While Xbox One gamers are enjoying the first-person shooter game Evolve, Windows Phone gamers have a slightly different version of the game to pass the time with.
Evolve: Hunters Quest is a Windows Phone game that has you solving match-three puzzles that in turn drives a team of hunter's actions as they deal with a wide variety of mutated creatures. Evolve: Hunters Quest has over one hundred missions to tackle and team members can be ranked up to make each member more formidable as they encounter monsters that are more dangerous.
Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Evolve: Hunters Quest is a fun Windows Phone game that is somewhat addictive. It could use a little fine-tuning but overall, it is an appealing title to have in your gaming library.
When you first launch Evolve: Hunters Quest you will be taken through a series of tutorials on how to play the game and various aspects of game play. The text is small and can be difficult to read but you need to pay attention to the details. You cannot re-play the tutorial and finding help screens is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
Once you survive the tutorial, you will be asked to sign into the game with either your 2K membership or with your Facebook credentials. I could not sign in with my Facebook credentials and after several attempts, gave up and created a 2K membership. This is the first downside to the game I encountered and there is no way to advance to game play without logging into one of these two accounts.
Once you make it to the actual game, Evolve: Hunters Quest's missions are spread out across chapters with each chapter having multiple area maps to conquer. Each area map has about a dozen missions that culminate in a boss fight.
Throughout the game, you will encounter mutant monsters that can be researched in the game's bestiary. You will also collect artifacts and bones that will help build your bestiary.
Your assault team is composed of four members, each with a unique skills set. As you progress through the game, team members will earn experience that will translate into an upgrade in rank. As they rank up, team members earn more hit points, attack strengths and additional weapons become available.
There are a total of twelve different hunters with three hunters in each class. Each chapter of the game will use a new set of hunters with the last chapter giving you the ability to put your own team of hunters together from the full lot.
The gaming screen for Evolve: Hunters Quest has your team members and the monsters they are fighting displayed at the top of the screen. The match-three puzzle will sit below.
At the heart of Evolve: Hunters Quest is your basic match-three game. You have a series of symbols that you have to swap around to create matches of three or more. As you create these matches, they will affect the actions of your team members. For example, matching three or more of the blue first-aid crosses will heal one or all of your team members. Three or more of the red shields will impact the team's defenses. Chain reactions with matches will increase the attack/defense actions of your team. If you match five or more of the same token, extra attacks, shields or healing will occur.
You also have monster tokens (the red claw) and if you match too many of these, a boss monster will attack. If you should get lost as to what tokens do what, tap the FAQ button at the bottom of the screen and a legend of what action each match will cause.
There are four types of missions that include:
- Hunt: Match tokens to defeat multiple rounds of enemy monsters
- Monster: Match the tokens to defeat a single, boss monster
- Nest: Match the tokens to damage and destroy the monster eggs
- Rescue: Match tokens to get civilians to safety
Combat missions (Hunt and Monster) will have the monster's health displayed across the very top of the screen and your team's vitals displayed just above the match-three field. Game play is done in turn-based fashion with your team taking its jabs at the monster or group of monsters then the monsters have their opportunity to inflict a little pain. As you would guess, game play continues until either all the monsters are slain or your entire team is wiped out. As you defeat the monsters in the Hunt missions, crates will fall that when tapped, will reveal Mastery Points, bones and other items that can be collected by the team.
Along with experience points for your team, you can earn Mastery Points during game play (also available via in-app purchase). Mastery Points can be used to purchase power-ups to boost your hunter's abilities, resurrect your team if they should all perish.
Game play with Evolve: Hunters Quest involves a bit of strategy as well as the ability to find matches of three. You may need to forgo an attack round to heal your team so they can survive and head to the next round of action. You also need to avoid the monster tokens because if you create three match groups, it can really wreck havoc on your team.
Evolve: Hunters Quest is a fun, challenging and addictive Windows Phone game. The game mechanics fall in line with just about any other match-three game but the turn based combat your puzzle performance drives gives the game a nice edge.
The slightly muddled aspect of the game is trying to determine how these matches affect your team member's actions. There are a lot of "why is that doing that?" moments with game play but it won't take long for you to sort it all out. There is the FAQ section that tries to shed some light on things but a simpler help screen with a diagram of the game screen would be a lot better. In the very least, have the tutorial available for re-play.
Also, while I'm being picky, give the font size for all the dialog and instructions that appear would be a welcomed change. As is, you can easily go cross-eyed trying to read the teeny tiny print.
You do have the glitch with Facebook login and there are some reports of instability. While I had problems with logging into Facebook, I didn't experience any instability issues. I would have liked to have seen the ability to play Evolve: Hunters Quest without logging into an account, but if you are going to have a Facebook option, it needs to work.
While Evolve: Hunters Quest needs a little fine-tuning, overall, I enjoyed the game If you are bored with the current crop of match-three games and are looking for something with a little more bite, Evolve: Hunters Quest may be just what you are looking for. There is a Windows 8 version of the game for those looking for a little more elbowroom for their games and on the plus side of having to log into your Facebook or 2K account, your gaming progress syncs between the two versions
Please Note that a network connection is required.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.