Narrative exploration game located in a massive, post-human Western Washington. Navigate an open world that has been reclaimed by nature. Use journals, letters, zines, and other documents to learn the interconnected stories of the people who lived here once.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (140 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 1, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"An open-world exploration game with a mystery to unravel."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (12)

November 9, 2014

Nov 9 Update

Just a small but important bug fix! Some terrain on the coast was having loading issues, which should be fixed now.

0 comments Read more

October 30, 2014

October 30th - Content Update!

Added 59 new documents, several new characters and threads, some resolutions to previously unanswered questions, and the Kitsap Peninsula. Enjoy!

5 comments Read more

Reviews

“Trust when I tell you, again, that Eidolon is the best game I’ve played this year. Trust when I tell you that, given a chance, Eidolon can be a deeply personal game to any type of player, and trust when I tell you that you should give it that chance.”
10/10 – Coffee Break Gaming

“Eidolon is the most beautiful game I've ever thrown up in ... The pace is meditative, the gameplay is simple, and the narrative is as giant and nuanced as the world itself.”
Polygon

“[...] for those of us who love to explore, and who love the freedom to go when and where we want, there is something special and genuinely thrilling about Eidolon.”
Discover Games

About This Game

Eidolon is a game about exploring a mysterious landscape and uncovering the stories of the people who lived there once before. It is a game about history, curiosity, interconnectedness, and the slow and inevitable beauty of life.

You will be dropped into the dreary and mystical Western Washington circa 2400 c.e. with little to guide your way. Awaiting you is a vast landscape filled with wildlife, edible plants, and the memories of our now-dead culture—stored in artefacts such as journals, sketchbooks, newspapers, zines, brochures, transcripts, blogs, and more. Collect these memories and piece together what happened to these people.

Features:
  • Over 150 documents telling the interconnected stories of dozens of characters across hundreds of years.
  • An enormous, hand-sculpted Western Washington that takes multiple hours to cross.
  • Day/night cycle and dynamic weather.
  • Varied flora and fauna (both predators and prey).

Consider purchasing through our website, where the developers get a better cut, and you get a bonus DRM-free copy in addition to your Steam key.

MAC USERS: Please read system requirements carefully!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8 (64 bit on all versions)
    • Processor: 2.0 GHZ
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2 Compatible Graphic Card
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6+
    • Processor: 2.3 GHZ
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 2 Compatible, NOT Nvidia or Intel Iris Pro.
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: MAC USERS: Our engine's graphics implementation is practically unplayable on Nvidia and Intel Iris Pro graphics cards (no matter how good your machine is). PLEASE purchase through our website, which will allow us to offer refunds when appropriate.
Helpful customer reviews
45 of 53 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
“It’s a great, well written survival game”, I was told by someone trying to get attention towards the title. This isn’t a survival game. It has survival elements, but the general mood of the game isn’t survival. What Eidolon is though, is a walking simulator pushed to the extremes.

You begin in the woods with nothing, and you just start… Walking.

And walking.

And walking.

Until you see a cube, it’ll either be green or white. If it’s white, you get a tool to aid your survival. If it’s green, you will get a page or two to various stories that are scattered across the vast landscape.

The tools add up, but you’re not spending most of your time working to survive, or even thinking about it. Food is plenty and it takes a rather long fall to injure yourself, and if you do, you’ll still heal over time. Animals are scared of you and I’m never witnessed an attack on my 4 hour playthrough.

What you will be doing, is walking.

And walking.

And walking.

And hopefully you’ll come across another cube.

Now, the green cubes seem to be the purpose of the game. The stories they hold are really well written, some are captivating while others depressing and melancholic. From brain damaged cultists to people just trying to survive whatever happened, the stories draw you in and makes you want to read more.

Now, you can find tags under said bits of stories to generate a green spectre that will point you to the next part of the story, but that’s about it in what the game tells the player to do. And even though it will point you in the right direction, they never indicate how long the trek is, and they can be long. Super long.

It’s vastness may be the biggest thing I have against it. Now the idea of exploring a vast landscape is a great one, I grew up on a farm that owned 100 acres of forest, most of my childhood was spent exploring these woods, discovering things that resided in it.

