Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution

Good
  • Unique simulation foundation that lets you watch your species evolve with time
  • Wealth of tools that give you balance from the macro to micro level
Bad
  • Still a long way to go in development which has been slow and often delayed to date that leaves the game at risk of never being finished
8

Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution (Species) explores evolution simulation as it gives players all the tools necessary to control the forces of natural selection within their own little world. Focused on simulation rather than traditional gameplay Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution first released as an Early Access title in 2018 captures the true essence of evolution and gives you a front row seat.

species-gameplay-creature

The development of Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution aims to be an accurate evolution simulation game that allows for players to watch and even change the role of natural selection on their species in their given environment. No other game lets you enjoy evolution first hand and have the level of depth and control over the shape your artificial game world creatures eventually take throughout game time.

Species is an entirely sandbox experience with no objectives other than those set by the players. Combined with the huge number of factors that you can control the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your willingness to try ridiculous things with the tools available. Species is all about watching your organisms evolve and then using your available tools to help your favourites succeed or performing weird and wacky experiments like who would survive if the world flooded suddenly.

species-gameplay-creature-land

Starting a new simulation in Species is where your huge number of available options starts where your future decisions branch from. Options include the starting creature from which all future creatures will evolve from, number of starting creatures, map type, world size, tree growth rate, temperature, mutation rate and much more. Playing around with just these new game options alone leads to diverse experiences and it is surprising what a small change can do to the evolution trajectory of a species.

Once in your simulation gameplay your options don’t stop though and in fact multiply even further just like the evolution of your virtual creatures. In Species this comes from plenty of impressive interfaces and stats to help you track the progress of the simulation beneath you. In game options include controls over temperature, water levels and food supply while also giving players the option to move, feed or kill their various little evolution creatures. Players can either do this on an individual basis or release rovers with particular settings to do it on a species wide level that gives you both micro and macro options that have both direct and indirect evolution impacts.

species-gameplay-species-overview

Species: Artificial Life, Real Evolution also incorporates some random elements beyond your control to keep things interesting with children of parents having slight modifications to the likes of their preference for food (carnivore, omnivore and herbivore), energy capacity, size, walk speed, walk stamina, attack damage and cost of growth. While minor if these random mutations prove to be a significant advantage you’ll see the natural selection push your small species towards a specific evolution path. Species also includes the appropriate tools to track this evolution path with a viewable evolution screen that provides a breakdown of how the genes of your creations changed over the eras.

Summary:

  • Sit back and watch evolution of a new species of creatures.
  • Tools that give you direct and indirect control over the world with different scales of impacts.
  • Huge number of options to create varied and unique simulations from initial settings and options during the simulation.
  • Various statistics of creatures that slightly change between generations potentially changing the evolution course entirely.
  • View the history of your evolutions in the evolution pathway screen.

Links:

Videos:


Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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