The way Eden is played is really hard to explain but I will try. You control a small creature known as a Grimp. This grimp has the ability to latch on to any surface. If you jump by pressing X you will launch yourself in the direction you are pointing but a small silk-like tether will stay attached to the surface you jumped from and let you swing yourself around in circles. The point of the game is to collect “Spectra.” Spectra are scattered throughout the gardens. You must climb and swing your way around the gardens to collect all of the Spectra. Each garden has 5 spectra but you can only collect as many as the level will allow. In the first level you can only collect 1 spectra then you are spit back out onto the home screen where you have the option to go back to the garden and collect 2 spectra and this continues on until you’ve done it 5 times and have collected all 5 spectra. It get’s a little repetitive but I like the way it’s set up. When you are in the garden you can collect pollen by breaking open seeds that are floating around. You can break them open with your body or the tether. As you collect pollen these little empty pods will fill up. Once these pods are full you are to jump inside them, when you do this it automatically triggers something that makes a plant grow from this pod. This helps you travel through the gardens and get to more pollen which will in turn help you reach the Spectra.
When I had first played the demo of PixelJunk Eden I was a little frustrated with it. The controls were hard to get used to and I didn’t understand why people said it was a relaxing game, I thought it was very intense. Well once the full game was out I decided to purchase it because I knew I had to give it more time. I am a huge fan of the Pixeljunk series and knew that I would like Eden if I would just take the time to learn it. I am very happy I took the time because this game is great. There is some out-of-this-world feeling you get from playing this game. The colors are beautiful and the game is such a work of art. I know that it takes place in a garden but part of me relates this garden to outer space. I think of the pictures I saw before of the Eagle Nebula and it Eden reminds me very much of deep space. The higher you get the more this is made plain. Once you learn the controls and get good at playing Eden the game is taken to another level. You get sucked in and everything starts to flow.The main thing to remember is take your time and don’t try to rush or else you will end up falling and you don’t want that to happen.
The majority of the time I play PixelJunk Eden with my wife. I find it really fun to play with her. We have to work as a team and make sure that we stay together or else we will get penalized for either of us going off screen, this is the one thing that makes co-op play sometimes frustrating. If you go to fast and don’t wait for the other player then that player will go off-screen and you will lose half of any pollen you’ve collected in the pods. This is not good especially when you are in a time crunch. I understand that co-op would be too easy if they hadn’t made it like this.
This game also sports a YouTube video upload function. This lets you record yourself playing the game and upload it directly to your YouTube account. I found this feature pretty pointless. The quality isn’t the greatest which makes it hard to even see your grimp and I don’t think anyone will really be interested to watch them as there isn’t really that many interesting things you can do in Eden other than collect pollen and spectra. It may be put to good use if you want to show your friends the game to convince them to buy it but that’s about it.
PixelJunk Eden is a great game. It’s very fun and addictive and I highly recommend it. First impressions may not be the greatest but if you stick with it for just a little longer you will see why everyone’s making such a big fuss about this one. PixelJunk Eden is proof that games are definitely art.