Artifex Mundi is back once again with another Hidden Object Game (HOG) for the casual gamer and Trophy Hunters’ collection. Just like with the Grim Legends and Enigmatis Series, Eventide has reached it’s third, and final, entry. Even though all three of the games are their own self-contained stories, they all follow a similar theme.
As you’re all probably aware, if you have read anything I’ve written before, I love my adventure and puzzle games, so Artifex Mundi titles always gets me excited as I anticipate what fantastical world we’ll be whisked to next and what elaborate puzzles will we have to complete in order to open a locked door.
Eventide 3, from The House of Fables, didn’t disappoint, it’s filled with puzzles, action, adventure, and a rather interesting story. I suppose the only questions is, does it end the series with a satisfying and definitive ending?
Eventide 3 revolves around our protagonist, Mary Gilbert, who is a world-renowned botanist, and her brother John. As with most Artifex Mundi titles these days, the first few minutes instantly places you in danger, followed by an in-game tutorial, which then progresses to the motive and purpose of the game being laid out in front of you. In this case, you are out with your brother when a terrible storm hits as your both making your way back to his house, whilst being taught the gameplay mechanics through a mini tutorial. Upon reaching your destination, John is kidnapped by a mystical being, known as a Zmey, and taken to the rather majestic forgotten flying islands which lie in secretly among the clouds.
It’s up to Mary, with the help from the magical house spirit called Aitvar, to venture into the clouds, gain favour with the thunder god, stop the evil King who is behind all of this chaos, and ultimately save John. Yes, this game is another one in which you must venture to rescue another person whilst taking on an evil magician/sorcerer/king. However, this game has a few things we don’t see very often such as battles. You’ll travel across various lands in this fantastical adventure as you’re reunited with your brother, meet new allies, fend off strange Zmeys, and solve many, many puzzles. Unfortunately, the journey is much better than the destination as I do feel the game falls a little at the end, but I’ll come to that later.
If you’re reading this then I presume at least half of you have played an Artifex Mundi title before, if so then you will know exactly what to expect. If not, you guide Mary through a large amount of beautifully hand-drawn environments (screens) in a first-person style (as you never actually see Mary) with the main gameplay being that of interacting with things on screen ala point-and-click style. Not only will you be finding and picking up objects in order to use them in combination with one another to solve environmental puzzles, but you will also have to progress through an acceptable amount of Hidden Object Puzzles (HOPs) and standard puzzles.
HOPs are very common in Artifex Mundi titles as you would expect, you can’t have a HOG without a HOP right! If you’ve not seen these before, there is an image above. Basically, you have a list of things to find and there is an image which contains all of the items on the list, but they are hidden. Sometimes they are slightly behind things, sometimes there in plain sight but blending in with their surroundings. Eventide 3 doesn’t actually have a lot of HOPs from what I remember, not as many as other recent games – here, the emphasis appears to be on the more standard puzzles. So, what are standard puzzles? I’ll put an image below for this one but basically, they are puzzles which people will have seen before if you have played previous titles from Artifex Mundi. Puzzles such as untangling the string, matching colours together with rope, rotating balls so all the colours are together, and spinning coloured stars so the colours match. If none of that makes sense to you then great! It means you may not have come across those puzzles before!
Just like Eventide and Eventide 2, Eventide 3 also has some Slavic mythology incorporated within the story. I really like it when games mix fantasy with real-world folklore or mythology as it instantly makes the games more interesting and fun to play. The overall pace of Eventide 3 seemed much more controlled than in some previous titles as well as you were kept entertained with a puzzle or HOG on almost every screen with some sort of new progression taking place after every few scenes. It never felt like it was pushing me to hurry up or dragging on in one area to only have a short burst of excitement then die off.
This is except for right at the end. I’m not going to spoil the story or give away any hints as to what happens, as I firmly believe that any kind of adventure game should be played by yourself in order to experience the ending for yourself. However, for the final part of a trilogy, the ending seemed very sudden and almost out of place with the pacing of the rest of the game. I would have rather received something more satisfying like we did with Enigmatis if I’m being honest.
