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Indie Game Review: Depths of Fear :: Knossos

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Depths of Fear :: Knossos

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Remember Theseus, the Greek hero that defeated the Minotaur to prove his courage to King Minos? Well now you get to play as him and participate in his greatest adventure, navigating the impossible to solve labyrinth and slay the dreaded Minotaur. Depths of Fear :: Knossos was made by one man to create a first person rogue-like experience to a great Greek Mythology story. While the game lacks some of the modern flare that indie games are getting, I will be reviewing this game with a few special conditions, like how it was all made by one person. I won't be holding it up to the same visual standards as I do for other games. The same goes for the actual gameplay. There is a lot for this game to improve on, but just because it has a novelty appearance and gameplay style does not mean it should be heavily scrutinized. With that said, Depths of Fear :: Knossos is a brilliantly unique game offering a different experience when it comes to Greek Mythology driven games.

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King Minos throws you into the Labyrinth and only you can defeat the Minotaur. To aid you are random books containing knowledge and Daedelus, the person you give gold to so you can amass your armory to kill whatever lies in the labyrinth. There is only one sword you can use to kill the Minotaur so you best hurry and get it before you fight the beast, or you are going to have a bad time. Fortunately, it is not incredibly hard to do as long as you do not rush through levels.

The gameplay is simple, stay in the shadows to avoid the patrolling Satyr guard. If it spots you, RUN. There are other creatures in the maze that can kill you as well, that is why getting better weapons is a necessity. You can find a sword in almost every level that does a lot of damage to creatures as opposed to the early game clubs. Most monsters seem to give up on chasing after you turn a corner, but the Satyr is more persistent. Which makes sense, but everything behaves differently. So it is typically best to avoid fighting as much as possible, everything can be heard by the Satyr.

The levels are brilliantly designed in their simplicity but as you progress through the game, the levels become more challenging to navigate, especially when the satyr refuses to leave a certain area. There have been many situations where I just decided to throw stealth out the window and run around until I found the key to open the next level. However, doing this allows you to miss gold or books that could contain information about how to defeat certain enemies.

The problems people will see in this game will be mostly in the movement and animation of the player and creature. They aren't very smooth, everything seems rather wooden in motion. However, I have seen plenty worse in more popular games. This is probably the biggest part of the game that could have been improved on. Especially the way the Satyr moves about the labyrinth, I know the movement is supposed to be rather unpredictable but it projects it's movements in a very obvious manner, the AI also seems to be a bit on the lower side, I watched it walk in circles around the same pillar for about 10 minutes before it decided it was going nowhere.

I still had a lot of fun playing this game. Despite being made by one person, it controls very well and progresses at a really even speed. The game is challenging and it leaves the gameplay open enough for you to decide what is the best method to proceed. I feel like this game will be one of those hidden gems on Steam for people to randomly discover. I give Depths of Fear :: Knossos an 8/10. If you like stealth rogue-like dungeon crawlers, this game is for you.

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