E.V.O. is a side-scrolling platform game with role playing elements. Your character has three basic moves: a jump, tackle, and a melee attack (usually some form of bite), though mammals also have a "kick" option to attack enemies behind them. By eating defeated enemies, players gain "Evolution points" that can be used to modify the creature they are playing as. These improvements include bigger jaws, scales, horns, fins, longer neck, jumping ability, swimming ability, flying ability and more. By evolving, your character gains more hit points, greater speed, stronger attacks, and even certain special abilities such as flight.There are also four types of crystals. Yellow crystals give tips and reveal points of the story. Red crystals allow the main character to morph into special powerful creatures that can be recorded in the evolution log so that they may be called upon later via Green crystals. Green crystals, of which the character may only possess one of at any given time, allow your creature to revert to a past form that was saved into the evolution log. Blue crystals grant the player an unusually large amount of evolution points.