I downloaded PixelJunk Eden today for $10 from the PlayStation Store, and after one session, I'm not regretting the purchase.
The visuals have a definite minimalist flair and the audio is laid-back ambient techno sort of stuff. The presentation definitely works for me.
Gameplay seems like a complete mystery at first, but after a little experimentation it becomes clear... your character is something that looks like a cross between a spider and a tick, or some other parasite. The goal of the game is to collect flower-like icons that are scattered in the extremely vertical levels.
The parasite can leap far distances and cling to any surface, in addition to leaving behind a trail of spider silk. Popping small flowers that float throughout the level (by touching them) releases pollen, and this pollen causes plants to grow. By leaping to the top of a nearby plant and then releasing pollen, plants higher up will grow, providing a means of ascending in the search for the flower icons.
The small blue, yellow and purple specks are your characters hanging from silk.
Jump, land, grow a new flower, jump again, land higher up, repeat.
It sounds a little simplistic, but in practice it's a beautiful simplicity—considerable technique is soon revealed behind the careful jumping and manipulation of silk swinging.
So far, I'm loving it. If nothing else, the PS3 seems to be cornering the market on art-house projects. I approve.
Also, before I move on to another topic, I wanted to throw out some praise for the PS3's Folklore. I'm going to cover it in the upcoming Bargain Basement that'll be seen at GameCritics, but for those of you who might have been considering the title or who are on the fence, I say take the plunge.
It's definitely got some issues and the core design is rooted in the last generation, but it succeeds wonderfully at creating a sense of mood and ambiance that's hard to ignore. Additionally, the real-time action is dialed-in, and collecting dozens of monster-like Folks (imagine Pokémon with a much more mature, darker slant) is quite addicting.
I can't sit here and say that it's a perfect game, but I will say that I enjoyed it far more than I ever expected to... for people who like some quirk in their games like me, this one's a winner.
Read more at Drinking Coffeecola blog.