But Ice Water games have stretched themselves a bit thing to make this landscape so vast. I can dig a simple art style, but it’s concern about the big things result in a lack of detail in the little things. Flat surfaces and large, tall trees make up so much of the land and it’s lack of threat results in being unable to “believe” these woods.

Although everything is not all like that. Once you find the desolate highway and blown out buildings, the game picks up a bit. The density of story cubes increases and the landscape gets interesting as you traverse through these ruins of modern civilization.

I also should mention the music, the music is great. It sets the tone better than the artwork, from rustic acoustic guitars to roaring electronics, they tremendously help add the mood to your journey and the stories you find within.

So overall, it can be a interesting experience. But it can also be a monotonous one. Don’t get into the story expecting the game to immediately point you to what you need to do. The stories you’ll read are great, and some will even motivate you to trek miles for the next piece. But the game could have really benefited from being less vast and instead try to be a little more dense.

6/10
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24 of 30 people (80%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
I reccomend this game to the players who love explororation and some survival. (Don't worry about the metacritic review. Some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ click down on it a bunch of times.)

Let me just start off saying this game is beautiful...you climb a mountain to build a fire and wake up to a snowy wonderland surrounding you. And as one of the people who helped optimize the game I can tell you that the devs take suggestions, and usually respond to you.

Gameplay: 9/10. Mostly you are running around explororing, but sometimes you stumble across orbs. Pick them up, and start a story of someone who was in the wasteland. The controls are quite easy, and not too many so don't worry. Also, you feel a nice feeling running through a Pacific North-west forest while listening to beautiful, nicely polished music.



Graphics: 9.5/10. Is it just me, or do you love the look of these graphics? It totally suits the game.


Hunting Mechanics: 7.5/10. The hunting is simple, something I was expecting, the only problem though. The fishing poles and hunting bows are not 3D. So you are basically using paper tools, and you cannot retrieve your arrows. The fishing, is also too easy so I hope they make it harder to fish, and hopefully they make it so you have to set up your fishing rod and make arrows and find bait.

Overall: 8.5/10. I reccomend this game to anyone who wants a soulful, beautiful gaming experience and likes exploreration games.
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24 of 32 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I'd like to start this review by saying that I have some mixed feelings about this game... I really like the concept, but I might have done a few things differently on the execution.

Firstly, I'd like to give a little overview of the kind of game this is:
Eidolon plays fairly simply as games go. It takes place sometime in the future (it is not clear exactly how far). You wake up somewhere deep in the forest in Washington and you need to explore to find out where you are and what happened to the place you are exploring. This is done by walking. Lots of walking. Lots and LOTS of VERY repetitive walking. Thankfully the developer did include a way to push a key for auto-walk so my "W" finger didn't get too tired. Still though... you walk incredibly slow and the map basically covers all of the greater Seattle area including the Olympic Penninsula... and while it may not be "to scale" it certainly feels like it due to the time it takes to get from place to place. It would seem like the gameplay is meant to feel immersive and realistic, although the graphics are very artistic and simple due for the most part I'd imagine to this being an indie game that is meant to be able to run on a lot of computer systems (did I mention the HUGE map size?) I'm sure there were other creative reasons for the particular graphical style chosen, but I won't get into that really... it suits the game fine and it doesn't need to be "realistic" to get the appropriate feeling across to the player.

Okay, back to the gameplay... near your starting position you can find a few items to help you in your journey: a compass, binoculars, bow & arrows, and a fishing rod. All these items are useful in either staying alive, or finding "clues". The items and clues both appear in the form of flashing orbs that float above the ground: white for items, green for clues. Clues can be either a map of a portion of the game area (usually in a hand-drawn style) or snippets of paper letters, notes, or sometimes photos of events or people that have been in the area before you but are now gone. I don't want to give away any of the contents of the clues in the explanation of the game-play, so I won't say more about them. Instead lets focus on the process of obtaining said clues. These glowing orbs you will find clustered all over the map... there are a LOT of them. Each one has a link at the bottom that, when activated, sends some flashy lights flying off into the sky in the direction of more clues that touch on that subject. Unfortunately, you will spend the majority of the time playing this game in-between clues just walking from place to place. It starts to feel very tedious after a few hours... Did I mention the HUGE map size?

