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: Mixed (173 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 1, 2014

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Buy Eidolon

 

Recommended By Curators

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

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
65 of 83 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people 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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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.9 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 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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34 of 54 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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