In House of Fables’ Eventide: Slavic Fable players took on the role of the famous botanist, Mary, as she embarked on an epic quest to save the idealistic Heritage Park where humans co-existed with mythical creatures rooted in Slavic lore. In the latest addition to the Eventide series, House of Fables once again reunites players with Mary, who has taken a much needed vacation to do some rock climbing in a remote land with her niece, Jenny.
This isn’t a rock climbing simulator, however, it’s a fantastical point and click adventure. So right away things for Mary and Jenny go awry when Jenny is kidnapped by a malevolent sorcerer and his assistant. The ever heroic Mary sets out to save her niece the only way she knows how – with the power of puzzle solving and botany. She quickly comes into contact with an older lady who is trampled and injured by the wicked Sorcerer during his great escape with Jenny. The older lady informs Mary that the Sorcerer’s apprentice is in fact her son, and that her leg has been injured in the scuffle. This is where Mary’s background as a botanist comes in handy, and the player is sent off to collect the necessary plants to produce a healing salve. Once the proper ingredients are collected, players can open up their inventory using the left trigger (as is customary in these games) and then use “Y” to combine and craft the item the recipe is for. While crafting items has come up in previously released Artifex Mundi titles, this method of crafting within the inventory is new. The crafting works relatively well, but there is no tutorial for how to do this initially, and figuring out that it is the necessary next step can be a little difficult in the beginning.
Once Mary heals up the nice lady in the road with flower power, she can continue her adventure onward into the village. Mary witnesses the Sorcerer and his apprentice in the village square, charging the town’s folk for the opportunity to see their deceased loved ones via an enchanted mirror with the promise that one day he can bring them back to the realm of the living. Fans of Artifex Mundi tales may recognize that as being quite similar to the plot of the previously released Dark Arcana. While the premise is similar to what we’ve encountered before, there are still a few important game play changes to keep us involved. After witnessing the Sorcerer’s spiel in the center of the village, Mary speaks with the town’s gravedigger and then enters the town Inn and speaks with the barkeep. Its during this exchange that another new game play element is introduced: morality choices. Throughout the course of Eventide 2, Mary will be faced with tough choices where she must decide whether or not to be honest or kind. During the final battle against the Sorcerer, Mary will experience the consequences of her decisions throughout the events leading toward the end.
Eventide 2: The Sorcerer’s Mirror does lack the additional bonus chapter that we frequently see with Artifex Mundi titles, and also does not offer a secondary mini game in place of playing the hidden object puzzles. Additionally, the hidden object sections of the game are not randomly generated like previous titles. Instead, the item lists and locations for each hidden object puzzle remain the same with every play through which greatly reduces replay value.