Hey, gang! This week’s Kickstarter Game of the Week is here, and it’s Evolve: Lights of the Deep by Lionfish Games!

I’m pumped to see another fledgling game designer putting their work out on Kickstarter! I first noticed Evolve over on Instagram (shameless plug here, if you’re not already following us on Instagram), and what initially drew me into it was the phenomenal geometric artwork. Though simple, it’s positively stunning, and it reminds me of looking through a microscope – not an accident, as the game’s theme centers around players evolving their single-celled organisms into competitive, complex creatures. But Evolve: Lights of the Deep’s artwork has an otherworldly quality to it as well. It’s like looking into a neon kaleidoscope, and I can forsee this being just a gorgeous game to have on the table during, or even not during, gameplay.

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Evolve: Lights of the Deep’s gameplay centers on hand management – finding the best way to evolve and adapt your organisms. There are three unique decks that players must use to achieve this: 1) The organism deck gives you your base creatures; 2) the evolution deck allows you to ‘level-up’ those creatures; and 3) the adaptation deck is where the tactical gameplay really comes in – you can use these cards to gain bonuses or smack down your opponent, doing things from gaining additional actions on your turn, to forcing your opponent to discard their own cards.

decks 2.jpgThis kind of simple and quick, yet highly tactical gameplay reminds me a bit of Evolution: The Beginning, in that you’ve got to manage a hand of cards – all of which are valued the same (1 card), but do different things – creating new creatures, or boosting your abilities. And, of course, the theme is somewhat similar, although I actually prefer Evolve: Lights of the Deep for its beautiful simplicity – single-celled organisms have a lot more at stake, after all, and I’m always going to root for an underdog over a ferocious dinosaur! It’s like in the first stage of the computer game, Spore, where you’re rooting on your amoeba despite it being this teeny tiny little speck of a thing.

The simplicity in the gameplay of Evolve: Lights of the Deep also reminds me of other fast-paced family-friendly card games like Exploding Kittens (not the NSFW version though… heh heh). There’s not a tremendous amount of mechanics to learn–players can pick up the game just by playing a round–but the “take that” and quick-decision hand management aspects make it loads and loads of replayable fun. I can see this game making it to the table over drinks with friends, or as a fun way to pass the time with kids, while waiting for dinner, or while waiting for larger, more unweildy games to be set-up.

I’m keen to see this campaign succeed, because I’m always drawn to light, tactical little card games, and I’m also a big fan of striking, stylized artwork. And like the game’s single-celled organisms, I’m really rooting for Lionfish Games to evolve and grow. The campaign’s almost funded, so be sure to check it out on Kickstarter and consider backing! As of writing this post, there’s just 17 days to go.

Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky,
Nick

 

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