The puzzle-platformer and visual novel genres probably couldn't be further apart from one another, but Evan's Remains is proof that the two can live in harmony. While it is by no means perfect, Maitan69 Studios' first major title is one well worth experiencing if you have even a passing interest in either style of game.
Told entirely in 2D, you take up the role of Dysis -- a girl summoned to a mysterious island in order to find a boy named Evan who disappeared years before. Upon arriving, you must solve a series of puzzles to unravel the secret behind the peninsula and the boy you're searching for. And that's all we're willing to share because narrative is at the heart of what makes Evan's Remains tick. The absorbing plot deals with certain themes and subjects in an impressive manner while characters manage to define their personalities immediately with witty and entertaining writing. Despite the final few scenes becoming a little tough to follow, this four-hour adventure is worth seeing through to its conclusion.
In between story beats, solving puzzles is what you'll be doing most. Simple platforming mechanics allow you to jump about the place while blocks that can be moved, used to fling yourself into the air, and teleported between form the crux of brain teasers. Things can get fairly complex but with a simple control scheme and the ability to skip every puzzle in the game, you'll never feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. That option is there for those who wish to experience the story, but the puzzles themselves still offer a good degree of satisfaction.
This is all topped off by some beautiful visuals. Pixel art is used to full effect with gorgeous, colourful scenery that is just begging you to stop and admire your surroundings. Combine that with an entertaining narrative and fun puzzling and you've got a title which pleases in all the right places.