Released in 2012 and developed by Five BN, which have a large catalogue of Hidden Object Games, the team is certainly experts at creating great games, and Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is another proof of such, releasing a great title with amazing features, even for its time.
We play as an archeologist, who works on one of the most relevant discovery in ages, Atlantis itself. Found near the Madeira island, Atlantis holds many secrets, and humanity advanced significantly in order to pursue such mysteries. This adventure will definitely start under the water, but this enigma will transport us to the most unimaginable places.
Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is your traditional Hidden Object game, where players collect, and use objects to advance in the level, or to reach new areas. Some items can only be found in Hidden Object Scenes, these are placed in a balanced way, meaning you don’t get either too much or too little. You get exactly the recommended dose of those scenes, and since they offer interactivity, it’s always a refreshing to get a new scenario.
Each search for that previous item requires players to search objects based on a list, but some are written in red, which means you need to perform certain actions to further unlock the desired object. Interactions such as; finding and use a hammer to break something to reveal the listed object, or cut something with a pocket knife. In some games these moments are confusing or just not interesting, but since all the objects are well placed, it’s really fun to have this extra gimmick.
Puzzles and Mini-Games are also included, all ranging from easy to medium difficulty. Most of the challenges are traditional, all seen a few times before, but they are all very well connected to the in-game world, with references. We can always appreciate little details like these, and sometimes taken by guarantee. While in your adventure, players can also collect Digital Memory Cards, that serve more as a little extra to look up to while playing.
Visually, Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is very beautiful, with a great mix of Sci-Fi themed futuristic design, but also including the fantasy side of magical artefacts. The game is not entirely alien when comes to its artistic side, there are plenty of man-made surfaces, and I think that’s what works so well with this title. Although there are some amazing fantasy elements, the mankind’s fingertip is also present, giving a unique vibe.
Cutscenes are amazing, even for a 2012 game, the render scenes are very detailed and taken with great care. The direction is good and I wouldn’t be so surprised if they were from a 2018 game, but back then, not every game had this level of quality. Unfortunately, Hidden Objects never were Triple-A, but some studios take their cutscenes seriously, and so does Five BN.
Presentation is likewise quite well developed, with nice User Interface, and has a smooth but stylish design. Objects were drawn with good taste, are easy to spot, but sometimes well hidden (but isn’t that the purpose?). Overall the game is very detailed, particularly backgrounds, that are some of the most detailed and filled environments I have ever seen in a Hidden Object Game, with stunning color palettes, well worth being mentioned.
Unfortunately, this adventure wasn’t future proof, which we can’t really blame the developers, but it would be nice to have higher resolutions. The max this can go is 900p, and being over 720p is already pleasant. Anyone playing at 1920x1080 will have the game upscale amazingly well, while other screen resolutions such as 1440p or even 4K will certainly see some loss of quality.
Another technical detail that is missing is VSync, some minor in-game screen tearing. Depending on your GPU panel settings, the maximum frame rate may be kept at 60. Forcing VSync through the panel is also a viable option, otherwise it’s only visible on fast-paced movements. This adventure is entirely playable at 16:9, but Steam screenshots will always come out 4:3, which is how the engine sees the game internally. Thankfully, the experience is really good, and the image isn't stretched at all.
The Steam version of the game is actually the Collector's Edition, that features a Bonus Chapter, to further extend the events of the main game. It’s a nice addition, to add an extra hour on top of the 5 hours from the main game. Curiously enough, this title is also included in the pack “Hidden Object Bundle 4 in 1”. With this in mind, I still believe Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is well worth of a single release.
The soundtrack is very atmospheric, creating a fantastic vibe for all the explorers out there. It’s futuristic, but not in a cheap way, it’s subtle and adds some intensity. Music is minimalist at best, but sound effects make up for it, and works well with the feeling of exploration and adventure.
With two gameplay modes (Casual or Expert), Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is a fantastic game that does everything one would expect from the genre, being well worth the price tag, and delivering an amusing and fun adventure, that is simply outstanding to look at.