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Game Info:

The Adventures of Perseus
Developed By: PixQuake
Published By: HH-Games
Released: February 27, 2019
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Genre: Match-3/Puzzle
ESRB Rating: Not specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $4.99

First, my thanks to HH Games for the review key for this game.

When people think innovation, Match-3 games aren't on the list, because there are only so many ways to make one, and when people think classical mythology, Grecian legends are the first thing most people think about. The Adventures of Perseus does not disappoint on the latter, but the success of the former we need to discuss in more detail.

The game follows the Greek legend of Perseus, a demigod son of Zeus who was destined to kill his own grandfather. Said grandpa does what he can to avoid this fate, but eventually winds up dead due to Perseus one way or another, though this game goes with the accidental version where Perseus winds up being the unwitting killer. In-between cutscenes depicting this version of the Perseus legend, we get lots of Match-3 gameplay.

Like most Match-3 games, this one revolves around clearing 3 or more objects that line up in a row until you fulfill the win condition, and it plays very much like An Alchemist's Tale (previously made by the same developer). In fact, it uses a modified version of that game's engine, so those who played that will be right at home with this for the basic gameplay.

The Adventures of Perseus
Highlights:

Strong Points: Innovative attempts at making a Match-3 game
Weak Points: Tedious gameplay and poor engine stability
Moral Warnings: Mentions of intense violence (a head is decapitated, a man dies after being hit with a discus); some references to adultery; polytheistic themes associated with Grecian mythology; references to magic

However, the game is more than just predictable Match-3 levels (although it has so many of those it can get downright tedious). It also has little minigames where the genre shifts completely in some intermission scenes, generally "find the hidden objects in the scene" or some memory match style puzzles, and while these are skippable, they do provide an occasional welcome diversion from the hordes of Match-3 levels, which are so numerous as to be boring in their length to complete. There is also no "reshuffle the board if no moves are left" mechanic, forcing level restarts, further padding gameplay length.

And that is one main thing about this game that may be a turn-off. It has so many Match-3 levels some feel like blatant padding, and if it gets to the point where you are fighting the urge to sleep instead of play another level, the developer is doing something wrong if you ask me. Again, there is no free play mode like the preceding game, which would have been better instead of cramming tons of extraneous levels in the campaign, but that's just me.

Graphics are colorful with a Grecian mythos twist, and the cutscenes tend to use a style that resembles reliefs on Grecian pottery depicting the scenes from the legends of Perseus. These generally look good and fit the themes well. Sound, on the other hand, it not as varied. There are about three different soundtracks, and they will get boring fast, and while they sound perfect to the high fantasy tone of Grecian mythos with flutes and orchestral vocals, they get quite repetitious. Sound effects are also limited to some ambient background noises and the chime effect when you match up items in gameplay, and they do an adequate job of setting the mood if nothing else.

Controls and stability go hand in hand, and unlike the previous Alchemist's Tale game, this game did get some ergonomic improvements, and the mouse feels very responsive, to the point it can be TOO responsive at times, as the game speed is rather fast by default. The menus allow taking breaks and saving progress more frequently even during some intermission scenes. On the bad side of the ledger, this game does not Alt+Tab well nor stay stable, as it's prone to occasional crashing.

The Adventures of Perseus
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 74%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 64%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 6/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

On the moral side of things, this is a game based on Grecian myth; and while the game creator went for a sanitized version of the Perseus legends, it still has some parts of serious concern.

The violence depicted in the story sections is pretty low, aside from one brief scene where Perseus clearly cuts off Medusa's head, but they kept the graphical depiction rather sterile - no blood or gore depictions. The language is also pretty clean, and while there are mentions of sexual activity (Zeus, like usual, is described doing his usual "having a kid with a mortal" bit), they keep the description at "it happened" without going into details. In fact, this depiction of the Grecian legends even glosses over some later scenes of sexual content (the Nymph of the North is severely cut down to avoid covering that part), so while there are the unavoidable depictions of adultery, the game creator went out of their way to keep this pretty far out of the debauchery gutter.

Like most Grecian legends, this covers a story about a polytheistic world with fantasy creatures, magical artifacts and powers, and a lot of supernatural events. The gameplay involves the various Grecian gods granting you blessings (which will clear the board to some degree if you collect a certain amount of game tokens associated with them on the board) at various parts in the game, but it's clear this is just a shorthand for a Match-3 game mechanic out-of-universe.

On the cultural, moral, and ethical side of things, the game story defaults to the more sanitized and "nicer" versions of the Grecian legends of Perseus. So, while it still has some disagreeable moral scenes as mentioned above, it's about as tame as you can depict the original source canon without doing a downright Disney-level adaptation.

From where I'm sitting, if you don't mind marathon like Match-3 games with long levels (although this seems ironically appropriate given the Greek theme), then one can enjoy the gameplay, even if it is a bit padded and unstable in execution. As for the ethical side of things, if you can live with a fairly clean depiction of a legend stemming from Greek mythology with its associated themes, then this should be worth your time.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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