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: Positive (48 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 (7)

August 26

Aug 26 Update

Continued optimizations for CPU/RAM usage.
Fixed a few areas which weren't loading properly.

4 comments Read more

August 15

Aug 15 Update

Eidolon is now on Mac! Hooray!

2 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: 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.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
154 of 179 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
"He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time."
-Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Greeted with the slow twanging of an acoustic guitar and the soft playing of a sad sounding fiddle, the misty land ahead of you is devoid of any sign of human life. Only the rolling green hills, groves of forests teeming with wildlife, and icy mountaintops remain all concealing mysteries of the past and the loss of a culture once thriving.

This civilization long lost, leaving behind only traces of what was once its former glory. The world is now empty as you seek to find answers to your past.

Broken images and entities before you, a fox greets you from afar and you give chase only to see it dissapear behind a tree seconds later. Are these visions of what once was, or are they simply the ramifications of your lost and wandering mind? This is a truly psychological undertaking.

Using my newly scavenged tinder I pitch a fire by the bend of a flowing creek, the eyes of nearby deer watching me gaze up at the stars and clouds rolling by. Dawn breaks through the treetops and the singing of birds is heard, I've survived another cold night alone in these woods and can continue my exploration. Eidolon is a genuinely natural experience, it is the closest experience to nature you'll find in any form of interactive entertainment.

Despite living in the West Coast most of my life I have never had the pleasure of visiting Washington but did grow up camping in the wilderness of Big Sur and Santa Cruz and the feelings evoked by this game really bring me back to those places. Based on discussions between the developer and play testers the transcribing of the wooded lands are depicted very accurately - accurate enough to have playtesters' journey tracked on a real world map

Massive landscapes reach out endlessly past the horizon providing several hours of exploration in any one direction, and is fleshed out with several more hours of narrative-rich collectables in the form of documents, articles, and lovingly crafted writings of the people who previously called Western Washington their home. Their fate is yours to discover.

The shift from day to night is gradual and realistic, drawing you into your surroundings through bright pink-orange hues of the sunset to the pitch black dead of night lit only by the vibrant and beautiful stars above. The land you travel is authentic in its portrayal, there's an obvious amount of devotion and love put into details.

Nothing repeats and nothing overstays its welcome, you are constantly on the move into new lands to discover new histories. Evolving and changing with the scenery around you is the melancholy and serene soundtrack, utilizing a wide array of wood and stringed instruments that encompass the natural wonder you find yourself in. Before even starting Eidolon I was taken aback by the very subdued sounds being reminded almost of the backdrop to a Jim Jarmusch film, giving me vibes of Neil Young's improvised soundtrack for the Old West-themed Dead Man with its subterranean guitar twangings.

Upon questioning one of the developers on the origin of Eidolon's incredible, massive, and evolving soundtrack I learned that the masterpiece had been composed by a full-time English instructor at Western Washington University, from which several of the development team had recently graduated from. By some fluke, the man that had apparently taught these developers about game design in the first place ended up making this engrossing soundtrack for their first commercial game, and what a soundtrack it is. This shows that Eidolon comes from very personal and very human roots, and with a background in professionalism and academics.

The first reaction from fans of the explorative genre of games will be quick to compare Eidolon to the likes of Dear Esther or Proteus, but the similarities stop right at the visuals. This is clearly a much grander experience and manages to shed the ill-perceived "walking-simulator" tag by providing much more than simply taking in your surroundings.

This is a living breathing world, your actions have consequences and your survival depends on your alertness, foraging, and hunting capabilities. History and culture is all around you and only needs to be discovered for the bigger picture to become clear.
Posted: August 1
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98 of 110 people (89%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
On the 24th, I was sent a letter telling me that Wolves in the Throne Room were holding their farewell concert in Olympia, WA. In order to discover who was truly worthy, fans would be forced to hike the Washington wilderness to find their way to the venue. Only those in tune with nature would arrive in time. I strapped my pack on, filled with enough food and equipment to manage the day-trip, and headed out into the woods near Mt. Rainier. How foolish I was to assume that the few documentaries I watched, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, would have provided me with enough survival information. I spent seven days rolling around the mountainside, vomiting my brains out every time I shoved a handful of assorted berries into my gullet to maintain any level of nutrition, passing out, watching my wound fester and my fever slowly eat at what was left of my humanity. By the time I was finally clear of the wretched disease that addled my body, I was reduced to my bare minimal animal instinct while foaming at the mouth.

It’s been a hell of a week, let me tell you.

