App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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The first thing to know about Eden: Renaissance is it feels a heck of a lot like Square Enix's GO series. The main problem here though is that, where games like Hitman GO, Lara Croft GO, and Deus Ex GO are immaculately constructed turn-based puzzle games, Eden is a bit more janky and slow. This doesn't necessarily mean Eden is a bad take on the GO series, but its flaws certainly keep it from being as enjoyable.
A cold path
In Eden, you play as a young archaeologist who is exploring an set of mysterious Antarctic ruins shortly after some strange natural events have occurred across the globe. While exploring, you come across a small, blue golem named Eden who adventures along with you to find out exactly what is going on.
The exploration present in Eden is very much the kind of thing you've seen before if you've played any of Square Enix's GO games. Given the exploratory bent on the action though, it seems most easily compared to Lara Croft GO. In the game, you are presented a small environment with set path points that you can swipe your protagonist between, with the ultimate goal of reaching the exit. Sometimes this might involve climbing, flipping switches in the right sequence, and even sneaking up on enemies from behind to take them out. As a small twist on this formula,your golem companion develops elemental powers that make for some nicely varied puzzle design as you play.
Pick up the pace
If there was one key difference between Eden and something like Lara Croft GO, it would be that Eden doesn't shy away from ramping up the difficulty quite quickly. Only a short ways into the game, certain mechanics and hazards start being combined in ways that can have you scratching your head and restarting levels a few times before solving them.
Eden also goes much more out of its way to tell a larger story with cutscenes and dialogue to let you know about the events as they unfold. This could be a draw for people that perhaps bounced off of the GO games because of their minimal storytelling, but at the same time, the fiction that's developed in Eden feels pretty generic.
Eden's puzzling can be fun at times, but it fails to live to the highs of the other games in the genre. This is mainly due to Eden's generally clunky feel. Swiping between movement spots feels like it takes forever, to the point that you feel like you're always having to wait for your character to finish moving before going on your way.
This slow movement can make retrying puzzles a frustratingly slow affair, and all of this can be made worse by some of Eden's bugs. There were times when playing where my character would get stuck in certain positions and be unable to move unless I restarted. Restarting always feels like a huge loss of progress considering the generally slow movement in the game, and this is made doubly-worse when forced to restart because of something that's not your fault.
The bottom line
Eden would be a decent imitation of something like Lara Croft GO if it didn't feel so unwieldy. Perhaps if it moved a little faster, had an undo button, and squashed a few more bugs, it would be great. As it currently stands though, Eden is a very middling puzzle game.