Classic: XEvil

By: Guest Reviewer

On: June 2nd, 2009


[This is a guest review by ForTheUSSR, who first encountered the game on a CD called 300 Arcade Games.]

XEvil is a fun, free, ultra-violent, 2D side-scrolling deathmatch arena. It was developed by, believe it or not, an M.I.T. student named Steve Hardt (it’s freeware and open source). Released in 1994, it runs on Windows, Linux, and Unix platforms. You can play as many different characters (including a soldier, ninja, alien, robot, and several others) in a variety of game modes. You have your run-of-the-mill elimination mode, team deathmatch, and even a campaign mode. Also, the levels are randomly generated. Each character has unique abilities (ninjas can crawl on walls), but there are weapons and items that all the characters can use (like a pistol, laser, and my personal favorite: the chainsaw).

You can play by yourself against computer opponents, but the best part of this game is, in my opinion, the ability to play networked multiplayer. You have to manually type IP addresses, and I had some problems with this at first (if you’re not sure which IP you should tell others to type, use ipconfig in a DOS prompt). Once you get it working, it’s really addicting. The cooperative campaign mode is a fun challenge, and you get a short title after you die depending on how well you played (e.g. Hell’s Gatekeeper). You can play against bots in team deathmatch or just have a free-for all with your friends.

There are several things that I think make this game fun. The plot, characters, sound effects, and backgrounds are ridiculous and somewhat humorous (There are signs in the backgrounds saying things like “Strangle Your Pets”). The variety of items ensures that the game doesn’t get too repetitive, and lets you develop strategies. And nothing, NOTHING, beats co-op games (unless you can’t find anyone to play with).

At times the game is a little buggy, and the AI isn’t very intelligent. In addition, the control scheme takes some getting used to. But none of that seems to matter when you’re chainsawing your way through a screaming cluster of aliens, robots, ninjas, and Flying Burger King Guys while high on PCP. And the best part is, you don’t need a fancy computer to play it. If you have some cruddy old PC and a bored friend, just hook it up to your network and play away.

Anyways, check it out if you’re in the mood for some fast-paced, old-school action. You might get a kick out of the website, too. Especially the character page (look under the Characters and Weapons tab).

TIGdb: Entry for XEvil

  • avoidobject

    Wow. When you said old school, I wasn’t expecting old school as in the kinds of games that came with Windows during the whole Windows 95 era oldschool.

    I’m not exactly sure if I like this game, but it feels kinda nostalgic for some strange reason. Maybe if I had played this back when I used a computer with a Pentium 1 processor, I’d enjoy it more. I don’t know, I am not used to it I guess? Maybe it’s because I’m used to how things have evolved since then and don’t really yearn for this kind of “old school” anymore.

    I dunno. It just seems “bad” by todays standards, and I normally don’t say that about oldschool things. Whereas something that is like NES style oldschool I can easily get into.

  • avoidobject

    Well, upon playing it some more, it’s actually not that bad. It’s just different. It does indeed feel a lot like a retro Windows 95 style game, which just feels so odd to see these days. It’s like a blast to the past, to a past I’d never thought I’d be blasted back into, and it’s hard to get used to after being spoiled with everything that newer games have offered since those days.

  • avoidobject

    Also, I’m an idiot. I didn’t read that this was a “classic.” It was made in 1994, no wonder it feels like a game made during that year. Whoops.

  • John Evans

    You guys know, right, that the “X” means it was developed for the X Windows system? (That’s the windowing system that Unix and Linux systems often run.) According to the website, it was created for use on MIT computer systems…written by hackerly college students, for hackerly college students!

  • mecha

    Yeah, I remember playing the original X versions on Linux in college back in ’99 or so. I always liked the feel of the older graphics over the newer ones.

    Plus, how can you not like a game where you can repeatedly sell your soul for an extra life, or get rated as “Satan’s Personal Vibrating Sex-Toy” on death?

  • Xion

    No idea what the hell’s going on in this. I kept randomly changing characters?

  • Paul Eres

    what is it with people lately and commenting (in avoidobject’s case, twice) before reading the text? someone just did it on the tower of the sorcerer entry too. the overwhelming desire to speak should be self-restrained a bit, at least until you read the thing you’re replying to

    also this game looks awesome, and i can’t really think of ‘windows 95’ as ‘old’ — to me it’s new, dos and windows 3.1 are old

  • ForTheUSSR

    Oops! I should have posted the link at the end of the article, so people would be more inclined to read it first. To me, 1994 is old. That’s like 15 years ago! But yes, the graphics are pretty good. Still, no bloom lighting, sepia tone, or ragdoll physics.

  • avoidobject

    i’m sorry, yeah I really should think before I speak

  • Paul Eres

    i didn’t mean to sound harsh, no need to apologize since i’m sure i do it myself occasionally, was just noting a weird trend lately

    anyway, anyone want to play this multiplayer? it’s probably not a good idea to post ip addresses in the comment section, but if anyone wants to find partners to play this with post in the forums or something

  • sqrrl

    ah… the dark ages…

  • Winterous

    Alright, read the whole article, though “Hey, this might be kinda cool.”
    I was wrong.
    I, frankly, think it’s terrible, controls are too awkward, graphics are inconsistent, projectiles don’t even rotate to face the right direction.

    Blah blah blah, yes it was made by one guy, yes it’s old, doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been better.

  • Eclipse

    I remember this game!!! I’ve played it years and years ago on windows 98.
    Good times… it wasn’t too polished but was pretty fun to play. The Alien character was truly a bastard

  • Radiokid

    Massive nostalgia blast with this, I remember showing it to my brother, him getting hooked, then me never getting on the computer for days on end :(

  • Ilia Chentsov

    Yeah, had a Unix version of it it at my uni. We had those big monochrome hi-res monitors, which were said to originate from MIT (and I studied at Moscow University). The mice were also a sight to look at – rectangular, with two round buttons which often refused to be pressed.

  • Nikica

    Whoa that is really cool, after reading the text I had an imagination of the game but when I started playing it it wasn’t for sure what I imagined, it was hundred times better. Can’t wait to play with some friends in the network it’s such an awesome and weird, I feel bad that I didn’t knew about the game before, the only thing I dislike is that when you start runing he just runs and you can’t stop the character with any other way then to crouch or hit NUM5, so it’s really hard to get down between little holes and the characters are pretty fast too.

  • Paul Eres

    yeah, that ‘pac man’ style running is hilarious

  • Seith

    If it weren’t for this review, i’d have never started using PCP before playing oldschool videogames.

  • ForTheUSSR

    PCP use is not encouraged outside of the game. I see how the wording is a bit ambiguous, however. We apologize for any PCP related injuries and/or expenses you might have incurred.


    FUCK YES! I love this game so much, really wish there was a Mac OS X native version

  • Gio

    Luckily Joy to key makes learning the controls a snap. Anywho, I found the game to be quite fun, too bad the creator is nowhere to be found to make a newer version of the game.


    The source code is available though :O!


    oh and mac users download the file from the site, put it in a folder then run it by opening the Terminal go to the folder then type
    “chmod +x ./xevil”

    should run out of the box on Leopard, Tiger requires X11 to be installed off the Tiger DVD