Foursquare on Steroids and Much More: The Crazy World of eevoo

By David Knight |

A crazy-haired mad professor, a magical new form of energy and flying robots? Welcome to the bizarre, augmented world of eevoo – a bit like Foursquare on steroids (but a whole lot more). Launched with a bang at an Umspannwerk party on Tuesday, eevoo is the first product from games studio eelusion.

The game is aimed at both casual, social users – with a location claiming system like Foursquare – and the more combative gamers, with missions to complete and shields to earn.

Its Kreuzberg-based makers claim that eevoo is the world’s first geo-located city building game, one that combines real-time location-based play, augmented reality and social gaming elements to create a ‘completely new generation of mobile game.’

Following the launch, the app is available globally on iOS, and users can claim territory anywhere in the world. It places original 3D game content over your real life location allowing it to work in real time.

The game world is split into squares which players then claim. This is where the Foursquare effect comes into play – users will fight it out to own certain locations such as famous buildings like the Eiffel Tower or the Fernsehturm, or perhaps colleagues will try to conquer their shared office location. Anyone can check into the square, and once you have the most points there you can claim it for yourself; aka the mayor principle.

Guillaume on stage at the launch of eevoo

Once you have claimed the square, you can put buildings on it of increasing complexity, which require resources. Small flying robots called eevoons can be sent to locations you can’t reach in real life, in order to claim resources or check in to specific squares. You can also reach out to friends and virtual neighbours, working either with them or against them, and find materials and tools in real life using the augmented reality.

With eevoo, eelusion have certainly aimed high. The game looks fantastic and the UX seems very good at first glance. One concern might be that they have tried to do too much – aiming at different gaming demographics means including something for everyone.

But after his speech at the launch, CEO Guillaume Vaslin told Silicon Allee that the different types of player would each find a home in eevoo: “I think there will be two different approaches, because the gamers will focus on doing everything to complete the missions, while others will be more like casual gamers. We are trying [to create a good] mix between the two of them. Of course, this makes eevoo complex; not complicated but complex.”

Including so many different aspects, he added, would in addition help extend the life of the game.

Judging by the amount of gamers and game-related techies in the audience at the launch, eevoo will appeal instantly to that particular crowd. Whether it can gain significant traction amongst the general public remains to be seen – what happens to new players once all the squares in places like Berlin have already been claimed? – but it looks fantastic and plays well.

Just watch out for that crazy Professor McEvo…

Professor McEvo poses alongside Guillaume