From Eva With Green features minimalist visuals and a lovely soundtrack
The game has a unique pinball-esque concept, but the narrative fails to stick the landing
Controls aren't intuitive; this can feel wonky at times
Still worth a try thanks to its low price tag
Pinball has never really been my thing. While the mechanics are simple, mastering that tiny ball zipping here and there takes precision, timing, and patience - all of which have never really been my strong suit.
This is why when the prospect of diving into a pinball game with relaxing vibes came up in From Eva With Green, it immediately piqued my interest. Surely pinball and "relaxing" couldn't be combined in a single sentence, could it?
Colourful window frames and countless seeds later, I found myself proven wrong by a mysterious Eva and her enveloped greenery - but while I wish I could say that this was where my love affair with pinball began, I, unfortunately, have a long way to go before I fall in love completely.
What instantly caught my eye from the get-go was the game's minimalist aesthetic. The colours are soft and inviting, with characters that are easy on the eyes along with the gorgeous greenery that comes with every frame. Each stage is simply a window frame that you'll need to populate with flowers, but each burst of colour adds to the charm of the lovely characters you'll meet along the way.
The soundtrack of From Eva With Green is all kinds of meditative too - it's hard not to linger on each stage, if only to listen to the low-key music that serenades you in the background. Plus, each time you grow plants on the window and watch as those flowers bloom, there's a satisfying audio response that definitely elevates your sense of accomplishment.
THE GAMEPLAY OF FROM EVA WITH GREEN
That said, the controls, while simple, are really my main gripe here. Essentially, all you have to do is pinball your way through each level by hitting a dangling chime and collecting the seeds that burst forth from it. There's a handy barrier at the very bottom of your frame to keep your ball from falling out, and it's a nice touch to make sure you never get frustrated with losing the ball.
The frustration, unfortunately, comes from the odd mechanic of having to swipe and hold in order to make the seeds you've collected grow into actual plants. It's just incredibly awkward to be tapping away to hit your ball and then suddenly have to swipe in every which way then hold to make seeds sprout. This definitely ruined the so-called "relaxing" vibes for me, as every time I needed to make my seeds grow, I had to fumble around for the right way to swipe and hold just to clear the level.
It doesn't help that, after completing each level, you'll get a snippet of the narrative here that's supposed to evoke all kinds of feels as you go along. These small snippets, while sometimes poignant, often feel a little disjointed, and lack the proper "oomph" that can make a narrative truly emotional and memorable.
WHAT'S THE APPEAL?
From Eva With Green is a short game that's a great time waster if you're only in it for the quick pinball-esque feel while on the go. It's certainly a nice change of pace from other iOS puzzle games out there, but I just didn't feel like the supposedly emotional narrative struck a chord with me in a meaningful way, nor did I particularly enjoy the awkward controls.
It is, however, still a lovely game to look at and listen to, and it's no doubt got the relaxing aesthetics down pat. I suppose the combination of mechanics just wasn't my cup of tea, but honestly, for a mere $1.99 price tag, I still believe it's worth giving a go just to see if it's up your alley, as your mileage may definitely vary.
From Eva With Green review - "Lovely to look at, not-so-delightful to hold"
From Eva With Green is a unique puzzle-slash-pinball game with lovely aesthetics that aims to provide an almost Zen-like experience on mobile. While the awkward controls weren't particularly intuitive for me, you might still want to give it a go if you're on the hunt for something casual and unique to help you pass the time.
Catherine plays video games for a living and writes because she’s in love with words. Her Young Adult contemporary novel, For The Win: The Not-So-Epic Quest Of A Non-Playable Character, is her third book published by Penguin Random House SEA - a poignant love letter to gamer geeks, mythological creatures, teenage heartbreak, and everything in between.
She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. Check out her books at bit.ly/catherinedellosabooks, or follow her on FB/IG/Twitter at @thenoobwife.