Previews// PAX Round-Up: Ever Green, First Wonder, Galak-Z and Guild of Dungeoneering: Pirate Cove

Posted 23 Sep 2015 15:00 by
Chris O'Regan, host of The Sausage Factory podcast (which takes a deep dive into the development process with games studios, you should listen to it), has travelled to the future to sample the games that will be interfering with your older brain. When we say the future, we mean PAX Prime. When we say 'interfering with your older brain', that is exactly what we mean. Read on for what he found...

Ever Green
Developer: Siege Sloth Games
Format(s): Windows PC, Mac & Linux

Evolution of life forms is something that has been the subject of many a video game, the most famous of which is Spore, featuring the full gamut of creature creation from single cell formation to a sentient being that was capable of space flight. Ever Green is another evolution-focused title that I discovered at the PAX Prime 2015 Indie Megabooth Minibooth and while it's not as ambitious as Spore it does afford the player the ability to manipulate life itself via supernatural means.

Ever Green has the player altering the way in which life on Earth evolves into what it is now, but subtly shifting creatures' behaviour by encouraging them to interact with items the player creates in the world. This is done via the creation of a mythical tree that is far more advanced than the other plant life on the surface of the Earth, at least initially. By growing this tree the player alters the landscape, encouraging more advanced plantlife to form and thus getting creatures from the sea to leave their watery homes and gain sustenance from these new plants.

The tree's growth is controlled both above and below ground, with the roots tapping into energies that afford new powers to the player. As the tree grows and time goes on, epochs are reached that the player can invoke and alter in some way, all of which does have an impact on the aesthetics of the tree itself.

Ever Green appears to be a very passive experience, with the player simply altering a single plant that somehow has the power over all life on the planet. But it does a great job of explaining the very complex theory of evolution that pertains to how life became so diverse on Earth.

There are two modes of play in Ever Green. One is a story mode where the player has to complete a series of challenges in order to progress, while the other is a free form story mode that allows players to create a world outside of the boundaries found in the story mode.

Ever Green is very much in early development and will not be released until sometime in 2016. Formats include Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

First Wonder
Developer: Rogue Rocket Games
Format(s): Windows PC

Almost 20 years ago there was one developer that kept on producing very unique and interesting games that kept the video game community enthralled (as well as confused!). The name of that company was Planet Moon Studios and while it has long since ceased to be, its legacy remains. First Wonder can be traced as a direct lineage through to Giants: Citizen Kabuto as the original designer of that much-vaunted game has returned with First Wonder.

Like its spiritual predecessor, First Wonder focuses its attention on the old David and Goliath tale of giant vs regular sized people and what both sides do to defend themselves against one another. I played the smaller race of beings. While they're well equipped to the point where their drop ship can provide a plethora of flight upgrades and weapons, the giant is formidable to say the least.

Control was quite responsive and the ability to drop onto the giant from a great height reminded me a great deal of the anime Attack on Titan. Though I do not believe the giant creature's weak spot in First Wonder is the back of his neck!

From my time with First Wonder at PAX Prime 2015 in the 'PAX Rising' booth I can see the potential it has. The graphical style is very much an extension from 15 years ago, only now running on a much more powerful chipset that allows the creators of First Wonder to really flourish. There is projected to be a crowd funding campaign for First Wonder in the autumn of this year, but you can pledge your support right now by clicking here.
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