When it comes to multiplayer-focused party games, I tend to gravitate towards local, split-screen affairs such as the likes of Mario Party. Of course, online-only matters such as the mega-popular Among Us have taken over this niche, particularly in recent times that have limited in-person gatherings.
Sadly, despite genuine interest in wanting to experience Among Us, I came out of that game feeling underwhelmed, with most of the fun in my time with the game, deriving from exchanges with friends, rather than any gameplay moments. Although I did not enjoy my time with Among Us, it did leave me with the hope of eventually getting to try a game that further iterates on the simplicity of Among Us while making it feel more “gamey”.
Thankfully, I did not have to wait too long as I recently had the pleasure to try out VestGames’s debut title: Eville—a multiplayer-focused social deduction game, similarly to the aforementioned Among Us, but with a vibrant and colourful fully 3D medieval cartoon theme. Right away, what set Eville apart to me from similar games in the genre is just how well-realized it felt, even for a game currently still in development. Eville’s world felt fully realized and more akin to a small town found in an MMORPG, complete with enterable houses, an underground channel for conspirators and simple quests from the various NPCs that dot the map.
Beyond its fleshed-out facade, Eville features a relatively robust set of unique characters, both for the game’s residents and the currently, four-available Conspirator character types. Starting with the gamut of playable, non-hostile characters, players can pick or randomly be given the role of Guard, Trapper, Seer, Detective, Ghost Whisperer, and The Mayor—who in particular comes with the ability to thwart any acquisitions towards them automatically.
In terms of the Conspirators, Eville currently includes the Barbarian, Thief, Smuggler and Slanderer. From the few matches I played, I got the chance to try out the Trapper, Guard and Thief classes, respectively. The Trapper who I felt the most comfortable with, felt fun to use and featured some unique cartoon-inspired traps that made me feel secure during the night-time section of the game.
Night-time in Eville forces the Citizen characters to go to sleep in their colour-coded houses, sans the Detective and of course, the Conspirators; who instead have the freedom to stalk and potentially kill—or, in the case of the Detective, sleuth around during the night-time phase of the game.
A session in Eville ends when either the Conspirator characters (who are not limited to only killing the Citizens, but each other) kill enough of the non-hostile players, or when the Citizens successfully pin the blame and vote out who they believe to be the culprit. The various Citizen and Conspirator abilities sway and augment this portion of the game, making the objective of pining someone a fun and nerve-wracking experience.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with my short time with Eville, even with some still clunky and unintuitive control options, which thankfully I was told would be updated in a later build of the game. Despite playing mostly with strangers, I still had enjoyed myself with Eville and could immediately see the game’s potential, especially when it releases into the wild, giving a wider audience time to experience the who-done-it medieval romp.