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Subject: Devolution - biggest disappointment in years rss

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Steve Austin
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Gaming time in our house is extremely valuable and rare. Getting my wife to play is a chore at best, so when she does agree to play, the game better be appealling. Most of the time it is, as I make very careful choices that will appeal to her play style: Not too many rules, fast set up, good for two, under an hour playtime, and animal themes if possible.

First game of Evolution last night. Was hyped to play. Looked good, fun, and it was an animal theme. Biggest disappointment we had in years. Could not even finish the game, and that has never happened. Wife declared "I'm bored." And as much as I tried to convince myself otherwise, so was I. After an hour, we both said "Is that it?" She asked me how much I paid for it. "$65? That's ridicoulously overpriced. Seems like this game was made for five year olds" I looked on the box expecting it to say age 8 and up. Actually said 12 and up. That was a surprise.

Getting through the game rules wasn't that difficult, but we could not find any gameplay, at least not of an interesting type. Seems broken for two players. Too easy to feed, too many cards (40 removal in 2 player game still not enough), all our cards had high feeding values. "This is all I do? Feed?" Game dragged on, got very repetitive. No interesting or fun decisions. Kept adding poop to our bags and when we quit I didn't even care to check who won.

Only two options to play: going carnivore or herbivore and this did not provide us with any excitement or strategy. While my wife doesn't generally like 'take that!' games, it's interesting to note that in this one, where I attacked her repeatedly, she didn't say a thing. She was too bored to even notice it. Where's the meat? This dino has no clothes. I played carnivore, she protected herself. Easy choices, not enough of them. Plus, too many card timing and interaction questions that implied some strategy but added nothing but rule lookups on BGG.

Another problem: she kept thinking the card traits were the creatures and not the species card. The species card is only a record keeper so it's easy to think that all the creature cards that have PICTURES of creatures on them would be the creatures. This is a shame because the cards are the game and the creatures on the cards should have been the focus.

Sorry, but if a game doesn't grab us on first play, it doesn't get played again. I don't go for the "You need to play this five times to explore its depth and nuances." Time is precious. I only ask for ONE fun game night with a new game. Don't need fifty or even ten plays to make my purchase worthwhile. One good play and it can go back on the shelf for two years. This game didn't even provide that.

What was really annoying in retrospect was the amount of chrome this game includes that does nothing but jack the price from what should be a $20 card game. (And a poor card game for $20) 6 tote bags, large watering hole, huge Dino start piece. All basically unnecessary. While this chrome looks great at first, after playing and finding the gameplay lacking and tedious, these fancy bits just demonstrated lack of design work and too much effort on looks. This is a game for five year olds.

As I usually make very careful game purchases and have a collection under 25 games, it hurts to make a bad choice, especially when you play premium prices and realize that selling it because the box is opened is going to lose you 30% at least. But what hurts most is that a rare afternoon where I got to play a game was wasted on 'Evolution' which should be called 'Devolution': an unevolved and uninvolving game.

I recommend anyone considering this game to play it online first to make sure you like it.

And thank you, Craigslist. Hopefully it sells today for $45.

Bring on the hate.
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Peepser wrote:
While this chrome looks great at first, after playing and finding the gameplay lacking and tedious, these fancy bits just demonstrated lack of design work and too much effort on looks. This is a game for five year olds.


You played this game one time.

One. Time.



shake


Not worth my time here.

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Jay Sachs
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manutd03 wrote:
Peepser wrote:
While this chrome looks great at first, after playing and finding the gameplay lacking and tedious, these fancy bits just demonstrated lack of design work and too much effort on looks. This is a game for five year olds.


You played this game one time.

One. Time.


Not even:

Quote:
Could not even finish the game, and that has never happened.

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Pete
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Easy choices? Not enough options? What??

Pete (is REALLY bad at Evolution because he seems to constantly choose the wrong things to do with his cards)
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Jason Reid
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To be fair to the OP, of all the games in my collection, this would be at or near the bottom to play with 2 players. And then I would only do so with another player who already knows the game well in multi-player and is willing to participate in a vicious 2p battle.

I think the OP draws too many inferences about the game from his very limited exposure to it, but I'm not surprised he had a bad experience.
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Jonas Kissling
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I have the impression that you didn't care very much before you even started. The game offers you a lot of options that will influence the gameplay of all the players. Its realy dynamic!
It's easy to feed the species? If you play always yoir highest cards, yes then maybe.. But as carnivore you could start to play negative cards that the herbivores will starve...
Easy to protect? You have just 2 cards per species. Ok you use these slots for defencive traits, but how can you get now your eating machine working?