Eidolon’s first move is to drop you directly into the game’s world without explaining itself. You are given no goal, no disembodied voice in an earpiece to guide you along a path towards an ending, and no objective marker. Hell, they don’t even give you a map to start with. A scooped out east-Washington valley stretches out in front of you as your red, well, green carpet welcome. For all of the pastel colors and cheery daytime design, Eidolon lets you know from the get go that it is not going to hold your hand in this massive playground. It’s easy to fall into a false sense of warmth and security after a few in-game days. The beautiful sunsets brush a delicate pinkish-orange tint across the trees. Foggy mornings give way to blue skies and occasional rain. The stars come out at night and leave you in awe of the light show. It’s quite jarring to come across the skeletal, wireframe remains of fallen skyscrapers juxtaposed over the lively brush like the violent designs of a Stephen O’Malley album cover.

Scattered around the Godless Washington forest are green blocks which will contain everything from maps to letters, copies of tweets or emails, vestiges of the past left behind by owners who are no longer around to see you snooping through their diaries. Everyone has their thoughts on “collect the logs” gameplay, which for some is about the same as “sawing logs,” but Eidolon takes it in stride. Each of the pieces you find has a character it was written by, each with their own unique handwriting and strong personality. Each note is tagged with characters, places, or groups of importance. Clicking on a tag will cause a green shard to point you in the general direction of the next letter that deals with that specific subject. It’s great for this to be such a strong point for the game, as what Eidolon mostly boils down to is looking for the subtle hint on where to find the next letter while trying to stay alive long enough to piece together the entire mystery of why all of humanity appears to have vanished.

The survival elements are light and unobtrusive, but generally provide enough activity to keep a player idly occupied collecting food or tinder for fires. Several types of wild berries and mushrooms are plentiful but may spoil if not eaten fast enough. In the opening area, you’re given a fishing rod to catch all manner of aquatic life to fry up for dinner. You stumble across a bow and arrow set, as well, for hunting larger game, though this proves to be an extremely risky move. Most pray won’t go down very easy and you’ll have to get very good with the trajectory of the arrow to nail some of the more antsy critters. You’ll need to eat every once in a while to stave off your hunger pangs, sleep regularly to keep your energy levels up, and tend to your wound, should you ever take a large fall or drop your arrow while Smokey the Bear rolls his sleeves up to give you what-for.

However, the wound mechanic is a small sore spot for the survival bits. You waste so much time and lose so much food trying to keep yourself nourished while the illness subsides, requiring frequent naps along the way to restore your quickly dwindling energy. Why bother when you can just let death take over and respawn you at one of the few healing checkpoints scattered around the forest? Perhaps such a system may be a suitable punishment for death due to the distances you’d have to cross if you hadn’t seen one for a while.

After all, the sense of scale in the game world is utterly massive! I traveled for hours in all directions and only ever found a few barriers. I felt more lost and afraid than in any other large-scale world, as getting lost here meant having no idea where you’d end up when the timberline broke. The developer has, perhaps jokingly, quoted Eidolon’s world as being equal to about “9 square Azeroths”. According to my calculator that is almost as bad at math as I am, that comes out to about "Really ♥♥♥♥ing huge."

Where Eidolon will no doubt shine for some, there will be many who will not really be down for a walk in the woods. And that’s alright; not every game can satisfy all tastes. Eidolon is a relaxed, almost meditative experience that you can pick up and put down as often as you’d like. There’s a small novella’s worth of story to be dug out from the fractured industrial remnants of mankind. Within, a tale of faith versus science and the lives of dozens of characters as the great cities fell around them. It gets appropriately dark considering that humanity is wiped out by the time you get there. I enjoyed taking a break from reading about paramedics choking out failed suicide victims and crazy youth getting involved in Death culture to just sit around and fish for a while. It gave me a quiet place to collect my thoughts and consider the implications of each scrap of story I uncovered. Thanks to my good friend Richard T. Ionary, I discovered that the word “Eidolon” has two meanings. A ghostly apparition, or an ideal. It was rather rewarding to see how differing human ideals began to clash and, in humanity’s final moments, they all became nothing but ghosts in the sky.

If you liked this review, check it out at http://rgz.ca/gaming/eidolon-review-a-walk-in-the-woods-and-all-my-friends-are-dead/ as well and see my other reviews. Thanks!
Posted: August 1
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68 of 81 people (84%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Before I launched “Eidolon” I decided to look up the definition. According to Merriam-Webster it is an unsubstantial image (i.e., g-g-g-ghost!) or an ideal. This game was named by design, intentionally; not just the result of some “cool Greek words” Google search. “Eidolon” is a love letter – to nature, what it means to be human, and man's lasting presence, perseverance, and place in the world. Do we shape events, or are we shaped by them? Are we a mighty, booming, confident voice that echos through the cosmos? Are we insignificant specks, meekly crying out for meaning and purpose? Do we truly live or are we just clinging, surviving? Are we even truly alive, a question that set Henry David Thoreau on his very own existential journey 160 years ago?