Okay, sorry, getting distracted again... So clearly finding these clues is the driving motivation behind playing this game. I actually really enjoyed the part about discovering the history of the area and what happened to make it so different. There are some very well thought out stories explaining the events that took place that "ruined civilization" (I don't think that's giving away too much... I'm still trying to keep this "spoiler-free") So now I'm finally going to go into the part of the game I wasn't so satisfied with: In order to travel from place to place you obviously have to traverse the natural envirionment. You can sprint, which I highly recommend because walking is PAINFULLY slow, but only until you get tired and have to sleep, and sleeping makes you hungry when you wake up. So, aside from a lot of walking, which I think I've mentioned a few times now, you will also have to gather food and eat it to keep yourself from starving, one of two ways that I think you can die in this game.

(Quick disclaimer: I haven't tried dying to see what happens yet... not sure if you lose all progress or what.)

There is plenty of food to find in the game, though the bow & arrow was next to useless as you can't aim with it well enough to hit a moving target. Despite that, I didn't have trouble finding enough food to keep me from starving. The other way you can die is by freezing, which is fairly easy to avoid so long as you stay out of the water and don't climb any mountains. You can swim in water for a short period, but if you stay in too long I assume you die of hypothermia.

In the wilderness you also have to avoid predators... they will attack if you come too close or try to shoot them, which brings me to my biggest gripe of this game: wounds. Unlike most "survival" games where you have a health bar of some kind, Eidolon instead has a kind of system where whenever something bad happens (eg. you fall from a height or get mauled by a predator) you pass out for a few hours and wake up with a "serious wound" which either heals over time... or doesn't. This happened to me several times while playing and kinda caused me to stop eventually. I think there is nothing wrong with the system of getting hurt... that keeps with the realism of the game and the seriousness of surviving in the environment. My issue really stems from the system for getting BETTER. When a wound gets better on its own you don't have anything to worry about... however when it becomes infected, it won't go away. In addition, it causes you to become "ill" which wastes a lot of your food becuase you can never stop being hungry, and makes you have to sleep a LOT (which uses up even more food). Most of the time you have a "festering wound," you will be ill. When this finally happened to me from falling off a ledge in the game, I nearly quit on the spot... however I wanted to see if there was a way to heal the wound, as it says something about "put an antibacterial on it" in the game interface. After hunting around the steam forums I found a post that was somewhat helpful... it said there was an item called "honey" in the game that you supposedly find in beehives up in the trees that will work. Only one person had ever found it by the looks of it, but if it does exist in the game, I never could find out where. There was only one other thing in the game that can cure wounds, and that is a special swamp. I happened to have found said swamp earlier in my exploration because it is not too far from where you start the game, but it contains some warm "brown" water with floating will-o-the-wisp lights over it that miraculously cures all wounds and illness instantly... this would be great except that when my wound became infected, I was probably about a 5 hour walk away to the north (this swamp was in the south-east end of the map). And did I mention that you have to eat a LOT more when you're ill? That means stopping to fish or collect berries almost constantly, and then you have to keep sleeping so you can continue running instead of walking, because lets just say a 5 hour run is a lot longer when you're limited to walking. So needless to say I just wasn't up to the time commitment. I had to finally resort to console commands to try and free myself of the festering wound.

I am probably almost out of space here, but I didn't really get to mention the day/night cycle with weather... It goes from foggy in the morning to clear in the afternoon, to dark at night... with rain mixed in a lot. Which is accurate to the region, but it makes the exploration really annoying when you can't see where you're going half the time.

Also, there were a few bugs... mostly things that break immersion like floating grass and stuff, and campfires cast no light on the surrounding terrain. Nothing major.

The only part about this game that really feels broken to me is the inability to cure wounds that become infected. If you're going to say "put something antibacterial on it" and then give a decent percentage of the inflicted wounds infections... PUT MORE ANTIBACTERIAL ITEMS IN THE GAME! Seriously! If beehives do exist, they should be a LOT more common. It is a critical design flaw, in my opinion.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
In these wonderful times of ours, there are many first-person games that emphasize exploration. There are almost none that focus on it exclusively.

