The latest in the long line of casual adventure games from Artifex Mundi comes Eventide: Slavic Fable. As the title suggests, the game draws its inspiration from Eastern European fairy tales and paints a world where mythic creatures co-exist with humans. The player assumes the role of a botanist named Mary who is taken back to her childhood home after getting an alarming letter from her grandmother.
As soon as Mary arrives in the once familiar heritage park, a flying creature attacks her. Nearly surviving the assault she makes her way to the park only to witness her grandmother being kidnapped by a malevolent caretaker seeking the ultimate power to rule all creatures great and small. Mary must find and take care of an endangered magical flower if she wishes to overcome the evil.
At its bare bones Eventide: Slavic Fable is a hidden object game but it plays out more like a traditional adventure game with its numerous puzzles and item-based problem solving. The player must find missing key items for puzzles and mini games before they can be solved. This in turn leads to a web of interwoven challenges and puzzles. It's often easy to realize what you need in each given situation but the path to the solution is never that simple.
While Eventide: Slavic Fable isn't terribly hard, it titillates the grey matter nonetheless. It's fun to map out the solutions and see the lengths you need to go for the lost items. For more impatient players there's a hint system available and you can eventually skip mini games too but I think that just spoils most of the fun.
The first playthrough, including a bonus chapter unlocked after completing the main story, can last anything from six to ten hours depending on whether or not you rush through the game or take the time to absorb its pretty unusual ambiance. The story won't win any awards but it's intriguing enough and the Slavic flavor is nicely mixed into the context without need to underline it.
Visually the game is adorned with minute details and bright colors but the screens are easy to read. Some hidden object scenes are purposely cluttered but even then you can tell the items apart. The music hums gently in the background almost in a lullaby fashion but luckily the attention needed to progress in the game prevents from falling asleep.
As far as hidden object puzzle adventures go, Eventide: Slavic Fable is a quality product. Sure it won't revolutionize its genre but it's innocent and relaxing entertainment. Even hardcore gamers can found some solace in its soothing atmosphere. After all, some casual gaming now and then can't hurt anyone or ruin reputation.
Video game nerd & artist. I've been playing computer and video games since the early 80's so I dare say I have some perspective to them. When I'm not playing, I'm usually at my art board.