(Remix OS for PC) Evoland has been available on Linux for a long time
but only on Steam, so my only hope was to play its Android version on a mobile device. This is one of those games for which a gamepad is almost a necessity, as its on-screen controls are annoying and unreliable. Unfortunately, my Bluetooth gamepad didn't fully work with it, so I reluctantly gave up and accepted I would never be able to play this game... or would I?
Enter Remix OS
: it is a relatively new Android-based family of OSs, and there's one specifically designed for PCs. It runs on both x86 and ARM architectures, offers full mouse and keyboard support, and allows you to run Android apps on both your top-of-the-line gaming PC, but also on older and quasi-obsolete machines. It is supposed to be run live from a USB stick (and a USB 3.0 port is almost a requirement, so I don't really know if those older PCs will be able to run it this way), but fortunately there are ways of 'installing' it on your hard drive. E.g., here
's how to install it alongside Ubuntu and dual-boot between them. I guess there must be ways to install it alongside Windows, but I cannot speak from experience about them.
So after getting Remix OS running on my PC, the first thing I tried with it was Evoland
. I verified it ran without issues, and I started playing it with the keyboard. But then it occurred to me to try my XBox360-clone USB gamepad, and lo and behold, it worked flawlessly! So I continued to play it at full HD and now with a gamepad... and I beat it in one sitting. The next day I picked it up again and proceeded to find all the secret stuff (hidden stars and playing cards) until I 100%'ed it.
Oh, yeah, about the game! Evoland
is a kind of review of the history of jRPGs and Zelda-likes, with lots of humorous references to the clichés of this genre, but also to modern gaming tropes and 'mechanics'. For instance, even the slightest funcionality (like the ability to move the main character to the left or to the right) must be unlocked and is celebrated by the game as a big achievement on the part of the player. Other things that can be (or rather, must be) unlocked are in-game music, better graphics, or 3D environments, and that's how the sense of 'evolution' hinted in the game's title is conveyed.
Apart from that, the story is (intentionally) as generic as you can think of, and the game mechanics change a few times throughout it in order to adapt to the current game style that's presented to the player. As I hinted before when I said I completed it in a few hours, this is a fairly easy game. And a considerable amount of the playing time is spent in random monster encounters both in the overworld and in some dungeons. Many people complain that these encounters become pretty quickly a drag and a chore, and I agree with them in part. They did annoy me during my second session with the game, when I was looking for secret stuff and I was constantly interrupted by battles with enemies that by that time were not a match for my OP'ed character. But during the main quest these encounters supposed a bit of a challenge and were at least a little fun.
On the whole, an enjoyable game if you don't expect deep mechanics or great storytelling, and don't take videogames in general (and jRPGs in particular) too seriously. My list of finished games in 2017