The question in this game is always how can I get as many food tokens as possible while preventing the others from it...
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manutd03 wrote:
Peepser wrote:
While this chrome looks great at first, after playing and finding the gameplay lacking and tedious, these fancy bits just demonstrated lack of design work and too much effort on looks. This is a game for five year olds.


You played this game one time.

One. Time.



shake


Not worth my time here.



It's nice to see BGG has devolved into what now appears to be some reddit sub-forum filled with troll comments, tl/dr comments and fucking memes . . . or maybe it's been this way all along and I never really took notice. Oh well. My time is super valuable, so excuse me while I go open a thread I know I'm not going to like, read a review I'm not interested in hearing, make a comment that contributes nothing and then post a picture that's been posted a million times on the internet.

OT: Evolution is awful as a two player game. I agree. I really enjoy it as a 3 and 4 player game. And yes, it's more tactical than strategic. Everything you do is usually a response to what someone else does, so it can be really really bad with only one other player. It's like a Magic game with two mono blue decks.

I love Evolution. If you do get the opportunity to play with more people, give it a shot. If you play primarily with two players, chuck the game in the trash. Thanks for the negative review.
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Jason Reid
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Think of the children, man.
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Jay Sachs
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broken clock wrote:
troll comments


Which comments were trolling?

Quote:
tl/dr comments


Which comemnts were tl;dr? I think they drew out what the reviewer did not: this is an incomplete play first impression of the game played under unfavorable circumstances.

Quote:
and fucking memes . . . or maybe it's been this way all along and I never really took notice. Oh well. My time is super valuable, so excuse me while I go open a thread I know I'm not going to like, read a review I'm not interested in hearing, make a comment that contributes nothing and then post a picture that's been posted a million times on the internet.


That is a clever piece of self-reference, which I'll take to be intentional.
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Felix Rodriguez
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Am I the only one who really loves Evolution for 2? More, even, than multiplayer. Are people playing with the correct rule-set (2 traits max)?
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Kaelistus wrote:
Am I the only one who really loves Evolution for 2? More, even, than multiplayer. Are people playing with the correct rule-set (2 traits max)?


No, there are quite a few people who prefer it with 2-players. I've seen it posted by about 5 different people. 7 people rated Evolution as "best with 2 players".
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Patrick Riley
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manutd03 wrote:
You played this game one time.


Sometimes that's all it takes. I knew I didn't like mushy peas the moment I tasted them. I didn't have to finish my plate. A game may have all kinds of subtlety and strategic nuance that reveals itself over several plays, but if bores you to death before you get to that point, it's not your fault for not wanting to play it multiple times.
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Liz Burton
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brokenclock wrote:

It's nice to see BGG has devolved into what now appears to be some reddit sub-forum filled with troll comments, tl/dr comments and fucking memes . . . or maybe it's been this way all along and I never really took notice. Oh well. My time is super valuable, so excuse me while I go open a thread I know I'm not going to like, read a review I'm not interested in hearing, make a comment that contributes nothing and then post a picture that's been posted a million times on the internet.


Um, hey. I subscribe to the Evolution forums. I didn't intentionally click on something I thought I'd dislike.

I find it irresponsible to play half a game--particularly when the game takes am hour--and then write a ranting post about it. It's not actually helpful. I want a reviewer to play the game a few times and really understand it before bashing it.*

As such, no, I don't think it's important to address his points.

And, on topic as you say, I love the 2p game now. In fact, I playtested it. It's brutal and strategic, but fun.


*Yes, you can dislike a game after one play. Of course! But don't review it after one play or less.
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Steve Austin
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manutd03 wrote:
brokenclock wrote:

It's nice to see BGG has devolved into what now appears to be some reddit sub-forum filled with troll comments, tl/dr comments and fucking memes . . . or maybe it's been this way all along and I never really took notice. Oh well. My time is super valuable, so excuse me while I go open a thread I know I'm not going to like, read a review I'm not interested in hearing, make a comment that contributes nothing and then post a picture that's been posted a million times on the internet.


Um, hey. I subscribe to the Evolution forums. I didn't intentionally click on something I thought I'd dislike.

I find it irresponsible to play half a game--particularly when the game takes am hour--and then write a ranting post about it. It's not actually helpful. I want a reviewer to play the game a few times and really understand it before bashing it.

As such, no, I don't think it's important to address his points.

And, on topic as you say, I love the 2p game now. In fact, I playtested it. It's brutal and strategic, but fun.


You know what's irresponsible? Playing a game you didn't like and NOT saying anything about it. It's pretty obvious BGG review forums are totally slanted to positive reviews. I completely understand when people are afraid to say Anything negative or post a negative review for fear of reprisal and bashing. It's a one sided love fest on almost EVERY game thread.

