“Puzzle-solving, old school Myst style”
From the humble beginnings of Zork, into the visual world of Myst, puzzling interactive fiction has evolved and evolved. With the introduction of Mind’s Eye of Jupiter, the evolution takes a jump to XBLIG. Mind’s Eye of Jupiter is a first-person adventure / puzzle solver taking place in an ancient Roman ruin. Your goal is to search for the Mind’s Eye of Jupiter, a hidden portal to another time.
The gameplay involves you moving around in first person mode for clues and interactive objects. While the world is relatively sparse with detail, there is the extremely appreciated feature of a warning “Artifact Nearby” if you are near an interactive object (ie: a key, etc) that might escape your attention. Other details, such as the doors and locks, require a more manual observation, but that is to be expected in this genre.
In an adventure game, the storyline is the reason to play – while an inner goal to solve problems and puzzles will keep you glued to the game, there needs to be an initial “hook” to draw you in. Unfortunately, Mind’s Eye of Jupiter doesn’t really have a background story to go with, and while there obviously is a small bit of history to the character, the world, and the game, the player isn’t introduced to it in a way that welcomes you to experience. Ultimately, if you’re playing this game, it’s to solve puzzles, not necessarily because the story drew you in.
Mind’s Eye of Jupiter is not especially deep, large, or long, but I can only imagine that based off the name, we can expect a hopefully-large series from this initial offering. There’s no multiplayer offered, and with a finite amount of options, there seems to be little replayability available. Overall, the puzzle genre is a rather love-or-hate-it genre, as you need to want to explore, assess, analyze, and sleuth out an explanation, but if you’re willing to give it a shot, and patience is your virtue of choice, then you might have a match….at least until you start looking for Episode 2.
Game Score 7/10
Download a free demo of the game here.