Evolution: The Game of Intelligent Life

aka: Evolution: El Juego de la Vida Inteligente, Evolução: O Jogo da Vida, Genetic Evolution: The Race for Intelligent Life
(prices updated 9/29 4:48 PM )

Description official descriptions

A sort of combination of Civilization and SimEarth. You control one of the earliest tetrapods (land animals), and try to get it to reproduce, spread, and evolve into a later species, ultimately evolving an intellectual species (which doesn't have to be Homo sapiens). There are some 160-odd species in the game, including dinosaurs; the continents move around during play; era changes are marked by geological catastrophes, which occur on a semi-random basis. In addition to the 'full' game, there are shorter scenarios for the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic.



Credits (Windows version)

80 People (73 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer, Original Game Concept, Contributing Design
Director of Production
Technology Group Manager, Installer
Production Coordinator
Testing Manager
Operation Manager
Project Manager
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Director, Retail Marketing
Senior Manager, Consumer Marketing
Marketing Assistant
Senior Vice President, Discovery Interactive Media
[ full credits ]



Average score: 65% (based on 12 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 4 ratings with 1 reviews)

A cool idea, but not very well executed

The Good
First off, it's a fairly original concept, and it's fairly simple. All you have to do is move your creatures around and choose when - and what - to evolve. The tree of life system allows you to decide what to evolve for a maximum score very easily. The scoring system is also good, with the person who gets intelligent life usually - but not always - winning. The background graphics are adequate, and the animations for the animals are nicely done. Music is just right - atmospheric with a nice "jungle" sound, but so subtle that you hardly notice it's there until it goes. The game also has an individual sound for each creature which all sound like animals.

The Bad
My first criticism is that I didn't get the poster and book that were supposed to come with the game, although that may be that it was distributed by a different company. But about the game itself.

To begin with it's clumsy. You have to use menus and windows all the time, when it would have been much easier to have everything on buttons on a sidebar somewhere. Also the map doesn't scroll - you have to use arrow keys or right click to re-centre the map. You can open more windows at different parts of the map but a larger, scrolling map would make much more sense and I really don't see why Crossover did it this way.

Apart from this dodgy system of navigating the game, I also found that it became fairly easy to win. The designers have tried to make it easy for competition to the end, but in practice one player can evolve several species and block anyone else from getting anywhere, because only one person can own each species. Extinction re-opens that path but usually the same player can re-evolve that species more quickly than any other player can.

Also the battle system leaves a lot to be desired. It really seems pointless as you can easily win the game without it and the computer players very rarely use it. Usually the best fighters are those who don't evolve to anything useful so they're really a waste of time.

And finally - it's dull. Time is spent hanging around waiting until your species evolve, then deciding what to evolve next and waiting some more. There is very little replay value as each game is very like the next and can always be won with the same strategy.

The Bottom Line
A unique strategy game which tries its best to make the Earth's history into a competitive simulation. Unfortunately, bad navigation and a far too basic gameplay design mean that this game is not interesting enough to keep anyone's attention.

Windows · by krammer (254) · 2003

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Greg Costikyan.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, chirinea, marley0001.

Game added February 21st, 2000. Last modified August 16th, 2023.