Remember Spore? Remember how it didn't seem to satisfy that part of you that wanted to control the evolution of an entire species? Well Niche - A genetics survival game by Stray Fawn Studio succeeds where Spore failed! Created by a successful Kickstarter which raised over 70 000$.
What can I say? After being raised by Pokemon, just hearing the word "Evolution" has the same effect on me as a heavy narcotic, so I was eager to play this game, collect them all and stuff like that. I must say, I was disappointed, not because it's a bad game, it's just that I could never stand turn based games. For example everyone are praising Civilization, and I just couldn't get into it. Anyways, in this game you're gonna fail... A LOT. But you can always start over because all the genes carry on from every game, so it makes it easier every time you play.
Breeding is probably the most important thing you do in this game, but can also be the biggest pain. One of the things they have had since I played in the earliest development was mutations, which are certain traits that you can add a chance of giving to the offspring of something that may have not had that trait at first.
Most strategy games have enemy armies to fight against, this game just has the inexorable passage of time and the cruel harshness of an uncaring world. Your creatures won't live forever, but how long they live is completely dependent on how well you treat them. Treating these creatures well can be difficult when ravenous Bearyenas come by to wreck your nest or when weather makes it difficult for your creatures to live. The problem with any of these is that in order to combat the threat you would need to make a complete change in your genetics. You could replace your herbivore jaws with poison fangs, but then you can't crack open nuts. Perhaps you could take claws, but then you could no longer dig for roots. It's really a matter of finding your niche (hehe) in the ecosystem then evolving to be the best at that you can be.
I mean, in theory this game sounds great, but not so much ingame.
The story is described as "The Story of Adam," in which you play as a creature of the same name, and yes that is a barely-veiled biblical allegory. As a baby you are ripped from your family by a bird of prey, but you manage to escape. You land on an empty island with one goal: survival. Adam meets Eve, and soon you will be playing as their progeny, adopting strays into your tribe for their genetic diversity, having bastards spring up from rogue males with terrible genes, and all that. But I do wish the story was more indepth then that.
I'm not gonna lie, I hate the graphics in this game. It looks like it was made for mobile phones, and I despise mobile gaming :D. But it does the job of making the game simple and easy on the eyes.
Not too many sounds in the game, soundtrack is relaxing, don't know what else to say about it.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10
I didn't like this game, I couldn't get into it, but that doesn't mean it's a bad game, it just means it's not in my gaming mojo. If you like these types of games, this one is a must. It gives you so much freedom and, cmon, who doesn't like to play God once in a while.