Qlione Evolve is two games for the price of one. The games launch separately despite being bought as a package and are not available separately. I don’t quite understand why you can’t either buy them separately or they aren’t available as separate menu picks from a single integrated menu. This does work out for the trophy chasers out there, however, as Qlione and Qlione 2 have separate trophies and leaderboards. Unfortunately neither game features a decent tutorial, but a little time spent with the game remedies that. Qlione feels like Geometry Wars with multiple bomb types and no gun while Qlione 2 feels like Geometry Wars crossed with Flow. Qlione 2 is far and away the more interesting game, and for $10 for the pack I’d rather have demoed both and then paid only for Qlione 2.
In Qlione 1 you kill enemies by creating waves in the background mesh that run into and disturb the enemies. You have access to two types of bombs, concussive and vacuum. Concussive bombs create waves that move out to damage enemies and vacuum bombs suck enemies toward them. Combine the two to corral enemies close together and drop a couple concussive bombs to take them all out simultaneously. When enemies are defeated they drop orbs, and orbs can be combined using the same bombs that you use to beat enemies. And it’s worth doing, an orb made up of two smaller orbs is worth more toward an extra life than picking up each of those orbs individually. There is no score other than the time it takes to complete any given stage. This makes collecting orbs important because sometimes the best strategy is to round up a ton of enemies, kill them, and then sacrifice yourself.
Qlione 2 trades lives for character revisions. You still have bombs, but instead of being locked into a single character you start out near the bottom of a branching evolution chart. When an enemy is defeated it will drop two orbs – one red and one green. Eat a red one and your bombs get bigger and more powerful – eat the other and your single bombs turn into cluster bombs. Both upgrades are useful, but as soon as one orb is eaten the other disappears so there is a strategy that must be employed and eventually you will come to either memorize what certain upgrades do or know generally what a red orb might do to your current character. And earlier I said that you start out near the bottom. There are some life forms that are only accessible by purposefully taking a hit to start with and evolving from there.
Qlione and Qlione 2 are pleasant diversions that you probably won’t be back to after playing them for a few minutes. On a system with digital releases like Lead and Gold: Gangs of the West, Zen Pinball, Joe Danger and now Angry Birds I just can’t see myself starting one of them up again. I played my few hours, had some fun, and then wished that each title was available individually (so I could only buy the second one) and that they were either Minis titles (so I could play them for quick bursts on PSP) or available on smart phones where I am more concerned with quick fun than a long-lasting experience.
Qlione Evolve is interesting, but I don’t think it warrants the price tag – especially when I can only play it on my TV where I have so many other larger, richer gameplay experiences available to me.
Pros: 2 games for the price of 1, interesting growth mechanic in Qlione 2
Cons: Feel like Minis/Smartphone games, no tutorial in either game