Eventide: Slavic Fable - HighrezGaming

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Eventide: Slavic Fable /15th of October 2016

Polish developer Artifex Mundi have proven themselves time and time again to be the current masters of the hidden object genre, but to bolster their already impressive oeuvre of software, the team are also proving themselves as a publishing house too. Eventide: Slavic Fable is prime example of this, developed by fellow compatriots, The House of Fables, Eventide displays almost all of the key characteristics that define an Artifex Mundi release, and whilst it certainly doesn’t quite live up to its publisher’s lofty standards in this area, it certainly still has enough about it to warrant a purchase.

Eventide: Slavic Fable sets players into the role of a famed botanist who must travel to a famous heritage park where mythical creatures and human beings co-exist side by side, the facility is curated by the protagonist’s grandmother who also happens to have been kidnapped by the evil, Boruta. He is planning to utilise the power of the magic contained within the park to take over the world, leaving our unnamed heroine to team up with the creatures of the park, find a mystical plant, save her grandmother and with her, the world entire. Hidden object games have never been the benchmark of narrative exposition, and as one can probably tell already, that doesn’t change here, but as usual, the story is of little consequence so it’s not exactly much of a detractor.
But how does one expect to do this? Well, by solving puzzles and hidden object games, of course. To that end there are some forty-three or so hidden object puzzles (HOPs) to be tackled along the way, typically these involve the player simply being given a list of items to locate with a sequence, standard stuff. Characteristically of an Artifex Mundi game, the HOP challenges are numerous, and as enjoyable as they are here, but in their own games, these particular sequences can be replaced with an entirely different mini-game to give it a vastly improved amount of replayability. Sadly, this is not the case here, but there are still many other puzzle sequences to best, these still contain a healthy amount of variety to be found among these though evidently The House of Fables tend to prefer sliding block puzzles, so expect to tackle a fair few of these.

One of the key elements in an Artifex Mundi game is the attractive visual style that they employ, and this, thankfully is a trait that has been carried across into this release. There are over thirty-five different locations to be discovered over the course of the narrative, these cover a great deal of land, taking in rustic villages, leafy forests and the cold grey walls of Boruta’s castle. Each locale is beautifully painted and highly detailed, as are the character models, allowing Eventide to continue the rather high standards set by its publisher. Similarly, the audio is reasonably strong throughout, now whilst the voice acting is typically sub-standard, the score is stereotypically solid throughout, more than adequately conveying both the overall mood and setting of the game.
Additionally, there are two adventures to play through here; the core game and a bonus chapter which was initially only available to owners of the game’s special edition (a standard of Artifex Mundi releases). In this extra slice of gameplay, the player takes on the role of the protagonist’s grandmother as she strives to save her dying mother. As always, the bonus content gives gamers just a short slice of gameplay to supplement the main feature, but as always, it’s a more than welcome addition that only helps to give consumers that little bit extra value for money, which it certainly does. Couple this with two difficulties through which both the main game and the bonus content can be played through and there is more than enough here to warrant its lowly £7.99 price point.

There certainly aren’t many detractors to discuss here, as usual, but there can be no doubt that whilst Eventide certainly is a strong release it does fall short of Artifex Mundi’s usual standards owing to the lack of an alternative mini-game to replace the puzzles with, and a clear decreased level of variety within its puzzle designs. Of course given that the game will only set back Xbox One owners a mere £7.99 for a beautifully relaxing change of pace from the usual array of releases, there are still plenty of reasons to pick it up but still, this will most likely only entice in those already familiar with the genre, though I have no doubts whatsoever that they will find plenty to enjoy here.
James Paton
 
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