Eternity is a unique sort of hidden object game in that there aren't so many objects to find. Instead, you pick up a few items and spend your time using them to solve inventory puzzles or complete tasks in each area. The set-up is different than usual, giving Eternity a different flavor than most hidden object games you come across, and the variety of locations and strength of puzzles make it an interesting experience.
You play as yourself in Eternity, and your crazy ole grandpa has just invented a time machine. Wouldn't you know it, though, he needs your help completing it, so your first set of tasks revolve around finding the missing pieces and assembling them in his workshop. Once you do, gramps takes a trip through time and gets lost, so it's up to you to visit different eras and find clues to learn where grandpa has ended up.
Eternity takes place in a series of historical locations (ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, etc.), each with a small handful of scenes. You can flip between scenes using the convenient tool at the bottom right corner of the screen. Within each area you'll have a few tasks to complete, each involving locating a few items, combining them with other items or objects on the screen, and moving on to the next task. Mission objectives are listed in small print just above your inventory, including a list of which items you'll need to find or what you need to do next.
Mini-games are scarce in Eternity, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and while finding items isn't the central focus of the game, you will get to complete a hidden object-centric scene from time to time. The name of the game is key items and how to correctly use them, so you'll need to travel back and forth between locations to make sure you've gathered everything you need to complete an objective. When you've done all you can in a particular area, a small check mark appears over its icon.
Analysis: Eternity has an ambitious design that wants to stray from traditional hidden object gaming and focus on inventory puzzles. Whether or not it succeeds is up to your taste in games. Eternity doesn't hold your hand and tell you exactly what you need to find and where it is. You'll spend a lot of time clicking, wandering, searching, and clicking some more. It's frustrating compared to modern hidden object games that like to shove answers in front of your face, but when compared to classic adventure games, Eternity offers little challenge. If you like your games vague, Eternity will deliver.
Despite its lofty design goals, Eternity does fall a bit short of its intended splendor. This is largely due to the strange fact that hints are almost required to complete some puzzles. Having obtuse solutions is one thing, but when the next step is so ambiguous you couldn't have guessed your way there, clicking the hint button is the only way through. You're not limited in how many times you can call for help, and the timer only takes a minute or two to refill, but I can't help but feel this reliance on "cheating" is a bit of a crutch the game would do well to lose.
Eternity is a little different than most games in the genre, which for many will be reason enough to give it a try. The variety of locations is great, the puzzles are interesting, and you'll have a good time moving between locations solving the riddles in each scene.