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Rating: 4.4/5 (143 votes)
Comments (38) | Views (5,346)

ArtbegottiEvacuationHave you ever been driving with the family on a summer day, with all the windows rolled down, the dog sticking its head out the window, and everyone enjoying the breeze of the moving car? When all of a sudden, a bee flies in one of the windows, and everyone's panicking to get it out? I can't say I have, because I don't own a dog. I could venture a guess as to what it's like anyway, thanks to Evacuation, a new retro-styled puzzle game by Ryan Chisholm and Bennett Foddy, creator of QWOP.

Aliens have invaded your spaceship's cargo hold, and your job is to get rid of them, but without the aid of fancy guns that flash a few colorful lights before they vaporize their target. Instead, you harness the maze of gates in your cargo hold to suck the aliens back into outer space. Clicking on a colored gate will open all gates of the same color, and clicking an open gate will close the gates similarly. When a path of open gates leads to the outside air (or lack thereof), anything not tethered down (which is everything) will get sucked outside.

Also wandering around in the cargo hold are your crew members, necessary to keep the ship afloat. Clicking on a room places a flag there, and all capable crew members will work their way into that room. However, if they get caught by an alien, GULP!, they're gone. If they get sucked outside of the ship, EEEK!, they're gone. Most importantly, if an alien sneaks into the control room and consumes the ship's captain, GAAH!, it's all over. At least one crew member (the captain included) has to remain aboard the ship in order to win each level. If you can clear a level without losing a single crew member, you'll be rewarded with two extra crew members from a limited stockpile.

Analysis: On the one hand, Evacuation has a good blend of strategy and luck that makes each level a challenge to figure out. There's no time limit, so you're free to consider all of your options before choosing which gates to open. Tiny, visor-wearing lives are at stake here! On the other hand, some levels leave you feeling a bit too lucky. The level generator, which seems to be making up random levels following a pre-set difficulty curve of some sort, gives a few no-way-to-lose levels from time to time (for example, your captain being put in a room with all solid walls, with no way in or out). One thing that's not entirely clear is whether or not the movement of the aliens and crew members is pre-set or random, which could effect how one plays strategically.

The music does get grating after a bit, but ultimately, it helps to set up the feeling of futuristic-space-travel-attacked-by-aliens goodness. The retro Commodore 64-style graphics also help, with computer fonts and cute little spacemen walking around everywhere. Evacuation might not be the most complex game out there, but (WARNING! PUN AHEAD! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!) one thing's for sure... It'll definitely suck you in.

Hey, we tried.

Play Evacuation


This game is soo much fun. I feel bad when i lose a guy. :(


Fun, but way way too short. I kept waiting for it to get hard. The last level, I thought at first, was the end of the tutorial levels. (Not that I didn't occasionally lose some guys, but a quick replay or two always enabled me to get a perfect score, and it never really *felt* hard), although it certainly could be.

(Upon a quick replay to make sure I didn't accidentally end the game somehow, I see that the levels are randomized, so your experience may be harder than my first play-through was.)


I thought you had to see how many guys you could suck out. Then I realised you had to removed the alien. Highest score was 111


You also lose when you space an officer, it seems, not just the captain.

This gets awkward when you have 23 officers.

High score: 923


someone should make a walkthrough- and fast!
it's such a great game- i thought the difficulty would increase with the monsters and people, but it seems like it's the doors that get me.


Great game - but why is the Captain naked?

Londonbrig0 January 6, 2009 10:05 PM

I really like it, but I think the game would do well with some pre-set levels built in with a nice difficulty progression


"You were right, someone blew out the hatch. They were all sucked out into space."
"Correction, sir. That's, 'Blown out'."
"Thank you, Data."
"A common mistake, sir."


How does the game calculate your score?

darlingdestruction January 7, 2009 2:04 AM

This game is super addicting :D


Aww... we didn't break it, did we? The site's down. Yet it was up and well an hour ago.

I love Pixel games that take me to Outer Space. Plus there's doors! This is a perfect game. I love it.

ThemePark January 7, 2009 5:44 AM

The score is calculated by the Captain being worth 5 points, and the Officers being worth 1 point. So just add 4 to the number of saved people, if you saved the Captain.

fuzzyface January 7, 2009 7:21 AM

Correction crew members are 1 point worth, officers are I think 3. (officers are crew that get red at later levels, and you will lose also when one of these gets eaten/blown out.

What a cute little idea this game is! Love it.

Only suggestio would be, call the crew "ensigns" as an additional pun to Star Treks dispenseabilty of these.


