The evolution of Evolution


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Head over to sites like Apple II Scans or Nibble and you'll find a wealth of historical computer magazines. Within their pages are numerous reviews of hardware, software, and accessories. Witnessing how the pioneers of the personal computer industry experienced these products upon their release is fascinating — but it's also fun to take off the rose-colored glasses and see them for what they really are.

The site Weird Video Games is dedicated to reviewing the games of that era. Their philosophy:

At some point in history, games stopped being made by a handful of people in a basement and started being made by big companies … I theorize that there was a point in which two friends could get stoned in their basement, fire up their computer, and program whatever messed up thoughts passed into the remaining portion of their mind. They could make it into a video game and it would end up on store shelves, a feat which just isn't as possible today.

Most of the games pictured and depicted here came out before 1996 and are often the results of strange cultural differences (particularly from Japan), and/or what I think may have been some extremely potent illegal substances.

Recently, the site's attention was turned to an Apple II game with which I was previously unfamiliar. A game that seems a cross between Spore (PC) and E.V.O. (Super NES), Evolution appears to be a game worthy of fascination and ridicule.

As Martin Haye commented to me: "It was interesting and made me grimace at how badly the graphics were done. Apparently they never heard of using two hi-res buffers. Ah well."

The last few seconds of the video are gratuitous and offensive, and I offer no endorsement or support of that portion of the video. I hope it doesn't prevent viewers from appreciating the majority of the review of this strange and unknown title.

UPDATE: Brian Picchi has now also reviewed Evolution: