E.V.O.: Search for Eden
E.V.O.: Search for Eden is a side-scrolling action video game developed by Almanic Corporation and published by Enix for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1992 for Japanese audiences, the game was later translated and released in North America in 1993. Combining traditional platforming mechanics with experience and leveling mechanics originating from role playing games, E.V.O.: Search for Eden involves the player navigating a creature through a number of side-scrolling levels while undergoing bodily evolution to cope with ever-changing environments. The game is heavily based on Almanic's original title, 46 Okunen Monogatari ~The Shinka Ron~, released exclusively in Japan for the PC-9801 home computer in 1990.
Spanning a period of over a billion years, the game's story involves Gaia, daughter of the sun and mystical embodiment of the Earth, guiding the player through five distinct geological periods of the planet's history. Beginning the game as a fish, the player must travel across the planet defeating enemies and gaining the strength to evolve into more powerful and complex organisms before eventually earning a chance to enter the paradise realm of Eden, becoming Gaia's immortal partner. Most critics enjoyed the originality of E.V.O.: Search for Eden, but criticized the tedious gameplay and subpar graphics.