We spent more than an hour on this game. We have every right to 'rant', or as I would rather say, "Give our opinions". We bought, we overpaid, we learned, we played, we looked up rules and asked questions, we got bored and found nothing of play value in this game. We are not newbies at board games. I've been on this site since 2005, and have played hundreds of games. We like good two player games, and have many of them. This isn't one of them. I bought Cap Dei Capi last week for 9.95. Now that was a reasonably priced , small footprint, and very good two player game that we both enjoyed. It's an insult to the designer of Capi that his game goes for $10 while Evolution sells for $65.

Your high and mighty attitude is one of the reasons I hestitate to ever post anything on BGG anymore. I thought twice about even posting this review because I know how these reviews are received. It's just throwing meat to lions. But then I figured if it gets just one person to test it online first before they fall for the hype and the one sided reviews, then it would be worth it.

So you expect us to go back and keep playing a game we don't like so as to pass your gameplay requirements? That our opinions will change as we force ourselves to endure the game a few more times? Wasn't aware that one runthrough wasn't adequate time to post a review. In this case, why was my review even accepted?

I very rarely write reviews. But this is one time I took exception for some big reasons 1) Useless chrome 2) overpriced 3) misleading reviews, especially for two player 4) utter boredom we have not experienced in years of gaming. 5) quitting before the end, which has never happened before. Even a game like arkham horror, which we found tedious, and took 4 hours, we managed to finish at least once before selling.

Even Radho didn't like it, as it was far too aggressive for him and his wife, but that was the least of our complaints.

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Felix Rodriguez
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Peepser wrote:

Even Radho didn't like it, as it was far too aggressive for him and his wife, but that was the least of our complaints.


Well yeah, duh. It wouldn't take long to figure out this is not a game for Rahdo and Jen. Carebear players should definitely stay away - especially the 2 player game.
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I was tempted to hit the [*] on Octavian's post... devil
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domcrap wrote:
Kaelistus wrote:
Am I the only one who really loves Evolution for 2? More, even, than multiplayer. Are people playing with the correct rule-set (2 traits max)?


No, there are quite a few people who prefer it with 2-players. I've seen it posted by about 5 different people. 7 people rated Evolution as "best with 2 players".


I imagine I would like it with 2p. But it's not how I would recommend learning the game.
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I felt that the OP was informative and perfectly entitled to his opinion backed up with his experience. I agree that a game that's so boring and can't even care to finish would not be one I'd think "Oh I should play again just to see if it keeps boring me." Game time is precious for many of us, and I'd rather bring out a good game than try to convince others to play another round of a boring one with me.

One thing that's helpful sometimes is checking to make sure you didn't play a rule incorrectly. Beyond that, not every game is for everyone.
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Raujour wrote:
I was tempted to hit the [*] on Octavian's post... devil


Now that's funny
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Peepser wrote:
manutd03 wrote:
brokenclock wrote:

It's nice to see BGG has devolved into what now appears to be some reddit sub-forum filled with troll comments, tl/dr comments and fucking memes . . . or maybe it's been this way all along and I never really took notice. Oh well. My time is super valuable, so excuse me while I go open a thread I know I'm not going to like, read a review I'm not interested in hearing, make a comment that contributes nothing and then post a picture that's been posted a million times on the internet.


Um, hey. I subscribe to the Evolution forums. I didn't intentionally click on something I thought I'd dislike.

I find it irresponsible to play half a game--particularly when the game takes am hour--and then write a ranting post about it. It's not actually helpful. I want a reviewer to play the game a few times and really understand it before bashing it.

As such, no, I don't think it's important to address his points.

And, on topic as you say, I love the 2p game now. In fact, I playtested it. It's brutal and strategic, but fun.


You know what's irresponsible? Playing a game you didn't like and NOT saying anything about it. It's pretty obvious BGG review forums are totally slanted to positive reviews. I completely understand when people are afraid to say Anything negative or post a negative review for fear of reprisal and bashing. It's a one sided love fest on almost EVERY game thread.

We spent more than an hour on this game. We have every right to 'rant', or as I would rather say, "Give our opinions". We bought, we overpaid, we learned, we played, we looked up rules and asked questions, we got bored and found nothing of play value in this game. We are not newbies at board games. I've been on this site since 2005, and have played hundreds of games. We like good two player games, and have many of them. This isn't one of them. I bought Cap Dei Capi last week for 9.95. Now that was a reasonably priced , small footprint, and very good two player game that we both enjoyed. It's an insult to the designer of Capi that his game goes for $10 while Evolution sells for $65.

Your high and mighty attitude is one of the reasons I hestitate to ever post anything on BGG anymore. I thought twice about even posting this review because I know how these reviews are received. It's just throwing meat to lions. But then I figured if it gets just one person to test it online first before they fall for the hype and the one sided reviews, then it would be worth it.

