Review Evolution the Video Game on mobile

Game: Evolution the Video Game
System: iOS/ Android
Publisher/ Developer: Stride PR/ North Star Digital Studios
Price: Free download, in app purchase full game € 10,99 |$14.99
Age Rating: EU 9+ | USA E
Release Date: 12th February 2019
Also Available On: PC

Review code kindly provided by Stride PR

Every once in a while a review code for a mobile game reaches us. And as I don’t mind playing games on my iPad, I’m more the happy to give them a try. So when we got a code for iOS game Evolution reached us I was curious to see what kind of game this was. 

Evolution is a board game, in fact, an award winning board game with more than 1.6 million players. Now, I’m not one of those players, so I had no idea what to expect. We got off to a rocky start, but I ended up really, really enjoying my adventure. And being quite addicted to it!

All about survival of the most adaptive

A quote that is often contributed to Charles Darwin is “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change” And that is exactly the bases of Evolution: the Video Game. 

There is no storyline, this is a card game that is all about survival. Your species arrives at the watering hole along with several others. Based on the cards you are given, and the circumstances in which you find the watering hole, you must make the decisions. If there’s little food, you might wanna play the card with the long neck to get extra food. Are there predators around? Then play a trait that hurts the carnivore when he tries to eat you, like a big horn. Or you might want to change your species in a predator yourself, so you are not dependant on the food in the watering hole.

The game does a good job taking you by the hand through the various sorts of condition in which your species has to survive. You have to follow the first tutorial levels of the Explore Campaign until you are victorious there, otherwise you can’t progress. Pay attention, as you really need the info given. Actually, I did the first campaign twice, as I was distracted during the first run and needed the info later on.

The gameplay explained

You start the game with one species, three slots for special traits and a hand of cards. First, you have to place a card in the watering hole which the other players can’t see. This determines how much food there will be to forage on. In fact, your first strategic decision. For instance, when you are a carnivore you might not care how much plant food there is!

When it’s your turn, you use the rest of the cards as you want. Give your species a special trait, like Warning call (where a carnivore must have Ambush to attack species on either side of you) or Cooperation, which lets you take extra food from the watering hole and share it to the species to your right. Combining Cooperation with the trait foraging is even better, and will give you more food with your opponents going hungry.

Because you see, you don’t have to focus on just one of your species type, using your cards you can also choose to make more of your species. They may be easy prey at first, but they might grow out into a strong animal.

Another thing to do with the cards you get is add population, each of which has to be fed. And there’s body size, which can be a good one to have a high number in. A carnivore will have more trouble attacking you!

Lastly, you might consider using the carnivore trait on yourself, and turn your species into a meat eater. This changes everything: you can’t eat the plant-based food anymore. You have to eat the other species on the board. And try to circumvent the measures like traits they have taken to defend themselves.

Coming up as the winner

The population that can’t feed, dies. This goes for the herbivores but for the carnivores as well. And for every population you manage to feed, you get a point in that turn. In the end, when all cards are used, those points are counted. The traits you attributed give points too, as well as the number of population your have. Only the number one counts, there are no seconds in this game!

Key in this game is the strategy. Do I take my chances and focus on gobbling up a lot of food? Keeping my fingers crossed the other players won’t turn into carnivores? Or do I use my cards to protect myself from predators and don’t make too much of a herd for fear that they won’t be able to eat?

It took me some time to get all of this in my head, but once I understood I enjoyed myself a lot. In fact, I couldn’t stop playing. Just one more battle! It’s easy to pick up and play, and the gameplay isn’t overly long. But if you have to stop before you are done, Evolution does a good job of saving the game for you.

Local gameplay and online battles

After the Explore Campaign you make you account using an email address and username. These are needed to carry over your scores to other devices you may have (I have the same game running on my iPad and on my iPhone). More importantly perhaps, you need you account for the online gameplay.

There are various ways to play: local gameplay, where you progress with your campaign, getting more and more new additions to the kind of cards you can use. You could also forgo on that and play against a random generated AI. I did this at first, and got all different cards that are available without knowing exactly what they were for. So, it was back to the Campaign for me.

Then there’s online gameplay: against a friend in a Private Game, or you can let the game Find a Match to have a random adversary. For this you need the amount: a friend section let’s you add someone by their own North Star Account.

A beautiful looking game

Of course, the iPad I play on has the specs to present beautiful images. And Evolution does its best to meet the mark: of course the scenes are drawn, but it does look very good. In between the gameplay you’ll be surprised at the artists sketches that are included, they look beautiful and old at the same time.

The music is laid back, the sounds of the jungle accompany you. When there’s so much food that the creatures can autofeed, it feels really good to hear the little popping sounds.

Everything plays so smoothly, no glitches. I’m very happy that I got the chance to get to know Evolution: the Video Game. And I can’t help but think that this game would be a wonderful game to add to the Switch library. For now, you can play it on Steam and on your mobile device. You can download it for free and see if you like it, before you shell out the price. A price that is well worth it!

I like it a lot!


  1. For anyone interested..
    A standalone (physical) board game in the Evolution series, ‘Oceans’, is now on Kickstarter :

    They sell the video game too, at a discount, but only as an add-on to the physical board game:

    “Evolution Video Game (English Only)
    Add $7 for each android or iOS code, or $12 for each Steam code, to your pledge (30% off). You’ll receive a code through which you’ll redeem the video game at campaign’s end.

    We’ve turned Evolution into a video game for iOS, Android, and Steam. It’s got lots of new content and modes of play, and a refined interface. The learn-as-you-play tutorial makes it perhaps the easiest way to learn Evolution.”

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