Something Different: Thoughts on PixelJunk: Eden
So on I kept playing PixelJunk Eden, and before I knew it, my father in-law was sitting down, mesmerized. "I really like the graphics....I can get into the music, it's really cool!" These are quotes are something I thought I'd never hear. It was only a short while longer before I heard him ask for the sticks and take this little PSN title for a spin.
An hour later, he was still getting back in line, waiting for his turn to try again.
And, after the family had dinner, we all wound up huddled on the couch, passing the controller back and forth. Before we knew it, we had been sitting there for hours, and not one person was not asking for another shot. (Execept for my Mother-In-Law, who unfortunately couldn't get a chance to play. Next time Mom, I promise!)
I kept asking myself, "How is this possible? How is this game covering this wide of a demographic? Why can I not get my own controller back?"
It could be because of this game's simplicity. It could be because of it's loose feel and it's inviting gameplay. Or it could just be becuase the game is just that much damn fun to play!
PixelJunk Eden is a PSN Exclusive made by the studio of the same name. The objective is to take a little non-descript character and jump and swing him around a colorful board while breaking up things that look like snowflakes to catch the remains and fill up circles. Then, you jump in the circles to "grow" the stage further so that you can jump up and do it some more. All this jumping and "growing" comes it's apex when you pick up a "spectra". The "spectra" are the end of level item that must be collected to move on in the game.
So how does this simple concept carry the demographic? Easy. It's the the fun, vibrant level design, the simple yet addicting soundtrack, and the non-punishing nature.
The family breaks it down like this:
My brother-in-law and myself like the pacing of the game, it's something refreshing to see a game that isn't in it to murder you with it's difficulty right away. It gives us something to sit back and relax while playing.
My wife and mother-in-law really like the exploration side of the title, watching the level grow and change color, while also liking the easy barrier of entry.
My father-in-law is all about the soundtrack. The pulsing House/Techno beats surpisingly pull him in, getting him into the game and making him want to return.
This game seems to bridge the gap left by all the other hardcore titles and systems of the past that have pushed both older and female demographics away. In addition, it causes the same demographic of "baby boomers" to want to explore other titles and systems.
I can go on and on about this title, and will, so keep checking this space. But for now let me say that if there's anything that's going to get your family around this "Hardcore" machine known as the Playstation 3, PixelJunk Eden is that game.
P.S. Hey all, keep checking this spot and the others in the Bacon Ice Cream Network for new stuff coming soon. Yes, I said SOON, and mean it. :0P Thanks for stopping by!