Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03 #XBLIG VVGIndieVerse Review
“The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03”
By: Mr. Deeke
Today on VVG Indie Verse Reviews we’ll be taking a look at the last game in the “Mind’s Eye of Jupiter” trilogy, “Mind’s Eye 03”. This game concludes the episodic XBLIG saga and brings the story to an end. Players can choose enjoy two different endings, a look into the distant future, and a glimpse into the vivid imagination of a particular talented Indie developer.
Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03 240 MSP
Alice must make a key decision to either save the future or to let it be doomed by the Nightmare Guide. Gamers can expect the same kind of gameplay and aspects that are included in the other games, such as incredible graphics, mysterious puzzles, and awe-inspiring visuals. Explore the advanced technological metropolis in which Alice calls home, as well as solving unique puzzles and piecing together bits of information.
- Developer – Travis Rogers “rogerst”
- Genre – Action & Adventure
- XBL Marketplace URL – The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03
- Release Date – 2/8/2011
- Try or Buy? – Try Before you Buy
- Price – 240 MSP
- Rating – 4/5
I. Story Line
The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03 is the conclusion to the series itself, and offers a wrap-up of the game’s story. While it doesn’t fully answer all the questions that gamers ask themselves while playing, it does offer gamers a choice to see which ending they’d like to see. This mechanic of picking your own ending based on certain choices reminds me loosely of how dialogue and certain decisions can affect your gameplay in games like Paragon in Mass Effect or Karma in the Fallout series.
In Mind’s Eye 03 Alice has been transported back to her time via a temporal rift to either stop Tribune (a powerful figurehead that is responsible for the damned future) or to aid him in the creation of the nightmare realm. This final edition of the game is truly a worthy descendant of the graphic adventure genre, and the 3D environments are as amazing as they were in the first games.
After the decision is made, Alice may return to the distant future via a temporal rift in time and space, and can explore the affects of the player’s choice–to either change the future for the better, or to leave it as a ruined and blasted hellscape. Gamers are free to change their decision after their first play through so that they can explore the other outcome.
The iconic Roman-esque architecture that is prevalent to the Mind’s Eye style.
II. Game Mechanics
Minds’ Eye 03 makes use of the same dynamics and mechanics that the first two games had–basically it’s a first-person view free-roam game that allows players to interact with key items (artifacts) as well as swtiches, doors, and other objects. There is no essential inventory, and there is no combat–this game is more of a mind-game that places importance not on reaction time or necessary skill, but on logic, reasoning, and critical thinking.
The puzzles in this game aren’t as hard or confusing as they were in the first two, and there is a lack of the actual challenge–most of the puzzles themselves are pretty straightforward and not complicated. The last puzzles, however, are most difficult, especially if you’re a player that picks the “good” ending. The utopia world is quite astounding and bizarre, yet the puzzle itself can be extremely frustrating for gamers who aren’t avid critical thinkers.
Since this game is more of an adventure-type Indie, there are no weapons. The items that are used and picked up throughout the game are simple and aren’t interactive–they aren’t kept in a revisable Inventory and aren’t able to be examined. These items are called “artifacts” throughout the game, and are used automatically through interaction with their respective objects; for example, certain puzzles require you to pick-up certain objects and then activate a switch or mechanism in order to solve it.
Specifically, the items and artifacts are automatically used and require no button pressing or optional activation. This allows players to easily enjoy the game without having to think too much about the puzzles and the objects themselves, and also adds a bit of mystique to the artifacts themselves, especially if they’re alien utilities like the anti-grav unit or the underwater mask.
The astounding megalopolis that Alice calls home.
IV. Unique Features
This XBL Indie is much like the previous titles in the series in terms of function, however it is quite different when it comes to graphics and visuals. The atmospheres are still mysterious and filled with fitting ambient sounds that seem to mesmerize gamers as they play.
The environments in Mind’s Eye 03 are amazing; gamers finally submersed into Alice’s future world. This technologically advanced age is replete with modern wonders of innovation, and players are treated to awe-inspiring visuals and graphics that are beyond most 3D XBL Indies. Stepping into this stylish and visionary world gives players a refreshing experience, especially those that favor sci-fi games and movies.
This game also gives players the opportunity to choose the fate of an entire age: with certain dialogue actions, gamers can either let the future world stay asunder with the tyrannical reign of The Nightmare Guide, or can free the future by dissuading Tribune and letting the Dream Guide prevail in peace and harmony. This dynamic is rare, and is hardly seen in any XBLIG’s–often there is only one ending to the game itself and it usually isn’t based on in-game decisions and choices.
Tribune, the antagonist of the Mind’s Eye storyline who unwittingly destroys the future.
It’s Sci-Fi. The last title in the Mind’s Eye of Jupiter series is more sci-fi than the rest in terms of visuals–players are treated by exploring Alice’s modern intraurban megalopolis, and the technology found therein is very fitting for sci-fi fans.
Incredible Visuals. For an Indie Game in full 3D, the Mind’s Eye series is a great trilogy that provides bizarre and awe-inspiring visuals. The third iteration is specifically more distinct in it’s use of divergent and unparalleled visualizations by allowing gamers to not only experience Alice’s timeline but also the bizarre environments in the end puzzles. The last game also reflects the consistent style, design and overall feel of the previous games, yet it provides new designs to keep things original.
It’s Original. There are very few full 3D graphical adventure games in the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace, and even fewer games that are of a series. The game’s visuals, story-line, and general mechanics make it one of the most original Indie Games series out there, and this particular title has unique features such as two different endings for players to enjoy.
It’s Huge! The city that Alice hails from is quite expansive, and if players explore every part of it via the monorails, they can expect to spend a good amount of time doing so. As Mind’s Eye is a free-roam type adventure game, gamers are allowed to explore nearly every part of the environments that are visible, and can find themselves wandering around this huge set of exteriors and interiors. For a XBL Indie, Mind’s Eye 03 is quite expanded and huge compared to it’s previous titles.
Not for Everyone. Not all gamers enjoy graphical adventure titles, and Mind’s Eye 03 is consistent with this theme. The game offers a great experience for those that enjoy slow-paced 3D puzzlers, however gamers that prefer games that require skill in reaction time and other aspects won’t find what they’re looking for in the Mind’s Eye series. In short, this game isn’t for everyone, so it’s best to try it out via the free demo.
Too Short. Even though Mind’s Eye 03 is more expansive than the rest of the series, the overall gameplay and story-line quests take very little time to complete. Although players can spend quite some time in the megalopolis, the actual missions go quite fast. Overall the whole game can be beaten in a matter of thirty minutes, which is a too fast for a 240 MSP purchase.
No Real Conclusion. Mind’s Eye concludes the story-line in such a way that it actually creates more questions than it answers. At the end of the game, players know what happened, yet there isn’t any real reinforcement or dialogue detailing the events that lay between Alice’s time and the future. It would have been nice to see at least a synopsis written somewhere about what happened to make events come out the way that they did, however players are left with more mystery than they started with.
The future as it is if players choose the “good” side.
Overall, this game is a must-have for fans of the Mind’s Eye series as well as fans of sci-fi graphical adventure games. This title is a majestic and glorious look into the vivid imagination of a talented 3D artist and Indie Game developer. Gamers are taken to another world that spans over eons and are subjected to amazing visuals, challenging puzzles, and a choice that can change the universe for the better or let it be aflame with despair. The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03 is truly a fantastic XBL Indie, and deserves to be played by gamers who enjoy 3D adventurers.
For more information on The Mind’s Eye of Jupiter 03 and the developer, visit The Domain of the Infinite