A relatively quick and easy journey through a city that's eerily familiar...
By Ned Jordan
In Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden a famous diver disappears during a dive and is given up for dead by the world, save for the diver's girlfriend. Convinced he's still alive, she goes on a solo rescue dive which leads her to the underwater city of Eden. Eden was built to be a utopian society by elitist idealists, but a civil war has torn the city apart, leaving it broken and empty. Now it houses mysterious survivors, demons, and the missing diver. It's your task to find the missing diver, solve the mystery of what happened to Eden, and make your escape.
If you've played BioShock, then Abyss' story may sound pretty familiar to you. That's not a coincidence. The game's developers were clearly inspired by that video game shooter, and liberally borrowed from it in designing Eden. They did a good job of making Eden an interesting place to visit and also in making it visually appealing, but it was hard for me to not constantly think of BioShock's Rapture while playing Abyss and how Eden was a poor man's substitute for it. If you haven't played BioShock, then none of that will really matter to you and you'll find the setting for Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden to be a lot more interesting than that of your typical hidden object adventure game.
Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden's gameplay is a mix of hidden object puzzles and adventure game style puzzles in which you need to use an object you picked up on one screen and stowed in your inventory with an object on another screen. The hidden object puzzles are relatively easy ' the lists of items to find are relatively small and those items aren't too hard to find. Some require an interaction such as moving a tarp aside or opening a box to reveal one of the objects, but it's not too difficult to figure out when you need to perform one of these actions. In spite of the relative ease of the hidden object puzzles, the game gives you the option to play a domino puzzle instead.
For the domino puzzle you need to connect the dominos in a chain by matching the pictures on them with the goal of extending the chain to reach designated special squares on the board. Reach all of the special squares and you solve the puzzle, and clear the associated hidden object puzzle as well. The domino puzzles are so simple it's a bit of a stretch even calling them puzzles, so I recommend just sticking to the hidden object puzzles instead.
The adventure game puzzles aren't that challenging either. You'll never have more than a couple of items in your inventory and it will be obvious what you need to do with them. There are also some mini game style puzzles to solve, but again the common theme here is that they are all straightforward and quite easy to solve.
I liked the game's artwork and setting (even though it was blatantly derivative), but the lack of any challenge in the game's puzzles was disappointing. I prefer puzzle games that give me a challenge, that make me think, but I breezed through the game without any trials or troubles, or all that much fun. If you love all things hidden object the novel setting will probably make the game enjoyable enough for you, but if you enjoy a good puzzle you should probably look a challenge elsewhere.