Alien Evolution or Devolution?

May 15, 2017
Role Playing

Owning a pet is a wonderful thing, and watching it grow and develop creates special, unforgettable moments. As with all living things, however, pets do eventually pass away – an incredibly difficult time, but one at which all of those previous memories can be relived. For example, I remember the passing of my first Tamagotchi pet, which unfortunately died of dysentery. Luckily the Nintendo DS was at hand, within which my Nintendogs were still alive and kicking. It didn’t take long for another Tamagotchi pet to regrow to the same size after either, such is the circle of life. Alien Evolution World bases itself on the exact same principles as the aforementioned games, but you’ll in no way find the same warmth and caring for your pet alien as with similar games. It’s okay though, because what it lacks in charm it more than makes up for in advertising.

In Alien Evolution World your role is to nurture an other-worldly creature into its next stage of evolution, which essentially means feeding it small, doll-sized humans in space suits, barrels of radioactive waste, or cockroaches. You receive the food from timed-releases, which is one item for every 30 seconds. Beginning life as a worm-like creature, the alien has a stomach capacity of ten, so it won’t take long for it to fill up and evolve. What it evolves into, however, is dependent on what you feed it: recipes on the left side of the screen let you know the exact blend of human, radioactive waste, and cockroach which is needed to grow it into a specific type of creature. Its food requirement will increase and it will be set on a certain branch on the tree of evolution.

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Not only food is required to evolve, but purple stars also. These are awarded for evolving, so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation, and can also be bought with blue gems which themselves can be found in the game’s background or won in mini-games – more on those later. If, as you’re bound to, you run out of purple stars, your pet needs to rewind back to its original state so that you can start the whole process again, but this time taking a different path. The hilariously misspelt “gallary” allows you to see the tree in full, showing you which stages of evolution you’ve already been down and the others that you need to explore. Alien Evolution World is billed as role-playing game in which you battle with your creature, which is perhaps a bit misleading to those who expect a JRPG experience. The only battle you’ll take place in is within a mini game, which itself has no consequences other than winning you predominantly food for your alien with few essential gems to be found. This is one of just two mini-games: the other involves tapping two sides of the screen to work your way to more items – not necessarily a welcome break from feeding your pet.

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The display image for Alien Evolution World looks suspiciously familiar, and the developer knew this. It has no relation whatsoever to films of a similar title, and seems to be a way of luring players in to a tedious and fruitless game. This is further backed up by the amount of advertising it pushes: with just one food item released every 30 seconds you can be waiting hours to level up some of the later aliens, unless, of course, you watch a video and are rewarded with ten; every time you boot the game up an advert appears; often you go to look into the “gallary” and another 30 second clip is thrown in your face. It really epitomizes everything that is wrong with advertising-driven apps, and tarnishes an industry which, by and large, produces some fantastic games.

with only three items of food to give your creature in drips and drabs, and only two games to play which themselves have play-limits, you’re often staring at the screen wondering exactly how long it will take for this thing to change

Let this not distract from Alien Evolution being a genuinely dull experience, though. The evolution system is an interesting one, but with only three items of food to give your creature in drips and drabs, and only two games to play which themselves have play-limits, you’re often staring at the screen wondering exactly how long it will take for this thing to change. Then, when it does, the whole process begins again but with even more time required. As this is written memories of playing baseball and reading stories to a Tamagotchi flood back. I haven’t fed it in 18 years. I wonder how it’s getting on.

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Alien Evolution World
Alien Evolution World
Developer: LIONBIRD LTD
Price: Free+
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Chris Carr

A gamer ever since he owned Sonic on the Megadrive, Chris thinks that the only thing better than reading and writing about games is playing them

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