But these are questions best left to your Philosophy 101 professor. I'm just some dude-guy. “Eidolon” is set in the not-too-distant future, some four hundred years after a natural catastrophe (and human shenanigans in its wake) has all but wiped out the human race. You're plopped into a beautifully minimalistic western Washington state with nothing but your own curiosity (and presumably pants). I found a fishing line close by to my starting point. Looking in every direction there was a meadow here, a pond there, a looming forest nearby. I was alone except for the ambient music and cries of some distant, ever diligent eagle. I walked to the edge of the pond and cast my line. After reeling in a fish I made a fire, cooked it, and slept fitfully on the hard earth below an indifferent, twinkling night sky.

I woke up to a dreary, low-hanging fog that draped the forest in an ethereal blanket. Enjoying the spectacle I failed to notice the black bear foraging just a few feet away. Mr. Bear decided any human was one too many and punched my face in, becoming a hero to bearkind everywhere. Fortunately for me the attack just caused me to black out. When I came to the thick fog of early morning had dissolved with the midday sun which in turn gave way to a dreamy, pink dusk. I spotted some foxes and deer darting through the dense woods, playful and carefree. Ravens bristled in bushes, stern judges to my clumsy presence. My bear wound festered as I couldn't find any antibiotics – or flora with antibiotic properties. I ate shrooms furiously, hoping to have at least one good trip before succumbing to my grievous injury. No such luck (THIS IS IMMERSION BREAKING DEVS TAKE NOTES I ATE LIKE FIFTY MUSHROOMS). I did heal, in time. I found a map, a compass, and binoculars – along with some tantalizing nuggets of humanity in the form of documents... a survivor's note, an obituary, a hint of what happened all those years ago. I was determined to find more.

“Eidolon” isn't going to be for everyone. It's very slow, very quiet, and very introspective. This is art first and foremost – consider it a more game-y version of “Dear Esther,” “Proteus,” or “Gone Home.” There are collectables, creatures, and items to find. You have to take care of yourself: sleeping, eating, staying warm, and tending to injuries (while death can and will happen there appears to be no consequence). There's a strong narrative to uncover and discover but it is at YOUR pace. You can wander aimlessly, hunting, fishing, and taking it all in. But that human essence... our collective spirit, inescapable as it is, will whisper to you. And you will listen.

Reviewer's Note: don't just eat mushrooms all willy-nilly (exception: professional foragers and mycologists). Unless you're into uncomfortable, slow deaths... or, you know, tripping balls.
Posted: August 1
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45 of 53 people (85%) found this review helpful
23.7 hrs on record
This is the first time I decide to write a review, and the reason is quite simple:
Eidolon is a masterpiece.
You will walk in endless landscapes tracking the tales of the ones who once dwelled in this land. The "story-writing" is incredibly compelling, and you'll find yourself totally immersed journeying in this post human and beautifully rendered new world.
The survival elements of the game are unobtrusive but deadly ready to punish the inexperienced traveller, you'll have a bow, a fishing rod, binoculars, a compass and no idea of where you are or where to go. You'll be lost, and happy to be lost. Eventually you'll start to find pieces of map, pieces of stories, pieces of humanity...
Eidolon is a battue in which you'll hunt down the lives of those who are long forgotten, Eidolon is a struggle to survival, Eidolon is a deep inner journey.
May you discover yourself, at the end of this path.
Posted: August 3
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106 of 161 people (66%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
On balance I can't recommend Eidolon as it doesn't appear to have enough content to engage or direct the player towards any kind of meaningful experience. You more or less walk around, as the game description says, a massive post-human Western Washington. The art style is simple but effective and evokes the feeling of the great outdoors. It's nice to stand atop a hill and look out towards the sprawling landscape, often rendered in eerie mist, drifting cloud or scattered rainfall. You may run across the odd animal scampering across the forest floor.

You will occasionally run across various documents and writings that reveal the game's backstory, which is quite interesting and leads one to think about what might have happened. My main complaint is that the game environment is very sparse and there are very few things that you can interact with, and it doesn't appear that you can build anything. While I appreciate that it's not supposed to be Minecraft or a survival horror, the lack of interactivity starts to grate after a while. Much of the structures appear in that bland, proceduarlly generated way that have little meaning or depth. It all feels a little like window dressing. A little more structure in terms of directing the player and telling a more cohesive story would likely have helped. All in all it feels like Eidolon is a game with a decent skeleton but a lack of any real depth. More content and/or player engagement would certainly tip my hand to recommending it.

If you're the type of person who enjoys making up their own story and exploring for the sake or exploring (without necessarily finding anything, interacting with your environment or being rewarded for it), you might well enjoy the game. I'd sum it up as a sandbox without any toys.
Posted: August 2
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