Fancy some simple apocalyptic action? Evil Diary might be worth picking up – especially considering its absolute budget price. Just don’t expect anything too complex as you shoot your way through deadly mutants.
Evil Diary costs just £3.99. You can’t even get your pumpkin-spiced latte fix at Starbucks for that. It’s no surprise, then, that this isn’t the longest game in the world: I saw the credits roll in less than an hour. But this action-packed side-scrolling shooter is fun while it lasts, and it even packs in a bit of a story – if you care enough to pay attention.
The name ‘Evil Diary’ isn’t completely random: before each of the 32 levels, you’ll be treated to a short diary entry, giving your protagonist a purpose for their journey. It’s the end of the world, you see, and they’re on a quest to find somewhere safe to rest. It’s no easy feat – which you’ll appreciate if you’ve ever seen an episode of The Walking Dead – and so each level you pass through throws plenty of infected enemies at you.
Levels in Evil Diary aren’t your typical reach-the-goal-at-the-end type levels. Most of them will end when you kill a certain number of enemies – typically somewhere between 30 and 60. That won’t take you any more than a minute or two, because they come at you thick and fast. A few change things up a bit: you might have to wait until an elevator reaches your floor, surviving until it gets there, for example. But you’ll never move away from the very basic premise of “destroy everything in sight”.
You’re equipped with a very basic gun and a melee attack – although there are two additional characters to unlock that make things a bit more interesting. One is, I’m pretty sure, a visor-wearing duck with a chainsaw. And another has a gun that fires dual bullets shaped like hearts. Both make ploughing through enemies much easier.
You’ll gather coins as you play through Evil Diary, and these two characters seem to be the only thing you can spend them on. Once they’re unlocked, then, gathering coins is rather pointless. It’s a shame you can’t spend them on better weapons or health upgrades, especially since the game inflates its difficulty part-way through by slicing your maximum HP from 10 to 7.
There’s not much to Evil Diary – it’s simple to a fault – but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t somewhat enjoy it while it lasted. It’s less than an hour of action, but shooting your way through apocalyptic enemies is always fun – and it turns out sawing through them as a duck with a chainsaw is even better.