Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 02 #XBLIG VVGIndieVerse Review
“The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 02”
By: Mr. Deeke
This installment of VVGiv written reviews will focus on one of my personal favorite Xbox Indie Game series “The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 02”. The standard format will apply to this review–five sections that will look at the different aspects of the game, a wrap-up that concludes the review, and a video that allows readers to see the game in action.
The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 02 240 MSP
Explore other worlds and dimensions in this first-person view adventure Indie that puts emphasis on graphics and visual spectacles. Solve puzzles by thinking logically, and in this game players are rewarded for paying attention and keeping focus. Unlock the hidden secrets that will either shatter a dimension and doom it to infinite oblivion, or transform it into a wonderous technological utopia–in the Mind’s Eye series, the choice is yours.
- Developer – Travis Rogers “rogerst”
- Genre – Action & Adventure
- XBL Marketplace URL – The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 02
- Release Date – 5/27/2010
- Try or Buy? – Try Before you Buy
- Price – 240 MSP
- Rating – 4/5
“Alice is told to journey into the caves under the Roman Temple. Somewhere in the caverns the Dream Guide waits to answer the questions she searches for. Download episode two of this 3D sci-fi adventure game. ”
–Xbox Live Marketplace Description
I. Story Line
The series has quite the enigmatic story with bits and pieces of information, but the player is overall kept in a state of wonder and mystery–this of course heightens to the appeal to keep playing, motivating the gamer to get farther.
Basically the character that players take control of is Alice–the whole game is from her first-person perspective. Alice is a professional explorer from a technologically advanced age and she has been researching links to the mysterious “Mind’s Eye of Jupiter” for quite some time. She finds the portal and uses it to cross over into another dimension, then learns of a complex prophecy which she was destined to be a part of all along.
II. Game Mechanics
Every title in the Mind’s Eye series is episodic, that is to say that there is an interruption in gameplay to create suspense and anticipation for the next title. Mind’s Eye 02, however, is the longest of all the games and features the most content in terms of play time and a rich variety of impressive visuals.
This Indie is devoid of combat, but it plays quite well with standard controls that allow the player to easily adapt to the control scheme–which is simple and limited for this specific purpose. Solve puzzles by interacting with items and switches and collecting certain artifacts to use with mechanisms.
The game also allows players to find key items (these are known as artifacts) that are needed to solve puzzles for progression, and depending on the player’s proximity to the item, the HUD will either be yellow text for near and red text when you’re standing over the item. This is a helpful tool that aids players when they are lost or can’t figure out what exactly to do.
Alice collects many useful artifacts throughout her puzzle-solving, dimesional-rift travelling adventures–many of which are picked up and “used” by activating them. In Mind’s Eye 02 we make use of an odd remote device, a water-breathing mask (that smells like bubblegum, for some reason), and many miscellaneous “artifacts”.
There are also many doorways and other items that are used to interact and progress onwards to the next area in Mind’s Eye 02. Some of these include the orbs you activated to rise up to the Guides. There are also many switches, mechanisms, and other items you must collect in order to solve the puzzles.
IV. Unique Features
The general theme of abstract and alien-esque art is prevalent throughout, and it imbues a sense of infinite wonder within the right kind of player. This game in itself is unique so it is not for everyone–however all gamers can respect the 3D graphics that are quite good for an XBLIG.
This game is most recommended for those that have vivid imaginations and that enjoy complex scenery and abstract art. The incredibly vivid 3D graphics are the main feature of this game that makes it unique and appealing, especially since nearly every single environment is bizarre and strange. This use of mystical and extraordinary designs, textures and environments provides for an unforgettable playing experience that has yet to be challenged in the XBL Indie Games marketplace.
Besides the graphics, Mind’s Eye 02 is unique that it is one of the first games of its type–an all 3D first-person graphical adventure that has consistent elements that are found in most games of the genre. This game is a must-have for all fans of graphical adventure video games on PC such as MYST, and for all of those that enjoy abstract thinking and bizarre art.
Experience the awe and the majesty that comes with progressing in this game, and learn the secrets of the Mind’s Eye’s visually fantastic universe. There is no other XBL Indie Game that I have seen so far that has imbued a grander sense of true wonder within me; the environments and structures are spectacular. An example of one of these environments is near the end when Alice reaches the blasted, ruined wasteland that is the Nightmare Guide’s future–it truly is a hallowed dimension of cruel monoliths and blood-red skies.
V. Critique – The Good & The Bad
Graphics. Being a full 3D adventure game, Mind’s Eye 02 has very enhanced graphics for an XBL Indie Game. Utilizing a unique game engine, the developer has created another universe replete with interesting and alluring worlds and dimensions for us to explore. The game makes use of a unique design style that is reflected in the alien-esque structures that are seen throughout, and the graphics are incorporated in this style. Lighting is also very good–collisions and physics are very balanced and there is no clipping or obvious graphical bugs.
It’s Unique. This particular XBLIG affords players a chance to play a different kind of game–a game where different skills besides reaction time and experience are used. Anyone can play Mind’s Eye 02, but not everyone can solve the puzzles or fully enjoy the content in it’s entirety. Whether it’s the awe-inspiring visuals or the puzzle concept that gives players a different way to play, Mind’s Eye 02 is a one-of-a-kind gaming experience.
It’s Challenging. Some puzzle games are quite drab and much too easy–this game, however, requires players to use common sense and logic to solve puzzles instead of extensive knowledge. While there are no direct literary riddles or any substantially hard problems to solve, the game still provides a nice balance of challenge that is prevalent throughout every stage.
It’s Not for Everyone. The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter trilogy is a series of games that require a certain acquired taste to fully enjoy. Gamers who are fans of the genre itself are almost guaranteed to be be entertained, however someone who enjoys shooter games the most won’t be at home with this title. It’s highly recommended that you find out for yourself by downloading the free trial–which only has the time restriction.
Too Short. Although that Mind’s Eye 02 is the longest game in the trilogy, in terms of overall gameplay, the game is a bit short. The standard playthrough is around thirty minutes, give or take, so it’s best to take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Low Replayability. Once you beat Mind’s Eye 02, you’re pretty much done with it. The game does allow you to create a New Game, however, so you can experience the game once more but it will be exactly the same as before. In essence its a standard playthrough that doesn’t differ with every new game that’s started and it’s the same each time.
Overall, Mind’s Eye of Jupiter is a dazzling 3D adventure game that utilizes many unique graphical methods and provides for a memorable gaming experience. The game is a magical journey in multiple dimensions in space and time, and is a spectacular look into what another arcane universe could possibly look like.
The Mind’s Eye series puts heavy emphasis on the esoteric concepts of suspense, mystery, and awe by instilling a sense of wonder within players and also accompanying the visuals with ambient sounds that solidify the overall mystical experience.
Solve puzzles or just stare off into space in this engaging and superbly textured 3D adventurer–it definitely pays to be a fan of artists such as H.R. Giger if you plan on trying this game, especially since the bizarre artwork is most enjoyed by those of a specific taste.
For more information on The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter trilogy, visit the Domain of the Infinite for links, developer information, and even hints and guides to the myriad of puzzles in the game.