I don't understand- how many levels are there? Are there only seven? I keep getting to seven and I only lost one man on that level and it only gives the offer to replay the level or start from the beginning again.

fuzzyface January 7, 2009 9:17 AM

When the (wo)man was red, you are dead.

fuzzyface January 7, 2009 9:52 AM

BTW: If I'm ever going to design a spaceship, I'm going to make sure every airlock can be controlled by itself, and not put all yellow one on one control line ;-)


i think it's pretty good so far

i hope this game get worked on or a sequel made with a lot more levels and increased difficulty levels


Very fun game with high replay-ability. The puzzle gamer in me really wishes the levels were specifically set, rather than generated randomly, so I could try the exact same challenges repeatedly to conquer them (though I would still keep a play mode of random generation for after I master the set levels).


Great game, but I'm trying to understand the "kidsafe" tag. Do you have any idea what happens to someone who get sucked out into space?

[Edit: You're kidding, right? -Jay]

fuzzyface January 7, 2009 3:22 PM

debaser80, honestly nobody knows for certain as it has never happened so far.

queen-of-diamonds January 7, 2009 3:41 PM

Oh man, I was doing great and then through no fault of my own the Cappy got sucked out....

Ok, maybe it was partially my fault... but I didn't tell him to move from one hatch to another... not very clever my Captain.

(Addicting game btw)


Good game, but it's possible to get a situation where it's impossible to get thru without at least losing one person. For example, once I had a guy in a room that only had a red door leading out to space, and an alien in a room surrounded by red doors.
Also, once you lose a captain/officer, you have to start all over, which is slighly annoying.


Anyone know how many levels there are?


Oh come on! one level there was 14 people in the deck with a red door leading out, and almost all other doors were brown, so I just had to open any red door, and win, without risking anyone.


woooa i got 990 points, up to level 16.
But still couldnt find out how the score works. It's not one point per head plus the captain worthing some more. Seems more complex...

fuzzyface January 8, 2009 12:53 AM

red non-captains are worth 3 points (i think)


I like this game a lot, but I've encountered a few situations where there's simply no way to win. All my officers are on the outside edge with doors of each color, where if I do anything, SOMEBODY dies and the game is over. Get rid of those occasionally bad situations and this is a great game!

I do agree that it would be nice to have a series of levels to play before resorting to randomly generated ones. It wouldn't be too hard to generate a bunch of random levels and then have people play test them and judge their difficulty by how long it takes them to win. Then just arrange a bunch of those levels by their difficulty and you've got your built-in level set!

peroxide555 January 8, 2009 9:00 AM

I have to ask - does this game actually have an ending??? I have reached level 18 - my high score is no where near those mentioned - and I keep losing a blinking officer when I'm doing really well!!! (I keep forgetting to check whether any have been upgraded!!)

All I want to know is if there is an end at the end of this highly annoying yet strangely addictive game??? :)


I had 972 points on level 19 and suddenly on level 20 my score lowed to 520!!! And I had saved all of them! How is that???!?!


I haven't seen an end yet- if you just want to go level hopping, I suggest killing all the green guys in the first few levels so you've just got your captain- that will make later levels easier and faster. You won't get nearly as many points for them, of course.


I really hate how it boots you back to the beginning if you make one wrong move (lose an officer). Just one door opened by accident and in two seconds you've gone from level XX to 1 again, it really stinks.

But this game is addictive!!


It's great. One of my crew members was called Spock, lol.


Really don't get the points. I got to level 25 or something with only 400 something points, much lower than most here with lower level. My points never dropped though like Todyman's did. Great game whatever though.


Is there a reason some times it gives me 22 men, and other times it gives me 24? I'm not sure it gave me my last 2 recruits even though it said it was going to. Kind of annoying when I'm going for a high score.


i can't stop playing this game... Sometimes I try to get a decent score, sometimes I just enjoy letting everyone float out those doors crying eck, eck!

It would be nice to have more defined levels though....

Carny Asada January 13, 2009 8:59 PM

As Broney suggests, I think there is some strategy in deciding how many "crew" you want to keep alive. Eventually, they all become officers, and then it's almost impossible to continue. I think by around Level 15, you want to be down to 12-15 total crew, although it plays hell with your score if you let them go in ones and twos. With around 10 crew members, I find it pretty easy to get past level 20.

I'm also wondering if your score depends, in part, on how many doors you open to clear the level.


OMG! I just saw an alien floating around space trying to get back in the ship after he was sucked out!

Robberfrog January 6, 2010 11:11 PM

Real fun, but eventually i had a level that was impossible to win, where no matter what i did, i would vent my captain.


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