9
Our overall verdict "gold"

Those busy little badgers at Artifex Mundi are at it again. For our puzzling pleasure they have released Eventide: Slavic Fable. If you’ve played the previous games from this developer you’ll know roughly what I’m on about but, for everyone else, Artifex Mundi have been systematically releasing Hidden Object Games on the PS4. HOGs are most prolific on iOS and Android, but they’ve now found a loving home here on PlayStation. Highly underrated by some and poopooed by others for being overly simplistic, these games are actually cracking little puzzlers that are cheap as chips and great for the whole family.

Eventide is quite possibly one of the strongest titles yet. It’s got a really good balance of story, mini-games and HOGs. Tasked with saving her grandmother and an entire forest from a megalomaniacal meanie, the protagonist’s story is not only good old fashioned melodramatic fun, but good golly it’s interesting too. Ever fancied some Slavic fables while you game? Well, tadaaaa! Learn all about the creatures of the forest through the story, interactive narrative mini-games and collectable cards. I have no clue how accurate it is, but it’s beautifully charming.

And charming pretty much sums up the entire game. Out of all the Artifex Mundi releases, Eventide feels like the ultimate relaxation game. I’m not sure if it’s the lovely music, the pace, the calm forest setting or the HOGs, but this is definitely one to enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a spare Sunday afternoon. Speaking of the HOGs, there is plenty of variety here. Sometimes you’ll need to find objects from a written list and sometimes from a pictorial list. You’ll need to lift things, move and combine things, and sometimes you’re on the hunt for all of the same thing, like blueberries or flowers.

The mini-games also offer a plethora of different challenges. Some are easier than others, but they’re all so much fun. Prepare to slide tiles, push buttons and place statues until your little heart is content and you’ve drunk ten cups of tea.

The game has two difficulty levels, Normal and Expert. In my extremely humble opinion, it’s best played on Expert as it is at heart a very easy game anyway. The hint button charges a little slower on Expert and there are no map action hints or sparkly ‘look here’ bits, but otherwise gameplay is exactly the same. I took roughly six hours to complete the game on Expert, but I did take my time because I love these games so much and I drank twenty of those cups.

In addition to all the mini-gaming and object finding, Eventide is a pretty awesome point and click adventure. You have a large round and very responsive cursor to find items of interest and it’s designed perfectly for console and controller use. Another thing you can always rely on with these games is that the mechanics are well suited and frustration free. It’s so important with games where you’re trotting back and forth trying different things that you can do so quickly and easily. There are no loading times either. Transitions between locations are instantaneous and there are no framerate issues.

If you’re a trophy hunter and Platinums are your crack, Eventide is a dream. You only need one playthrough (make sure you’re on Expert!) and with a guide you could probably 100% it in just a few hours. Even without a guide, I finished only missing two of the collectable cards. The flowers are easy to find but two of the cards are very well hidden and one is ultra missable and, as it turns out, also missing from many of the walkthroughs. Both walkthroughs on Steam were incorrect, but I eventually found one on an Xbox site that detailed all thirty cards. The timed trophies are also very easy (I’ve never picked blueberries so fast in my life) and there is no dreaded optional Mahjong! Hip hip….

Conclusion

Eventide: Slavic Fable is a gorgeous, fun, relaxing and entertaining Hidden Object, point and click, adventure puzzler. If you like any of these genres, this game is essential. Are you a trophy hunter looking for an easy Platinum? Step right up. Another wonderful release from Artifex Mundi. Keep ‘em coming, guys.

S J Hollis Rating – 9/10

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S J Hollis

S J Hollis has been a keen gamer since the Atari 2600. She freely admits she thought E.T. was a good game but would like to stress her tastes have since dramatically improved. She is also an author, a morning person and thinks Elf ears are sexy. Follow her on twitter @SJHollis_