PixelJunk Eden is a tough game to describe. I am not really sure what the developers' intent was with this game... on the surface, it looks like a sort of casual interactive art piece showcasing a synergy of music and colors. But once you get deeper into it, there are increasing levels of challenge (and frustration), which go against the laid-back casual vibe. But what is it, exactly? I'm not really sure... I guess my best simple summary would be to say it's sort of like an unholy union of the artistic games "Flow" and "Flower" on the PS3 (if you've played/heard of those). Anyways, you play as some sort of little bug thing that can jump around and stick to plants. By jumping into floating spores, you release pollen that fills in seeds, which when filled, sprout new plants that allow you to reach new areas. You just keep exploring in this way until you find a special glowy thing called a "spectra", which ends the level. There are 15 levels (or "gardens", as they are called), each of which contains 5 spectra. So there is plenty of content to play through. While no major mechanics are introduced after the first few levels, the game mostly stays interesting throughout, due mostly to the diversity in the look and music. Each garden has a unique vibe, due to the music and color palette/design. As each spectra is collected, the levels evolve slightly to introduce more visual elements. It's a pretty neat effect. As I mentioned earlier, while the game is fairly simple at its core, some frustration creeps in during the latter portion of the game due to the introduction of really annoying enemies and some slightly more challenging platforming bits (the sometimes wonky controls don't help, either). It's nice for the challenge, but it also sort of goes against the enjoyable casual feel of the early parts of the game. It felt somewhat like the game had an identity crisis to me... but I dunno, maybe it's just me. That said, it is still a super enjoyable experience if you go into it not expecting some sort of blockbuster. It's a great experimental art piece that is perfect for those times when you just want to turn your mind off and get lost in a spaced out state of sights and sounds... and yes, that means it's definitely the perfect game for you if your favorite time of day is 4:20. But even if not, it's still an enjoyable experience and worth checking out.
Posted: August 13th, 2013