Eidolon has a few token survival elements - you need to eat, you can't leap off cliffs, and you can only spend so much time in freezing water - but they're window dressing. If you want mechanic or systemic challenge, look elsewhere.

Instead, Eidolon is a meditative exploration of a landscape. As a native of the Seattle area, it perfectly captures the sense of scale of our forests - dense yet empty, far sightlines from our mountains muddied by constant clouds and fog. The story uses the "fragmented narrator" method popularizied by System Shock to tell the story of this largely post-human world.

And it's slow. You will spend many minutes walking between finding notes or bits or narrative. You will get lost, and need to use your natural sense of landmarks, a compass, and a few maps to find where you are.

But there's nothing else like it, and it's one of the best before-bed games I've ever found; contemplative, calming, yet thought-provoking.
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13 of 19 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
Part 1: The Story of How Eidolon Got Me The Girl

Here is my little anecdote on how Eidolon provided legit girl advice that worked.

I'm sitting at my computer, thinking about a girl. A specific girl. One that I have a mega crush on. Let's call her Felicity, although that's not her real name. I had thought I had been pocketing hints that she liked me too, but I wasn't sure. I needed to think. So I open up my favorite game of the year, Eidolon, because I sometimes find myself lost in insightful thought when I play. I glance around and find myself in Bellevue. In the distance, I can see a document, flashing like a lighthouse in the middle of a hurricane. I walk over to it and pick it up. It's the first document in the Cultist storyline. I won't spoil anything, but I kept reading all the documents until the stream ran dry. I played some more so I could muddle over what I had read. I put both myself and my crush in the perspective of the girl who wrote the documents, and out of this I found some valuable insight. If Felicity really liked me, then, if she was in the same position as the fictional girl, what would she want Jon-Saint Pierre (or me) to do, or what would she want to happen in general? I came to the conclusion that she would probably want Pierre to keep hanging out with her and talking with her, and eventually want to hear from one of her friends that Jon loved her. So, I put this nefound knowledge to work. I kept conversing with Felicity for a little while and offering extremely subtle hints and flirts. After a little while, it was time to make a move. I chose a friend of mine who was very unreliable and would probably tell Felicity the first chance she got if she found out. Let's call her Sally. That's not her real name, but I know most of you know a Sally. I told her that I liked Felicity, and sure enough, the next day she told her. A confrontation went down between Felicity and I. She said that she liked me too and would like to catch a movie with me sometime. We've been dating for about a week now, and so far so good.

I ♥♥♥♥ing love this game.

TL;DR: The Cultist storyline gave me valuable advice on a girl I liked, and now I'm not single anymore.

Part II: The Review

First of all, Eidolon is NOT a survival game. It does have some basic survival mechanics, but if you are thinking of buying this game for gameplay similar to Rust and The Long Dark, look somewhere else. But, if you want a beautiful work of art to display in your Steam library, then buy this game.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about Eidolon. An important thing to mention is that EVERY SINGLE INCH OF THIS GAME IS WORTH A SCREENSHOT. I have dedicated a folder in my computer and an entire imgur album to my photography. It really makes me wish I lived there. Oh yeah that's right I do. Suckers.

Eidolon is also a masterpiece of literature. I think the devs said somewhere that there were over 40 intertwining storylines that contain a myraid of documents in each one. And ♥♥♥♥ gets really crazy. REALLY crazy. The writing is beautiful, and I can only imagine how crazy Ice Water's office looks like with that giant bulletin board covered with pictures and documents and lines connecting them in a huge spiderweb. It only takes a few pieces to understand how hard the devs worked on this game.

The game is also HUGE. I have yet to actually measure it, but I imagine that it's a little bigger than GTA V, which is 49 sq. miles in area. Skyrim was 16 sq. miles. But, that record shouldn't remain for long because the folks down at Outerra are making a game engine that literally generates full-scale planets. Google it.

