This is a first post of the new category I decided to introduce to Quba HQ. Gotta Play will consist of short reviews of some of my favorite games – not only the new ones, but mainly older, memorable titles.

PixelJunk Eden (as well as its expansion Eden Encore) ranks really high on my personal favorites list. It’s definitely somewhere up there in my top 5, but since I do not keep any particular scoring system it would be difficult to determine the exact place. One thing is sure – Eden was the very reason I decided to purchase PS3 console.

Most people bought Playstation 3 to play Uncharted, Resistance, Metal Gear Solid or other blockbuster title from the initial release list. I have been a PC gamer for most of my life and with the exception of Nintendo Wii (gathering dust for the past year), PS3 was my first console. I played a demo of Eden at my friends house and immediately knew: I got to have this at home.


In PixelJunk Eden the player controls a Grimp – small, insect-like creature capable of jumping, gripping the environment and swinging on the rope. The world is divided into 10 gardens (with 5 more added in the Encore expansion) and in each garden one must collect five Spectra – glowing objects that help you grow new plants in your hub/menu screen. In order to get to the Spectra, Grimp has to pollinate and grow new plants by killing Prowlers and collecting pollen dropped by them.

If you have never played Eden, the description above most likely brings to mind flash or facebook games – poorly constructed “disposable” titles based on a simple mechanics that keep you entertained for 2-3 minutes. Eden is anything but one of those.

Q-Games – the studio behind PixelJunk series are an expert in developing simple game mechanics and turning them into priceless jewels that entertain for months. It’s been nearly two years since I first came across Eden, and I still play it every now and then. It also definitely is one of the showcase pieces whenever friends come over to play some games.


So what is it that makes PixelJunk Eden so special? One word (or one name, rather): Baiyon. This japanese DJ and designer is a man responsible for the incredible look and sound of the game. Q-Games hired Baiyon to design the visuals and characters as well as to compose hypnotic trance soundtrack that accompanies each garden of Eden. The results are absolutely amazing on the level unseen in any other title.

I would go as far as to suggest that PixelJunk Eden features the boldest and most modern design approach in the computer game history. As a motion designer, I find it to be an endless source of inspiration in terms of form, color use and sound. At the same time, the easy-to-learn, hard-to-master game mechanic makes playing it a very addictive and fulfilling experience.


While many reviews of this game suggest that Eden is best experienced in short bursts (pick up, play one garden, come back later), my experience was closer to a marathon (one more garden, one more garden, one more… oh is the sun rising already?). Either way, if you own a PS3 system and haven’t played Eden yet, you should definitely do yourself a favor and pick this game up as soon as possible.

PixelJunk Eden and PixelJunk Eden Encore are both available for purchase and download on the PSN.

Official PixelJunk Eden website: