Evan’s Remains is a mystery-thriller puzzle adventure about finding a missing boy: Evan. The game combines logic-based platform puzzles with narrative inspired by Japanese graphic adventure games.

Beyond beautiful visuals and taxing puzzles, there’s also a hefty sci-fi story. Inspired by Japanese visual novels, Dysis’ investigation as she pushes inland into the ruins of a forgotten civilisation is intriguing, and full of twists. The dialogue that punctuates the puzzles rarely feels too long, and this mystery makes you want to keep pressing on. It’s a mixture that feels fresh, and the two halves of puzzle and story feel highly polished: more than enough to keep you remaining in this puzzle paradise.

Evan’s Remains successfully achieves what it attempts: It delivers a compact story punctuated by neat puzzles. It switches between these central elements frequently, so no one idea overstays its welcome, but the concepts aren’t deep or compelling enough. A disappointing conclusion hurts the narrative, and a lack of evolution hurts puzzles; since the game is split distinctly into sections involving only those two things, even the best moments of Evan’s Remains carry a sense of unfulfilled potential.

The puzzle-platformer and visual novel genres probably couldn’t be further apart from one another, but Evan’s Remains is proof that the two can live in harmony. While it is by no means perfect, Maitan69 Studios’ first major title is one well worth experiencing if you have even a passing interest in either style of game.

The story here is intriguing and occasionally shocking, but it isn’t particularly affecting. I’m sure this story would’ve hit me more had Schmied spent more time developing the world and the characters, giving the audience a better chance to connect with them.

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