Argonus and the Gods of Stone Review

The game tells the tale of Argonus, a historian aboard the famous ship Argo that comes to grief thanks to the alluring song of the Sirens. Fortunately, the island where you’re stranded is filled with temples to the gods; the bad news is that the gods are kind of jerks, and will only help you incrementally—and only if you do them a solid first, a process that includes figuring out what it is that they actually want.“Argonus” is a lonely and fascinating first-person “story-telling” adventure game. It’s less about solving puzzles and more about unraveling the island’s mysteries and appeasing the Greek Gods. There is no text, per se, to read in this adventure game. Everything is told in voice-overs most of which is narrated, quite elegantly, by Betsy Brantley (Princess Bride, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). The story is the main attraction here and it is delivered to us in a particularly effective manner. I found myself looking forward to what was coming next and the setting was constructed with a clear love for the long-standing classical mythology of ancient Greece in a way that frequently resulted in me simply stopping and taking in scenes along the way.

In case the trailer up above isn’t clear enough, it’s definitely aimed at a retro audience, but unlike Shadowgate it comes off like a modern take on an old-style, rather than just old—although be warned that it’s still perfectly happy to leave you hanging with no idea of what you’re supposed to do next. he Argo, famed ship of hero Jason and his Argonauts, has been pulled onto sharp rocks by a siren’s song and now lies shattered in shallow waters. When you discover the fate of your stalwart companions, you must make a deal with a goddess – Stop the blight that has taken untold lives in return for safe passage home or risk succumbing to the bedevilment that stalks this isle…

Fortunately, the world seems to be designed in a way to facilitate this process and traveling to any location takes only a few minutes tops from any other location. The puzzle portion of the game is relatively simple and mostly involves finding the right item to use at the right time. adventure game logic: Starting a fire, for instance, will require finding a ladder, praying to a giant statue of Hera, and shearing a sheep, among other things. The game world doesn’t feel particularly dense, but it’s pretty, and the music is nice once you turn it down a bit. It’s not as punishing as its predecessor—it won’t instantly kill you for looking in the wrong direction—but even so it’s a very old-school sort of experience that has you shipwrecked on an island in mythological ancient Greece that’s filled with alarmingly lifelike stone statues. While the hunt for items might be a bit much for some, those that persevere will be treated with a wonderful tale that the developers say is inspired by 60s and 70s fantasy films.I tend to be neutral on this feature in most games and I never really go out of my way to gather sets of items unless they have a tangible benefit. You’re introduced to these fairly early on, though they, unfortunately, become integral to progression as you move forward. I rode on quite a high through this title other than when it was unnecessarily bogged down by this aspect, particularly toward the end where I searched the entire island to find a specific object to interact with and simply couldn’t find it even after an hour of looking in every nook and cranny. Needless to say, the immersion and excitement of the adventure up to that point slowly melted away as I found myself knowing exactly what to do but unable to do it due to a game of hide-and-seek. Some areas are blocked and unreachable until you solve the puzzles to unlock that area. Puzzles take the form of searching the island for clues and items you can pick-up. Then use said items to interact with other items that yield different results.

If a yellow hand shows up it means you can take the item or interact with it. The only quibble here is a lot of times you need to move in closer to an item that has an open circle on it to get the yellow hand to show up. I made this mistake early on, assuming an item was just an “examine”, which caused some unexpected backtracking. There is a cool map/journal feature in “Argonauts”. Circles of interest are placed on your map after you complete that area’s objectives. Clicking on them unfolds an awesome story segment that appears via hand drawings whereby segments are unveiled by fading in. Although it has an intriguing story that feels like a Greek mythology greatest hits collection, Argonus and the Gods of Stone impresses with a fresh setting and the transposition of the puzzle-adventure genre into the world of ancient gods and heroic characters. Playing through it can be frustrating at times, thanks to technical issues, and overall aimlessness, and puzzles that are made challenging by their dependence on hard to find objects and an inconsistent interface. With a bit more polish, focus and quality of life enhancements, Argonus and the Gods of Stone would impress all the more.


I very much enjoyed my time with it other than the occasionally hidden object aspect which acted as a number of speed bumps along the way and kept this from being a near-perfect title. I would still recommend it to anyone interested in an adventure game that isn’t going to challenge them too much as long as they’re fine with the lack of combat and the aforementioned hidden object element. However, I would boost that up to highly recommending this to anyone who enjoys Greek mythology and would enjoy a nice, mostly casual romp through a great story and setting. Despite all the first grade humor that permeates the dialogues (or maybe – thanks to it?) the Estonians offered us – the Western civilization – a hard pill to swallow. And – as consumers – swallow it we should. I guarantee that by doing it you will forget everything else that has happened in the RPG genre during the last years. And you will not regret it