PixelJunk Eden is a game developed by Q-Games exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It is the third game in the PixelJunk series, coming after Monsters a tower defense game, and Racers a simple yet engaging cooperative racer. Eden’s art direction was created by an independent artist from Kyoto known as Baiyon, who was invited by Q-Games founder Dylan Cuthbert to design the graphics and soundtrack.
The project itself started when Dylan Cuthbert saw some of Baiyon’s work and decided to try and make an game engine based on it “We started collaborating with the artist and then we built a game around some of the strange artwork he had created” This is an interesting point as most development cycles start by creating the core gameplay mechanic, then choose and implement a suitable aesthetic.
The player controls a “Grimp” , a small creature that maneuvers itself by jumping from and attaching itself to plant-like structures. These structures grow when the player collects objects called ‘Spectra’ The player is tasked with collecting all the Spectra in a given level or Garden which causes it to grow.
The Grimps have the ability to jump as well as shoot silk from which they can swing, allowing them to gain momentum to reach higher areas. In cooperative mode multiple Grimps can bounce off one another as another way to solve certain puzzles.
Not all garden levels are initially available; as the player collects Spectra, new plants on the main screen grow and as in each of the levels allow the player to ‘reach’ more gardens.