains screenshot

The graphic novel bit reveals a story with adorable sprites and expressive writing inspired by Japanese games. As the game progresses in both present-day and flashback threads, you come to piece together the mystery of what is going on. The resolution was satisfactory, I thought, even though the actual story might be one of the most convoluted plots I’ve ever witnessed. It’s honestly something to behold when it all comes together. Although the storytelling of Evan’s Remains tells a complete and concise story, the game seems doesn’t do enough with its excellent puzzling. I’m typically one to get annoyed by difficult puzzles soon, but with Evan’s Remains, I found myself craving more. My leading disappointment towards the ending was that there weren’t any more puzzles to solve, so I do hope developer Matías Schmied considers a successor or expansion of some sort.

Evan’s Remains tells a gripping, amazingly convoluted tale interspersed by irresistible puzzle platforming that left me wanting a lot more than what I got.

Developer: Matías Schmied
Country of Origin: Argentina
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Release Date: 11th June 2020 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)

This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the developer. The PC version of the game was played for this review of Evan’s Remains.

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Evan’s Remains tells a gripping, amazingly convoluted tale interspersed by irresistible puzzle platforming that left me wanting a lot more than what I got.

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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