So yeah. Eidolon is basically a child of Proteus and Gone Home, with a little bit of a Rust, stripped of all of its more complex survival mechanics until its at its basics; hunting, gathering, hunger and health stauses and a little extra coldness status because it's Western Washington. But, Eidolon is not for everyone. If you absolutely love to play fast paced games, are 12 years old or less or you have ADD (on second thought, you might like this game if you have ADD), then you probably wouldn't enjoy this game too much. But, if you own a good amount of slower paced games, like games with good amounts of exploration and especially if you liked Gone Home and/or Proteus - even just a little bit - , then buy this game.

TL;DR: Eidolon is a masterpiece of both visual and literate art, candy-coated in survival mechanics and a massive open world to explore.

FINAL VERDICT:
Made me go outside today
9.8/10 GOTY
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
1.5 hours in, and i can tell this will be a great way to relax. Perfect game when ya dont want to bothered or stressed. Check it out if you're shopping for a great time sink.
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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
I'm going to start this review by saying I'm most likely biased as all get out. You see, I was born, raised and currently live in Washington. While I have travelled and lived all over the US, I came back here because I LOVE THIS F***ING STATE! I will never leave it, except to visit other places, again. I love this place, and I spend a lot of time wandering around the backwoods and old growth forests (yes, we actually have real forests here) of Washington. The Northwest itself is pretty cool, but Washington's beauty and live and let live mentality overrides anywhere else Ive been.

So with that said, the review:

If you are from Washington, this game is worth getting because its set here, in some weird post-human land. But natural landmarks are recognizable. The first time I saw Mt. Rainier I was like wow cool. Theres also a neat story. Its medatative to wander through the wilderness, finding scraps of stories and piecing together what happened.

Its also got a tiny bit of a survival aspect. You have to hunt and eat, you can get wounds or ill. Thats cool. There are also items you can find (a bow, fishing pole, ect) to help you on your journey. the art style is great, kind of pseudo-realistic. It works. The music is medatative and fits the state of the game and world.

Now the bad. IMHO, there isnt enough to do. Its a walking simulator. Now I know the focus on the game is more the exploration instead of survival. Im not one of those games that needs constant high-stimulation of multiplayer FPSes or anything, but it just feels empty. Its cool when you find something, a story, a map, a landmark. But I had visions of being able to see (at least from a distance) the ruins of the cities around here, of the I-5 corridor or something. A lot of it, you spend wandering through endless rolling woods and mountains, ocassionally shooting at a deer or stumbling across a journal or hut left by a previous human. When that happens, its awesome. Othetwise, its just walking walking, grabbing berries and twigs for fires. The landscapes are pretty and fun to look at.

Which is fine, but as I live here I can go dwander through the trackless wilderness IRL.

Still, there is something undenialbly awesome about this game. The exploration and story is great.

I just wish there was more to it. More things to look at, ruins to see, items and journals. Animals, or even other beings.

Still I have to recommend it. Digital post human Washington!!! <3<3

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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
4/10 at best, when I felt I had something to do. The game looks alright (A strong Unturned feel to the graphics) and the music is deent, though it fades in and out, possibly depending on the area? Nothing was ever explained, even though the notes that seem to be the only purpose you have in this world, other than hoarding berries until they rot.

Now, I may have been playing it wrong for the two hours I gave it, but again nothing was ever explained to me in terms of gameplay, so I'm still taking points off for it. Apparently, after you collect a note (And not a map note, a note-note) you're supposed to click tags under it in oder to get a path to the next note in it's story. Should I have known that, I may have given the game a 5/10. But alas, the one time I did attempt to click on the tags my journal was closed, so I assumed it did nothing.

The game itself was alright off the bat. A pretty forest with mushrooms and rain, and you stumble upon a lake where you get a fishing rod and a map of the general area. Of course this map has no legend, resulting in confusion on what the markings all mean other than two words indicating some sort of settlement that is located just off of the sliver of gameworld shown to you. My first instinct was to go north towards the city that looked like "Believe", and this trip took me at least a week of gametime. You'll occasionally encounter some spooky music and dogs that will maul you but not do anything more... and that's about it. Besides the trees, bushes, rocks, and non-functioning radio towers, there's not much to see from point A to point B.

