It may be four years after the initial release on the PS3, but PC gamers finally get their chance to go hands-on with PixelJunk Eden, an artistic exploration of visuals, sounds and gardens. How does the game hold up after such a long spell between drinks? Let’s take a look in our review!
Zen-like gameplay – From start to finish, PixelJunk Eden is a calming, and zen-like experience thanks to its reliance on visual flair and audio virtuosity. Soothing minimalistic backgrounds, shapes and colours are used throughout the series of gardens that the player will explore, and the audio tracks provided by independent artist Baiyon, are simply a pleasure to endure.
Updated progression scheme – While the PC port of PixelJunk Eden is identical in almost every way to its PS3 counterpart, there has been a slight upgrade in terms of progression for the title. Each garden harbours five Spectras, and instead of the old system where the player was required to collect all five in one run before the level was over, the PC version will take you back to the menu after one has been collected. It works much better in terms of pacing, as it gives you a moment to breathe and gather your thoughts before you head back into the garden to continue.
Simplistic systems – When it comes to gameplay mechanics, you couldn’t make things much easier than PixelJunk Eden. Players fill the roll of a Grimp, a small creature who can jump and attach itself to plant-like structures. The Grimp can also use a silk tether which allows them to stick and swing around in a circular motion as they collect pollen to fill up seeds. Once a seed has opened, the Grimp can jump to the newly sprouted structure and continue searching for Spectras. The simple controls of left and right click on the mouse are a godsend for those who can often find games confusing.
No gamepad support – While PixelJunk Eden has made a great transition to mouse controls, we can’t help but be disappointed that gamepad support was not included. We charged up our Xbox controllers for the event and everything, only to find out that we were confined to our mouse. It’s not the end of the world, but we’d like to see support added via a patch later.
Synchronisation meter is out of place – Same problem that plagued the PS3 version, the synchronisation meter in PixelJunk Eden seems out of place and quite frankly puts a dampener on the Zen-like experience the rest of the game offers. Acting as a sort of “time” meter, the bar runs down and can cause the player some tension. When you are enjoying a nice, relaxing experience, it seems quite odd that there is any emphasis on this mechanic at all.
PixelJunk Eden is an artistic delight, blending visual and audio excellence with sheer tenacity and passion. While the synchronization meter takes away from the Zen-like experience PJE’s gardens offer at all other times, we would certainly recommend this title to those who want to try something a little different.