It’s Sunday, maybe it’s a quiet Wednesday night or a blessed Friday evening. Whatever day it is it’s certainly relax-o’clock and time for something a little more casual and laid back. Eventide 2: The Sorcerer’s Mirror is the latest in a wonderful line of Hidden Object puzzlers from the masters themselves Artifex Mundi.
For those who have never played an Artifex Mundi game, these are short adventures that contain lashings of charm, colourful fairytale graphics and puzzles galore. The main portion of the game is a point and click affair where you’ll need to locate, use and combine objects in order to solve a mystery or save a person from a fate that’s usually much stranger than death. In this case, your dear friend Jenny has been kidnapped by a mad sorcerer intent on a nefarious purpose. Only you can save her and the people of the nearby village.
As you would expect, Eventide 2 has plenty of Hidden Object scenes to rummage through. They are fairy basic, mostly picking out items from a written list and visual list. In addition, the standard puzzles are also more on the basic side and there doesn’t seem to be the plethora of them which we would normally expect. Although Artifex games are generally very easy anyway, Eventide 2 feels even easier, offering very little in the way of a challenge. Of course, we don’t play these games for the challenge; we play them because of their colourful appeal and simply because they are easy. These are my go-to games when I want to play but don’t have the energy to climb every mountain and save the world from a villainous overlord.
Eventide 2 does offer something unique, however. At certain points during the story, you are presented with choices. These choices affect how you want the story to play out and to an extent they also represent the type of personality you want to be. Do you lie or tell the truth? Do you try to protect those around you or is saving Jenny your only goal? While it’s nowhere near in Telltale’s league it is nice to see these games evolve into something more sophisticated. They’ve got a long way to go but being an ol’ fashioned sort of gal I’ll happily admit that I don’t want these games to get too sophisticated, and I wonder if the amount of puzzles and variation of Hidden Objects has been sacrificed to accommodate the branching narrative. I love the Hidden Objects and I love the puzzles and the pointing and clicking and magical stories, and I would choose these in a heartbeat over choice-based gameplay.
Eventide 2 still has a lot to offer including a reasonably easy platinum trophy. There are two types of collectables to look out for and you’ll need to play on Expert at least once. To get the platinum you’ll need a second playthrough where you’ll have to pick all of the opposite choices you made in the first game. It’s a very short game, so it shouldn’t take more than a couple of additional hours. If you’re going for the shiny plat in the shortest time possible, it’s best to find a good guide as some of the collectables are extremely well hidden.
While not quite as good as the first Eventide game, Eventide 2 still retains the relaxing charm of the original while offering a brand new gameplay mechanic. The Hidden Objects and puzzles are a little more basic this time around, but Eventide 2: The Sorcerer’s Mirror is still a lovely game that is a pleasure to play.
S J Hollis Rating – 7/10
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