A damsel in distress is an overused and awful trope, depicting women as weak and needing a man to save them. A much better, and unique, story is a courageous girl exploring a mysterious island to save a genius boy. In Evan’s Remains, you play as a young girl named Dysis, and she is tasked with going to an uninhabited island to find a technological genius, Evan, from her hometown that wandered off there. During her journey, puzzles are solved, platforms are landed on, and minds are blown.
Evan’s Remains is a narrative puzzle-platformer that masters every aspect. The puzzles are simple but get more complex as you progress. They consist of making platforms disappear or appear when stepping on a specific platform, and regular platforms disappear when jumping off of them. Making platforms disappear when stepping on them will make a new pattern when stepping on the main platform, and with different platforms being available, you can make a path to the goal. It begins by introducing the platforms that control whether platforms appear/disappear without challenging you, and then slowly builds the mechanic to the point where the end of the demo is a little complicated but extremely fun to solve.
The same can be said about the plot of Evan’s Remains. In the beginning, you are just playing as a young woman who is searching for a genius, but it quickly becomes much more than that. Dialogue scenes happen after every couple of puzzles, and every scene seemed necessary and added mystery to the story of Evan and to the island itself. The pacing of the story is flawless, and the reward of a great story after every puzzle section gives you the motivation to keep going.
By the end of the demo, I was extremely invested in the story and wanted to know a lot more, especially due to the mind-blowing ending that made the plot even more exciting. The plot is not the only amazing aspect of Evan’s Remains, it also has some of the most beautiful pixel art I have seen all year, and a beautiful soundtrack.
The pixel art really shines and has some very beautiful moments. Although some of the backgrounds repeat, it still looks very amazing and the final area of the demo has very cool architecture. The game also has visual novel-esque dialogue scenes with great character design. The element of art really adds to the game’s overall tone by having bright backgrounds and jaw-dropping visuals that make the experience charming.
The soundtrack also adds to Evan’s Remains’ charm. Every scene has a great melody to match its tone and the electronic music makes moments very epic later in the demo. At first, it is a very simple and steady beat, but it builds as you progress through the level. One minor complaint I have is that the song transitions are flawed. One song abruptly ends while the dialogue music begins. I think there is a way to possibly fix it so the songs fade out while another song begins so the transitions work better.
Evan’s Remains’ demo already has a place on my Game of the Year list. With the demo only lasting roughly ten minutes, every single moment was crafted extremely well. From its well-written sci-fi story to its amazing art, I loved every second of it. You need to play this game, and you need to be excited about its future because Evan’s Remains has a lot of potential and is already a fantastic game.
You can download it here!