So you expect us to go back and keep playing a game we don't like so as to pass your gameplay requirements? That our opinions will change as we force ourselves to endure the game a few more times? Wasn't aware that one runthrough wasn't adequate time to post a review. In this case, why was my review even accepted?

I very rarely write reviews. But this is one time I took exception for some big reasons 1) Useless chrome 2) overpriced 3) misleading reviews, especially for two player 4) utter boredom we have not experienced in years of gaming. 5) quitting before the end, which has never happened before. Even a game like arkham horror, which we found tedious, and took 4 hours, we managed to finish at least once before selling.

Even Radho didn't like it, as it was far too aggressive for him and his wife, but that was the least of our complaints.

I haven't played the game with 2 players but I think there's a good possibility you might have played something wrong. For one thing, the game shouldn't last more than about an hour, maybe an hour and a half max. If that's long for you, hey, I get it, but that's a pretty quick as far as I have seen.

My guess though is that you are not cycling through the cards quickly enough. If there is abundant food on the table, cards should get discarded rather quickly creating new species and raising the populations of existing species, which themselves result in drawing still more cards. Accordingly, abundant food should make for a short game and lots of well-fed critters.

I tend to agree with you on the price. It's high. I don't usually pay this much for a game, but I like to support Dom, so I did. I can see your frustration, though, paying this much for a game, anything less than stellar is going to be a disappointment.

I wouldn't overreact to a couple of negative comments on your review. I am happy to read your account of the game, and I am sure others will too.

Pete (usually playes with 4 or 5 players and the game ends much too soon for comfort)
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John Bradshaw
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manutd03 wrote:
Yes, you can dislike a game after one play. Of course! But don't review it after one play or less.


So let me get this right - if you don't like a game after one play keep quiet about it. You're only supposed to write an unfavourable review after you've SUFFERED the game you don't like a number of times - what number would suit?

Who the hell is going to play a game 2, 3, 4 or more times when they don't like the damned thing??!! If such a ludicrous rule was imposed - no reviews after a single play - there would very rarely be any bad reviews!

In life you don't get a second chance to create a first impression. How many times should someone read a book or see a movie before deciding if they like it or not?

I know if I like a game after zero plays. Reading the rules is enough. And I've never been wrong - after all - I know better than anyone on the planet what *I* like!

What we need in these forums is MORE discussion not less. I'm uneasy about people putting down the contributor of an unfavourable review on the basis that it was only one play. Some responders have CONSTRUCTIVELY responded to the OP's opinion, some agreeing, some disagreeing with the view that 2P is not optimal, some disputing the opinion that there are few decisions to be made. This is interesting - if I want I can search these forums now for confirmation or refutation of those opinions. The OP's contribution, and the discussion it has engendered has increased the sum of knowledge available about this game - which is more than can be said for those who would presumably prohibit one-play reviews!

Incidentally, I neither agree nor disagree with the OPs opinion, because I've never played this game, although I did kickstart it recently. I'm not put off by the OP's comments and won't be playing 2P anyway, so I'm looking forward to trying this one when it arrives. If I happen not to like it after reading the rules, or after one play, I hope I'll be entitled to say so! (I imagine though, from the little I've read, and theme-wise and all, that I'll like it.)
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It seems to me we have two groups talking past each other.

Team Boo-Evolution is defending the right to dislike a game after one play, to have an opinion about it. They oppose the idea that they must log multiple plays before knowing if they like a game.

Team Huzzah-Evolution is arguing that you can't make a cogent critique of a game without several plays.

Team Boo-Evolution seems to be misreading "you can't claim to understand this game after one play" as "you can't claim to dislike this game after one play".

Team Huzzah-Evolution could maybe do a better job of making that distinction clear.
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MrMzchf wrote:
Raujour wrote:
I was tempted to hit the [*] on Octavian's post... devil


Now that's funny

Well, his post does say that we should red-X disruptive comments. And posting in giant red font is certainly disruptive...
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xenongames wrote:
manutd03 wrote:
You played this game one time.


Sometimes that's all it takes. I knew I didn't like mushy peas the moment I tasted them. I didn't have to finish my plate. A game may have all kinds of subtlety and strategic nuance that reveals itself over several plays, but if bores you to death before you get to that point, it's not your fault for not wanting to play it multiple times.


It's fine to not like something after one play, no one is forcing this poor sob to go back and play this game more.

It's not fine to judge the depth of the game after one play, especially one that went as badly as this one. The comments on depth, on simplicity, on the lack of testing, etc., are completely unsupported by the small amount of evidence.

This holds true for positive reviews as well, people who see so much depth after 1 play. Well, maybe the game falls apart after a couple, and you see right through it.
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