Greek Mythology is a realm few games have entered (save for God of War and Age of Mythology), but with a Kickstarter gem that’s been funded called Olympia Rising, you have a chance to battle through a platformer that is aesthetically pleasing and challenging. Paleozoic is the developer heading this production, and from the beta test, it is definitely worth playing.
Sound awesome? Well it is. (Why would you even ask?) Iola is one tough girl, and her sprites and animation are great. She is a breath of fresh air to the male-heavy side-scrolling genre (plumber and hedgehog and ape, oh my!), and she is more than capable of escaping the Underworld. Her sword swings are quick on the ground and even faster in air, with the blade moving in a semi-circle pattern to vanquish the floaty bat/ray’s that infest Styx (and all of the Underworld). She can also jump, double jump, and even continue beyond that, creating endless movement and attack combination opportunities. The game relies on this, called “chaining”, to enable you to swiftly jump, strike, and continue jumping, all the while racking up precious coins to complete the level. These levels come in 2 forms: there are regular, find the exit levels, where you scour the map for the door out as you collect coins, and there’s the OH S*** THE GREEN DEATH LIQUID IS RISING, OH MY GOD I NEED HOW MANY COINS, S*** S*** S*** WHERE IS THE EXIT! levels. Both are entertaining, and the latter is personally my favorite.
Iola can also use various magics in the game. There is the Aer spells, which are mainly used for movement at high speed horizontally, vertically, and even diagonally if you’re good (and also a lightning spell),
the Pyr spell, which creates fire in Iola’s palms which erupts in a hail of fireballs, causing mayhem and destruction for all enemies,
and the Hydor spell, which is water based, creating a shield that protects Iola from all attacks.
Iola is ready for the climb, but are you? The game seems easy, but repeated deaths at the hands of simple mistakes, mistimed attacks or jumps, or just plain carelessness and haste make Olympia Rising much more than a platformer. You have to become Iola, think two jumps and one attack ahead, and for the love of Zeus, always keep up your tempo.
With that said, be prepared to die as a beginner. Sometimes the level is one and done, others it’s trial and error. You’ll learn to hate Charon, as he steals every coin you earned if you die, then says something sarcastic as you restart the level. The game puts comedy right where it can bother you the most, and it’s perfect.
The created world (the backgrounds, characters, enemies) of Olympia Rising envelop the player in the game. Throwbacks are often done, but this world is vast and unique, separating it from the others. The music is familiar in genre, but completely new to the ears, which makes gameplay that much more enjoyable. The art, all the design work that went into the game, it’s all stunning, and the team continues to wow with each added morsel.
Yes, it gets hard a times. Yes, it is still very much a work in progress (bugs and glitches), and yes, you have to wait until the winter of this year to get it (hopefully without delay). But these things aside, Paleozoic has something going with Olympia Rising, and when it does come out, it is definitely one to play.
There is a demo on the Paleozoic website: http://or.paleozoic.com
The game is in closed beta now, so keep up with me as I will frequently be checking in with Paleozoic to see what’s going on, and what new features will be added to Olympia Rising.
As always, it’s been a pleasure