Deep within a beautiful, enchanted forest grow the seven flowers of Finvarra. These flowers have been woven into a garland and are said to be fit for a queen to wear upon her head. Alas, the flowers need to bloom and this is where you come in as a faerie. In order to get the flowers to open their dainty little petals, seven potions - one for each flower - must be recovered and brought back to the hallowed circle. Then, and only then, can the true nature of the crown be understood.
These potions are scattered about the forest and its multitude of locations. Various items of flora and fauna grace these locations in the form of platforms and obstacles, along with the occasional forest inhabitant or two (or even three). The platforms can be stood on but not run into, and flowers, ferns, and other plants must also be avoided. Some of these creatures rob you of energy while others send you tumbling.
When moving from one location to another, the screen flicks to the next location instead of scrolling. Each location has an exit, or exits, leading from it in one, or all, of four directions. Some locations are dark and foreboding places where all the platforms are invisible. The eyes of jealous spirits open and close in the gloom and need to be avoided as they steal faerie dust from you.
Extra faerie dust and lucky charms lie about the forest and may be picked up to replenish energy, although the charms are occasionally deadly to the touch, so it's a chance you take. Other useful items may be happened upon, such as a set of Pan pipes and a horn. You can only hold three objects at a time, and any held are displayed to the right of the screen along with the number of lives remaining, your score and your current energy status.
You start with four lives and lose one each time your energy runs out. On losing a life the faerie's wings are removed and she floats to the ground. If there is nothing below her when she falls, she will continue to fall until she hits solid ground.
The faerie is controlled through either joystick or keys. She can fly through open space and hover with the aid of the fire button, but she must walk along the ground and can only take off in an open space. A piece of suitably appropriate faerie music plays throughout the game but can be turned off if so desired. There is also an option to restart and a pause function (yay!) exists.
At the end of the game (not THE end as in compete), your score is displayed along with the percentage of rooms explored and a special score verification code.
The graphics on this game are beautiful to look at and give the whole thing an excellent atmosphere - sometimes mellow, at other times harsh and foreboding. The animation on the faerie and the various inhabitants is excellent, with some superb attention to detail. I found the music was a fitting piece for the game and its mood added well to the overall atmosphere. The sound effects were simplistic but didn't mar the game in any way because of this.
The playing area is large and I found mapping an essential part of play. It's unfortunate that there's not much to do other than to avoid and collect, as this did start to become a touch monotonous. This is my only real gripe though, as I did enjoy playing the game a lot and I don't think it would look amiss amongst anybody's software collection.
Elidon is a novel new aardvark and, although seeming a little sickly sweet, it provides a challenging and addictive game. Taking the role of a faerie (for all you Phillip Merchant types that's the proper spelling) was great fun and, although the control was a bit tricky at first, I was soon happily flapping around the forest. The graphics are very nice indeed, with large, colourful, well-animated sprites and lovely scenery. The sound fitted the game really well with a Peere Gynt style soundtrack. There's plenty to explore and the game is tough enough to keep you returning for more. If the game looks a bit soppy and offputting at first, try it. I found it to be really good and it made a change to float happily around instead of zooming about blasting aliens to hell.
The sumptuous elegance of the graphics combined with the comeliness of the music (from Ibson's Peere Gynt by Grieg) makes Elidon as near a trip into faerie land as can be reasonably expected from a computer game. Most games that move from screen to screen without scrolling often become dull because the graphics are less than inspiring. Not so with Elidon, I was so captivated by the images and the overall effect that I forgot that my faerie was being chewed by a butterfly. I was sad to realise that in this butterflies aren't the gay creatures they are cracked up to be, they certainly seem to have a taste for faerie's wings. While there are only seven potions to find, some can only be reached by finding and utilising 'tools' which means that the huge maze will have to be explored to its full extent, and that's going to take a faerie long time. The beauty of this game means that you won't begrudge the time you will have to devote to solving it.
Well packaged, with attractive multi-lingual instructions and good in-game options.
Eloquently detailed, coloured, and atmospheric backdrops and sprites.
Pleasant and atmospheric tune but minimal sound FX.
Strong urge to be a faerie.
Plenty to explore and tricky to solve.
Value For Money 84%
Nice price for such a nice price.
A good arcade-adventure of exceptional beauty.