Award-winning gamesmith Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez and Lumines) introduces 'Child of Eden,' a visually stunning multi-sensory game.

Being familiar with developer Testsuya Mizuguchi and his former product of Lumines (sorry, missed the Rez train) I was excited to see what this E3 '10 teaser was all about. Ambiguously named 'Child of Eden,' my expectations where are all over the map for this Kinect based shooter. As I jumped into the game a warm heartfelt feeling rushed over my senses, and my expectations, well they were quickly surpassed. Using the description of "heartfelt" and “feeling” is an important quality because 'Child of Eden' is one of those organic gaming experience that is hard to define. In its basic element, it's a type of on-rails shooter of sorts. However, its much more than that; it's a game that will beckon a response as its engages all your senses. More than your typical shooter, 'Child of Eden' magically makes you "feel," which is an outstanding accomplishment in its own right.

Opening with a fantastical full motion video of a girl (Lumi) walking through a flowered dreamscape turned into a fading nightmare, 'Child of Eden' is a hypnotic take on artifical creation. With the splash screen final lines “Save Eden, Save Lumi,” Eden embraces as you are tasks to save Project Lumi from a virus attack. From the orbital influenced menu system you can jump into the different “archives” beginning with the 'Matrix' level.

Paralleled to other on-rails shooters 'Child of Eden' is the alternative with a more free-flow/open-world approach. The space is filled with trippy graphics and hypnotic electronica/house beats. While sliding along you will shoot (purify) various ecological shapes (viruses) that come towards you. If you're hit, you lose a life point and the game is over. Other bonus objects such as life orbs and a “Euphoria” mega-blast will also float around in the space that can be collected. The idealism behind the gameplay is fundamental, but its the delivery that is key here. While in words 'Child of Eden' might sound simplistic, it's devilishly complex and always captivating.


Furthering the core game element is the audio/visual contribution, which is deeply important to creating the organic feel. From the hallucinatory beat-driven soundtrack to the sound of a snare drum/hand clapping when firing, 'Child of Eden' feels alive. Pulsating with the visuals, your senses will fall into a sort of rhythm that is near spiritual. There is truly no other game currently on the market that uses audio in conjunction with the visuals in such a way. It's explicitly brilliant, which is clearly a testament to Mizuguchi's earlier work.

There are 5 different levels (Matrix, Evolution, Beauty, Passion, and Journey) in the game that each carry their own theme and multi-layered boss fights. Additionally, the levels will never be the same and change depending on your prior saved performance, so don't expect to get a pattern down. Again, it's very organic and continues to flush out as you experience the sensation that is interwoven into each level.

The difficulty level isn't overly arduous, but you might need to spend some time replaying each level which usually last around 10 minutes. Aside from the beautiful images, you will gain a reward to add to your main HUB display (Lumi's Garden) for additional personalization. These are based off the level you just defeated, so in the “Evolution” level where you meet a giant translucent whale and fight elemental amphibians you can unlock certain elements like a manta or jellyfish. Secondly, you can also explore the world at your own leisure by selecting "Feel Eden" under the difficulty tab. Other extras are also unlocked as you play such as art and movies.

Expanding to your limbs, you can play 'Child of Eden' with a standard controller or by using Microsoft Kinect. Each method of control changes the feel to the game, although developed primary as a Kinect experience, using the normal controller is entertaining. With Kinect it will take awhile to build up your accuracy so expect a few minutes of total confusion. However once you get it, you will be lost in the world of Eden. Waving your arms around like they can shoot lasers is beyond cool and very eye-catching. Without confusion each arm acts a different mode of fire and is kept to the basics.It's like you are conducting your own gaming symphony.


Organically pulsating, 'Child of Eden' is a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be checked out by any gamer with an Xbox 360 and Kinect. Although, the beat-based shooter might not be for everyone, you won't know until you try it. It's one of those rare “feel” type of experience that can't be accurately summed up from an online review or video footage. The real test, try it out and once you're grooving along in the infectious and creative world, will you know its right for you. Following his former creations Tetsuya Mizuguchi has created another wonderful landmark title to be looked back on as a game changer.

  • Incredible merging of audio and visuals into the gameplay
  • Near magical atmosphere, a true original
  • Conduct your own gaming symphony with Microsoft Kinect
  • Can be played with both controller or Kinect
  • Not as inciting if you don't have connect
  • After the initial buzz is over, lacks longevity
  • Not going to be for everyone
Quote: "Organically pulsating, 'Child of Eden' is a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be checked out by any gamer with an Xbox 360 and Kinect."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 06.15.11


Child of Eden


Q? Entertainment


US Release
June '11



Player 1
HD 720-1080p
Dolby Digital 5.1
Kinect Sensor