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Evolution is the goal of the game through experiencing how various ages of human evolutions may have lived. The challenge of the game is discovery of how new generations, evolution, and the world around you work.
The term "Evolution" is used for a number of game concepts and functions:
- The main concept of the game. The goal of the game is to progress through evolution getting more and more evolved until the final evolution is reached.
- An in-game action that opens the Neuronal, Generation, and Evolution menu tabs for gaining neurons, genetic mutations, changing generations, reinforcing neurons, and taking evolutionary leaps.
- Specific evolution leaps or "jumps" forward at different times during gameplay.
To be able to complete evolutions, you will have to explore, discover new locations, and gain new abilities by learning neurons. By completing these actions, Evolution Feats will be completed and years will be added.
Each Evolution Feat you complete gives bonus years. Finding a location is worth a certain amount or using a tool in a specific way will gain a different amount of years. The more evolution feats you complete, the faster your evolution will be.
As you progress through the game, there will be a comparison to real life evolution. It is possible to be faster or slower than science predicts by completing evolution feats. Having births is good for your progress, each death counts against your progress.
Accessing the Evolution menu allows you to access several menu tabs.
- The Neuronal Tab allows neurons to be learned and skills to be gained.
- The Generation Tab allows neurons to be reinforced and to change generations by moving forward in time by 15 years each time.
- The Evolution Tab allows you to see the completed evolution feats and to jump forward in time a large amount of time (hundreds of thousands to millions of years).
The Evolution Tab displays a lot of information. There is a detailed Evolution Feat category list, descriptive stats about births and deaths, percentage of feats completed, the current year, and a timeline on the bottom of the screen showing evolution progression.
The evolution feat details are broken down into three categories: Explore, Expand, and Evolve. Each main category is broken down into sub categories with individual evolution feats. There are hundreds of unique evolution feats that can be obtained.
- Expand - Feats dealing with combat, construction, and fear.
- Explore - Feats that deal with finding items and locations.
- Evolve - Feats dealing with altering and using items.
Initially each evolution feat is blurred out. As you complete evolution feats, you will be able to see the name of the feat and a detailed description about the feat.
Each main feat category and main feat sub-category will list evolution feats that have been completed with a display "READY" and a number next to it. This number indicates how many feats total in that category are completed ready to be counted towards the next evolutionary leap.
When you have looked through all of the information and viewed the completed feats, the option to perform an Evolution Leap is possible.
The Evolution Leap is a large jump in time. Hundreds of thousands to millions of years of time will pass. This amount of time is based upon the completed evolution feats. The more feats completed, the more time that will pass.
By selecting the Evolution Leap choice, a tally will begin and time will begin counting for all feats you have completed. On screen pop ups will shows the feats completed and the amount of extra time you have gained for those feats. The timeline on the bottom will begin moving towards the right and the counter will begin counting down years you have earned through exploration and discoveries.
An evolution feat summary will appear and indicate the feats completed, the amount of years you have gained, and how close you are on track with what science predicts evolution should be.
Time is then tallied and taken away for deaths. After that time is tallied and added for births. A final summary will appear and show your overall summary.
If you have progressed enough in time, you will reach an evolution milestone and a screen will appear naming your new species. Each new evolution has new abilities and skills the prior hominids didn't have.
Below is the list of the evolution leaps possible and the approximate time frames they appear.
- The Missing Links - Starting at 10,000,000 years
- Sahelanthropus Tchadensis "Toumai" - Available after 9,100,000 years
- Orrorin Tugenensis "Millenium Man" - Available after 7,200,000 years
- Ardipithecus Ramidus "Ardi" - Available after 5,300,000 years
- Australopithecus Afarensis "Lucy" - Available after 3,800,000 years
- Australopithecus Africanus "The Taung child" - Available after 2,500,000 (Last playable species)
- Homo Ergaster "Turkana boy" - Available after 2,000,000 years (Ending; Unplayable species)
To win the game, you must reach final evolution of Homo Ergaster "Turkana boy".
After completion of the evolutionary leap, you will be moved forward in time and returned back to the game. You will have changed locations and been provided with a new settlement and new clan members.
The only way to make genetic mutations permanent for all future generations is to perform an evolution leap. When an evolution takes place, a revealed genetic mutation neuron will grow to the larger size of a white neuron, glow bright gold, and the full description will be shown if you hover over it. The genetic mutation is now permanent for all of your hominids.
The easiest way to understand acquiring and passing on genetic mutations is this:
- A baby is born with a genetic mutation. It isn't activated until they are an adult. (Dull gold small circle neuron)
- You pass a generation and the baby grows up. The genetic mutation is revealed and that adult hominid only has the benefits of the mutation. (Bright gold small circle neuron)
- You can pass one more generation and your adult grows up into an elder. Your elder hominid still has the mutation and the benefits of the mutation. (Bright gold small circle neuron)
- You complete an evolution and jump forward into time. As long as your Adult or Elder hominid was alive when you completed the evolution, your genetic mutation is now permanent. (Bright gold large circle neuron)
- If your baby/adult/elder with a genetic mutation dies before you complete an evolution, the mutation is lost. You will have to give birth to a new baby to get the mutation back, pass a generation to get them to grow into an adult, and then complete an evolution to make it permanent for all future hominids.
Genetic mutations do not effect the actual leap itself. No direct gain to bonus years from genetic mutations appears but the genetic mutations will now be permanent after the evolutionary leap. This will have a big effect on gameplay as more and more genetic mutations are acquired and skills and abilities are permanently available.
Genetic mutations need to be reinforced for all future generations and this process can be difficult to complete. You can't just run around and train your neurons to acquire these special neurons. It is important to make sure your clan is comprised of the best composition before doing an Evolution Leap. The ideal Evolution Leap would be a clan with 6 adults and 6 elders, all of them with active genetic mutations. You do not want babies with mutations as these mutations aren't actually available yet. If you accept an Evolution Leap with babies that have genetic mutations, all of these new mutations will be lost to the jump and you will have to have new babies to start the process again.
While any genetic mutations may be lost with current babies, there is a benefit to breeding up 6 new babies before you do an evolution leap as each birth gives a bonus to years.
Deaths due to passing a generation don't count towards the death count. If you pass a generation and an elder dies, this isn't counted against you death total when you do an Evolution Leap. However, elders that die of natural causes, say when you are sleeping and you wake up to a Dead Clan Member message, will count towards the death count.