The next time you catch yourself gearing up to complain that a game won't let you save wherever you want, remember that there was a time when games didn't have saves at all. Or colours other than "green-y, blackish". Nicolas Cannasse takes us back in time with EvoLand, a short action adventure/interactive art piece made in just 48 hours for Ludum Dare by Shiro Games that will remind you just how good you've got it. In the beginning, all you can do is move to the right, but as you open chests, you'll unlock everything from more abilities, enemies, NPCs and quests, to graphical improvements, sounds, and even game mechanic upgrades. Move with the [arrow] keys or [WASD], and use the [spacebar] to swing your sword when you get it. Be sure to avoid enemies initially since a single hit will kill you, and until you've unlocked save points, that means you'll have to restart the entire game. Because that was how we rolled back in "the day" and now you young whippersnappers get to experience it for yourselves instead of just listening to us oldsters wax on cantankerously about it from the comfort of our porch-bound rocking chairs.
EvoLand is a simple but effective little idea, and a great trip down memory lane. If you're old enough that you actually lived through the periods of evolution on display here (rather than only having heard about them as ominous legends left to the mists of time), it's definitely going to make you dewy-eyed with nostalgia. Of course, the problem with making an old-school game is that you come into old-school problems, like the annoying kick back to the title screen upon instant death and really, really straight-forward gameplay. It also would have been neat if the game had seen fit to weave a bit of facts into the gameplay as you unlocked each advancement, like telling you exactly which game and when was the first to implement save points. Especially since the game sort of feels like it runs out of ideas partway through. EvoLand might be short, however, but it's a great example of how far we've come and what we've got to be thankful for.
The game is also up for Steam Greenlight voting. If you like the game and would like to see it on Steam, please vote for it.