You're also equip with some futuristic tablet with three fuctions, but only one of which actually fuctions (slightly) due to your "out-of-range" of some beacon. I assumed this to be the radio towers dotting the map, but apparently I was mistaken. No explination as to why, so I'm just left with this useless thing that tells me when I'm hungry and hurt.

My run finally ended when I had walked around the coastline of one island, only to spot another off to the east. Without a boat, of course, I was forced to swim in the freezing water until I finally passed. Passed being a relitive term of course, because as soon as i was ready to embrace the sweet peace of death, the game told me I was perfectly healty and dropped me off in the middle of the woods in what appeared to be where I had originally started; my progress over my gametime had been nullified.

So again, I can't reccomend this game unless you really enjoy walking aimlessly, occasionally reading cryptic letters and getting mauled by bears that... don't do to much.
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Before I bought Eidolon I looked up some reviews, and one thing kept showing up: walking for unbearably long distances. They weren't joking. This game's massive environment is comparable to Minecraft, except without the interesting landscape and things to do.
After walking for literally half an hour I finally found a considerably large green chinese takeout box that I assumed was supposed to be an abandoned car. Next to this were several giant wireframe takeout boxes that I took to be toppled skyscrapers. That was all.
I saw a fox once, found a few glowing orbs, picked berries for some reason. All of these things combined constituted about 1% of my time playing, the rest was spent walking to the damn things. There's no map either, so you basically have to pick a direction and hope to god it'll take you somewhere good. On the trailer for Eidolon you'll see bears and buildings and other exciting stuff. I can assure you, after spending an hour walking there you won't be amazed, you'll want to spend another hour rethinking why you wasted so much of your life playing crap backwater indie games. Maybe the DLC will include a map and a Segway,
In conclusion, the graphics may look like crap, the trailer may be narrated by a cliche monotone female voice, there may be nauseatingly poetic and overly dramatic quotes in the description, it may LOOK like a crappy indie game, but don't let that fool you--it really is a crappy indie game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 19
This game is unique, to put it mildly. I can understand how some people got bored with it, but, for the right people this game will grab ahold of you and not let go. At times, there is a zen-like, meditative calm in which you float thru this homely yet alien world, untouched by the ruination. At times there is the feeling of utter desolation and fear, even anger at the long dead people who have left you so alone, One night I huddled against the overhang of a ruin, hiding behind the firelight. The next day, I climbed a mountain and stood alone, open to the world watching the sun rise and set and the rain, fog and clouds swirled around me. With no clue as to who or what I am, I vacillate between a noble phantom and low, mean, wild beast. *ahem* Not many games make you wax poetic like this. Not many games achieve beauty with minimalistic graphics. And once you get past all that, there are the stories....the eidolons (that word means spirit, soul, phantom). You can follow one at a time or wander freely. I've by no means found them all. I believe that will take a very long time. Yet, the glimpses you catch of lives long vanished are so engaging and enigmatic that you are driven to find more. There must be an explanation among these far-flung eidolons.
As for the practicalities, you can negotiate with compass and map, or let the terrain and foraging guide you. Both are rewarding enough. The basic survival tools are easy enough to acquire in the first few minutes if you keep your eyes open. There is no combat, unless you count shooting a deer or running from predators. The survival part of the game is basic common sense. Stay warm, dry, fed and rested. Armed with a fishing pole and a brain, this should prove quite easy.
TLDR: Just buy it if you've ever enjoyed a poem and don't expect FPS killkillkill constant stimulation.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Awesome game if you're into slow-paced, open-ended exploration of a huge world with some very basic, relatively low-pressure survival mechanics. Everything about that is right up my alley, so this is probably the best game purchase I've made in the past year. I can understand how the gameplay style might bore or frustrate some players; and while the survival aspect is less than frantic, if you make a wrong move or two, it can also be brutally unforgiving.

Eidolon is a relaxed game and has been described pretty aptly as a "walking simulator." You simply roam the vast landscape (really vast) seeking to piece together the story of what happened to the people who once lived in the area in an apocalyptic scenario and its aftermath. You can follow specific story lines from one clue to the next as you discover them, or you can just explore freestyle.