One thing I haven’t talked about is the battles which I mentioned earlier on. These return from the previous games and have a trophy surrounding performing them without making a mistake. I stupidly did make a mistake and thus, I must re-do the whole game again in order to obtain that trophy. So if you are playing the game to try and get the platinum in one playthrough, be sure to pick the right option! The battles themselves are simple enough – the enemies have a few ancient symbols and you have a few different pairs of symbols. You must pick a pair on your side which has no matching symbols as any of your opponents. There is also a moment where you have a shield and you must deflect spells being cast at you by choosing the correct directions to defend yourself in. I also made a mistake here as I was pushing the right direction but I didn’t realise you had to hit Cross to make Mary deflect it – this also went against me in order to get the trophy.
Speaking of trophies, if you play the game on Expert and manage to find all of the collectables (15 playing cards and 30 giant yellow orbs), then you could technically complete the game in around 6-7 hours and have the platinum at the same time. Personally, I always play these games on Normal difficulty and work my way through them unaided in any regard. As such, I found 13 cards and 29 orbs along the way. I’ll go back to the game at a later point and use a guide to find the remaining items and breeze through it a bit easier – this is why Platinum Trophy hunters love these games!
Also, as a side note – this is one of the few Artifex Mundi titles which doesn’t have a bonus chapter. I feel that’s a shame as the bonus chapters usually either adds extra round-up content at the end or they give a bit of an introduction to the game in more detail. In the case of Eventide 3, I can see how a final round-up would have been great. There was easily enough questions, what next, and exposition to give us a 20-40 minute bonus episode to play.
As with all the previous Artifex Mundi games, we have a mixed bag when it comes to the visual and audio quality. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t play these games for the realistic AAA, Multi-Million dollar budget, 4k 60fps graphics! I play the games because they are fun, they keep me entertained, they keep my brain busy, and they are so accessible that literally anyone of any age or skill level can enjoy them. That being said, the graphics within Eventide 3 are clearly the best out of the three games in the series. With beautiful backgrounds, highly detailed items, and interesting new characters. They also seem to have some moments of real animations during the cutscenes – not that their isn’t animations otherwise, but it’s smoother and looks pretty good during them.
However, the game does suffer from some janky animations, just like all the games if I’m being honest, and some ‘active’ objects (interactive objects, not the background images) are a bit ‘Scooby-Doo’ stand out. What I mean by that is if you watch an old Scooby Doo cartoon you will instantly know when an object is going to be interacted with as it stands out from the background. In this type of game though, it’s like an unofficial hint as you’re trying to find the various things to interact with – but it had to be mentioned.
One of the things I don’t like commenting on is the voice acting. This varies dramatically from game to game and can sometimes vary dramatically within the same game! Eventide 3 isn’t the worst I’ve heard, but it isn’t the best either. It’s passable and everything they say makes sense, but it is a little wooden in its delivery and a bit comical in certain situations. It never affected me or made me hate the game, but it’s not on the level of Detroit for example. If you’ve played an Artifex Mundi title before though then you know what to expect.
Finally, one thing I do always love to write about – the soundtrack. I’m not sure if this game will launch with its soundtrack like Grim Legends 3 but if it does and you enjoy listening to soundtracks in the background, then I’d probably suggest you get that version. I really enjoy the soundtracks from these games – I’ve picked up the Grim Legends 3 one separately and I’ve got a few of the others through buying the games on PC. If you’ve read my reviews for games like FOX N’ FORESTS or Railway Empire, then you’ll know I usually put on the game’s soundtrack whilst I write the reviews – something I’ve done once again with Eventide 3.
Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends isn’t the most climatic or dramatic ending to the amazingly detailed series I would have hoped for, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. The location once again look beautiful, the story is interesting, the settings are perfect and the soundtrack is spot on. However, what let it down a little for me was the repetitiveness of some of the puzzles from previous Artifex Mundi titles, the lower quality voice acting, and the lack of a climactic ending or bonus chapter to tie things up a little better. That being said, what the game does do, it does well as it gradually gets more difficult as you play until all the safety wheels are off and you’re on your own. Definitely a high recommendation to all Artifex Mundi fans and those who like casual puzzle games. Also, Trophy Hunters out there also get a recommendation as I know you thrive on games like this – just maybe try and play it for yourself before using the guides?
Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends£11.99
- Interesting environments and characters
- Beautiful backgrounds
- Great Soundtrack
- Interesting Story
- Decent variety of puzzles and HOPs
- The Voice Acting isn't the greatest
- Repetitive puzzles (if you've played all the previous Artifex Mundi titles)
- Not the greatest ending to the series
- No bonus chapter