Raconteur Games has released their new game, Evangeline. Described as a 15-minute story, Evangeline hopes to remind you of other free things you enjoy: your loved ones. After Raconteur CEO, Nicholas Laborde, lost his grandfather in April 2016 he set out to create something that reminds us to connect with loved ones while we still can.
Evangeline is set in a monochrome neighborhood, where colors pop in to guide the player. This mechanic helps accentuate a bit of the main path, but you may miss the fringe story telling if you just go from point to point. The black-and-white breaks with vivid colors when seemingly mundane- but key items come into view. It is a fun way to highlight the little things that can have an impact on our lives.
The structure here is simple: you handle a simple task at the start of each day in order to move on to the next. While the environment is small and contained, different things can be found and events have transpired depending on the day. You might notice someone's driveway has knocked over trashcans and tire marks, a misplaced journal appears some days or curious details can be gleaned from the newspaper. It is worth looking around each day to see what is new, and with the smaller playing field it is easy to do so.
Evangeline is mechanic-light, but this is less about being a game and more about being a short story with a message. It feels personal by the end, almost like you thumbed through someone's shoebox of letters they have collected. It does not really depend on what you found and read throughout the days, the conclusion will still make sense. Although it will provide an explanation about a few of the ambiguous messages you find.
How do you put a score on something like this? Well, you don't. Evangeline is more about what you take from it, with parts of the creator's real story and memories mixed in to inspire your own. There is very little in the way of actual controls and that is how it is in real life too, you have very little control. That is what Evangeline demonstrates quite well. Do what you can, while you still can.
It costs you nothing to experience it, and if this game touches you in any way you can choose to pay what you think it is worth when it's over.