Ever since PixelJunk Monsters debuted, anything the folks at Q-Games announces perks my interest. Their third project, PixelJunk Eden definitely caught my eye with its lush colorful nature, but what the hell was it? Videos certainly didn’t elaborate on what it was or how it was played, but that didn’t matter because I liked what I saw and heard. With today’s PSN update, I was finally able to answer those remaining questions.
What’s the objective of Eden? To collect the specified number of ‘Spectras’. The first level asks you and your silk shooting creature-thing to find one, but every single level (or “garden”) can be replayed multiple times to collect additional ‘Spectras’. Collect enough Spectras and you unlock additional gardens. It’s simple and it works. There are 50 spectras to collect in the final game.
As expected, the journey to the Spectras is a lot more exciting than the Spectras themselves. In Eden, you control a creature with similar abilities to a jumping spider — without the ability to crawl though. Using the silk to swing is reminiscent of The Worms series’ Ninja Rope tool and just as easy to use. Even with those abilities, moving from plant to plant is heavily dependent on momentum and physics of the plants themselves. If your creature is on the tip of a branch, it will actually bend accordingly. In conjunction with all these factors, scaling the plants can be quite challenging.
With the help of pollen freed from the aptly named ‘pollen prowlers’, seeds will spawn additional branches and expand the level little by little. Collection of said pollen is done by spinning and swinging into them via the use of silk. With careful timing, you can swing and break multiple prowlers before the silk snaps. Obviously, the more prowlers you break in succession, the more pollen is unleashed and in turn the faster the plant seeds will fill.
With all that height, I’m thankful that the only punishment I will endure for falling is my own disappointment since these creatures will not die. The ‘oscillator meter’ acts as a timer which can be replenished with the finite amount of crystals littered throughout the level. If you’re good enough, you’ll find a Spectra without the aid of a crystal.
Now that you’re thoroughly confused as to what Eden is all about, allow me praise its presentation: it’s absolutely brilliant. Every level is like some kind of interactive painting of fuchsia, neon or whatever contrasting color the folks at Q-Games decide to throw up. The music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a fan of electronic beats, you’ll do fine with Eden’s soundtrack.
Arriving next week for $9.99 CAD, PixelJunk Eden is a definite buy for me. I urge those who can download the demo to try this game out. It may take you some time to familiarize yourself with the controls, but once master them, the game is a lot of fun. I didn’t get a chance to talk about my co-op experiences, but if you can: get someone else to tackle the levels with you. That’s when, I believe, the game truly comes alive.
For more information and another video, visit the official website. Thanks to SCEA for the screenshot.