The graphics are minimalist, but in my opinion they are gorgeous and beautifully successful at evoking the character of the Pacific Northwest. I rarely find myself being critical of the graphics. This is good for people playing on less-than-beefy computers, as the game isn't terribly taxing on resources.

Staying alive in Eidolon is just a matter of eating enough and avoiding sickness or injury. There is really no crafting to speak of, and no building. Mushrooms, berries, and fish (after you cook it) are your staples; it's also possible to hunt for meat if you find a bow and arrow, but this is really difficult and I've only had one successful kill after a lot of trying. You can collect tinder to build campfires. Wounds from fall damage and aggressive animals (wolves, bears) are the main sources of injury, and eating spoiled food or freezing are the main ways in which you can be injuried, as well as from wounds which fester. You *don't* want to get sick from a wound -- the situation can get really dire quite fast.

I've only found one bizarre bug in several hours of gameplay, and that was a deer that got stuck in the side of a hill at the very beginning of my game and couldn't seem to get out. The animal AI behavior is a little "blocky" and unnatural, but I didn't find this to be a serious problem since interaction with animals is pretty rare on the whole.

Things I love about Eidolon:
- Sparse graphic style and massive open world work well together in this particular context
- The documents and maps that you find are beautifully designed and rendered
- The writing with respect to the characters and their stories is excellent, some of the best I've seen in a game
- Soundtrack and audio are atmospheric and appropriate to the game
- The survival mechanics are not unnecessarily cerebral and convoluted just for the sake of being fancy, and are fairly realistic, e.g., it's a low-key piece of cake until something awful happens and then you're f****d.

Improvements I would suggest:
- A slightly (not greatly) more involved system for hunting and fishing. As-is, it's so basic and easy as to be unrewarding, particularly the fishing.
- The graphics for manmade structures are not up to par with the graphics for natural flora and fauna; the discrepancy is pretty damn glaring at times.
- A more nuanced system for moving from one story clue to the next. The clairvoyant "Now that I've seen this, I magically know to go *this* way" thing is a cop-out; a little more intensive writing and design centered around the maps and documents themselves would be more realistic and engaging. This was the only aspect of the game that broke my sense of immersion.
- Some reviewers have suggested that the game needs more density of interactivity overall; while I agree that this wouldn't hurt, the sparseness and slow pace are part of the game's basic aesthetic and I wouldn't want to see that sacrificed for the sake of giving bored people "more to do." So maybe a few more interaction possibilities, but just a few.
- I also think this game could benefit from a slightly more involved cooking system, such as the ability to make a few different basic campfire recipes with different special properties or bonuses for the player (cold resistance, movement speed bonus, healing bonus, that sort of thing).

In short: one of the best games of its kind, and an awesome experience if you're into the genre and don't require a constant life-and-death struggle or lots of shiny, flashy things to keep you involved in a game. Kudos to the producers of Eidolon!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Really short review I suppose.
Wandering a massive wilderness. Like Proteus in a way, but with goals, and an interesting backstory.
It's *incredibly* *slow* *paced* and repetitive, but I enjoyed playing it and exploring the world. It's a survival game, you need to maintain your health constantly.
If you don't know how to read a map with a compass, prepare to get lost! It's difficult to pin down landmarks with the massive trees obscuring everything, but that is part of the experience for sure.

However, don't forget to click on the topic buttons in your records/logs for some much needed guidance, and don't worry, you will learn your way around and feel accomplished for it.

