Most times, playing the same type of game over and over again can get tedious or boring. In the case of Artivex Mundi’s adventure games however, it seems to be the opposite. The more I play these games, the more fun I have with them and the more I look forward to the next one I get to play. After playing Eventide: Slavic Fable, I found myself wanting to play these games even more than before.
The game’s title alone tells us that this game has the potential to cover some very interesting themes and characters. Slavic mythology, in my opinion, has some of the most interesting and varied stories and ideas of the most popular mythology out there. Eventide does a wonderful job of creating a world where this mythology meshes cleanly with our real world. Without ruining any of the rather short story, I’ll say that the characters you interact with are all unique and offer insight into what purpose they serve in the world. Beyond the characters themselves, a large portion of the puzzles/items you solve/use are either directly related to Slavic myth or fit very well into the created world. Because of this, I never came to a point in the game where I felt like an item or puzzle didn’t fit this game. These points, combined with the matching Slavic-themed scenery (brought to life by the highly detailed art style), help to create an immersive world I didn’t want to tear myself from.
As with most of Artifex Mundi’s games, the soundtrack is lackluster at best. These are never bad, but are easily forgettable as the main focus is on how pretty the game is and the puzzles (as it should be). Realistically, Eventide doesn’t do much different from the past adventure games from Artifex. There are hidden object scenes, puzzles that ask you to combine items to gain access to other items, various other kinds of one-off puzzles, characters that hold important items until the very moment you need them, and collectibles. Whether you’ve played the previous games or not, most of these will probably seem familiar if you’ve played any game with a strong focus on puzzles. The one thing that’s changed a fair bit is the collectibles.
Instead of there just being one or two types of collectibles that don’t add anything, there are now Ethereal Flowers (which don’t add anything) and Bestiary Cards. These cards act as a way of learning more about various Slavic creatures of myth. They cover most of the characters in the game and offer information on some very interesting creatures that aren’t in the game at all. Personally, I really enjoyed this as I read each one while I imagined a world (maybe even a video game world) where these creatures truly existed and served a purpose in that world. Searching for all thirty of these cards was not a difficult task and I felt like I was being truly rewarded when I got to read about the world a bit more.
In the beginning of my review, I mentioned that the game was short. I’m not entirely sure if it was actually shorter or it just felt shorter because I rarely got stuck trying to figure out what to do next. Either way, I was able to play through the game twice (doing the optional story once) within about 6-8 hours. To be honest, I could have shaved off even more time had I not had my daughters crawling over me while trying to figure out some of the tougher puzzles. Either way, I enjoyed my time with the game and I feel like that is more important than knowing exactly how long it took me to beat it.
All in all, Eventide clearly isn’t going to be a game to come back to time and time again. It simply doesn’t do much outside of the tried-and-true formula used on all these games. Sometimes the gameplay is a little too easy, but most times it is just right and I appreciate that. The story is good for one playthrough and is a fairly easy completion. The world is interesting through and through while players seek to unravel the intricacies of it and it’s inhabitants. If you have played previous Artifex Mundi titles or are looking for a casual game, you will probably enjoy playing Eventide.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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