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iPhone/iPad review of the day: Everlands

On iPhone
Game:
Everlands
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 9.5 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK

On iPad
Game:
Everlands HD
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 16.6 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK

It looks like a cute little puzzle game with cute little animals, the same kind of game you’ve played a million times before. But looks can be deceiving. In reality, Everlands is a fantastic, strategic board game with lots of depth, challenge, and ... cute little animals.

There’s a story about an evil force threatening the forest, forcing the animal inhabitants to band together to save the day. The birds and the bees (huzzah!), the bears and the turtles all join forces for the greater good. Sounds cute, but it's not particularly interesting, so thankfully you can skip over it. Gameplay trumps story here. The game itself takes place on a board comprised of numerous hex shapes. Depending on the level, the number of hexes and their position will vary. But the goal is always the same: to take control of more than half the board before the match is done.

To do this you’ll take turns placing animal tiles on the board, each of which has different characteristics. Depending on the animal’s stats and the direction in which they can attack, they’ll be able to effect any surrounding tile, either by converting them to your side or just wearing down their defenses. And your opponent’s tiles do the same. As you complete stages new animals will be added to your team, giving you a wider range of options to play with. It feels a lot like the Tetra Master card game from Final Fantasy IX, only instead of cards you’re playing with hex pieces. But the basic concept is the same. And just like Tetra Master, while it seems pretty simple, there’s a great deal of strategy to the game. And it can get really hard.

So don’t let the cuddly little critters fool you because this is a hardcore board game. That cute baby elephant will probably kick your ass.

Jan 18, 2010

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