The difficulty of the survival aspect is relatively low, so it's a relaxing experience, punctuated by some danger you might not have anticipated, especially when you meter out how much time you can survive in the freezing cold rivers.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
53.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
This game has exceeded my expectations. Many compare it to Proteus or categorize it as an art game or walking simulator, but I feel it is a lot more complex than that would lead you to believe. I liked Proteus, though it was a small, procedurally generated island with no purpose but to wander around and listen to the music. Once I'd seen it all, there wasn't much more reason to keep playing. Eidolon is only similar in the basic retro look. The territory is set on a map of the Washington area, which I might as well say because the cat's out of the bag on that one, and the territory is huge. You probably won't run out of things to see and beutiful landscapes to cross for a long time. If that's all the game was, it would be worth it for that alone. There is the need to eat, sleep, and heal wounds if you get them, but don't expect it to be a very difficult survival experience. It is very forgiving, and it isn't anything likely to satisfy someone expecting a combat FPS or roll playing experience. What you will be doing is experiencing what amounts to a non-linear novel of personal letters that feed into a broader post apocaliptic story. It's a story that you will have to piece together over a long haul of traveling. Don't let the sleep poetry fool you; it is a tangable story, and not just someone's abstract artsy ramblings. If you are patient and like to take in the scenery while experiencing a great story, this will not disapoint.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Surprisingly captivating and interesting, even after hours of gameplay! Eidolon is one of my new favorite ways to relax after classes. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but as someone who loves atmospheric story games- it's perfect.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Absolutely beautiful. Went in with zero clue as to what it was, picked some mushrooms, saw that I was getting hungry, and thought "Oh! its a survival game!". After an hour or two of playing, I figured out that it was more proteus than minecraft or anything. Definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys artsy games.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Eidolon tries to be like Proteus but it fails in every regard.

The world is empty, bland, lifeless and ugly.

The game tries to use color banding as an artistic element, but it ends up looking atrocious. There are models clipping into each other and weird flimmering rendering artefacts.

The night sky can look nice, but then it's so dark that you can't really do anything.

I walked around for a good half hour and all I found was a really ugly paperthin watch tower, from which I could see nothing else of notice (why wouldn't it show me some point of interest that I could walk to?). I tried to kill myself by jumping off of that tower multiple times, but it didn't work (apparently 6 heavy wounds aren't enough, so much for the tacked on survival elements that have you otherwise looking at the ground and collecting repetitive looking underproportioned crap, but hey, it's not like you're missing much not looking around).

I found a deer that had ugly animations and tried to run away but got stuck. I found a bear that was sliding on the ground instead of walking.

Save your time, there's nothing worth seeing here.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Gives me the same feeling I had many many moons ago when I first played myst. I have entered a realm where the sensibilities are consistent but strange, food is food, rain is rain, action precedes concequence but someone has taken liberties with purpose and function, arranging them to suit a personal reality. Some things follow the usual rules, and allow your order to be imposed upon them, others, are not going to play ball unless you replace the worldly sensibilities you brought, with a more esoteric and playful point of view. This is a good game to occupy part of your mind while the rest grinds out a solution to real world dilemmas, or maybe you should occupy the cold and relentless gears of practical thought with real world problems and let whats left pace the hills and search the corners of this game for the plain sight hidden path you must find.

Perhaps I should stay...
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Eidolon is kinda like Proteus, except it's not a smoldering heap of rotten garbage.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
I've played this game for months now, on and off, and still don't really feel like I've scratched the surface of the story. It's beautiful, it's relaxing, it's funny intentionally and unintentionally (I mistook a bear for an oil drum!), and the interactive nature of the journal is so good.
I haven't found anyone who's interested in hearing about my explorations in real life, but to me it feels like I really am exploring this moody, misty land.
I'm still in mysterious suspense and think this game is truly beautiful.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
This game is a journey, and this game is a story. This game is many stories of many journies. It's the story of your journey, it's the story of many others living in the before, during, and after, and they all add up to create the story of a world. I got this game in a bundle, and I played it knowing two things. I knew it was an artistic style game, and I knew it was set in the woods. The further I went, it became more and more, and it is so much more than it appears to be at first and it is so much more than I ever though it was. A few games I've played before have allowed the player to write in a jounal. I have never once used such a feature until I played this game. It was so atmospheric, mysterious, and immersive that I actually kept a daily journal in the game. Don't read anymore about it and play this game now. It's incredibly unfortunate if you have already watched the trailers, seen the screenshots, and read the description. The less you know about this game the better. Playing this game blind is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had, and it is so sad that a lot on this steam page ruins the discovery.
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