Argonus and the Gods of Stone

 

 

 

Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Zojoi

Publisher:    Zojoi

Released:   October 8, 2019            

Requirements (minimum):

 

  • OS: Windows 7 or higher (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD equivalent 
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 450 or higher
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
 

 

 

By flotsam

 

Argonus and the Gods of Stone

Zojoi

As the Steam page says, in this game you play as Argonus, a historian and cartographer, who awakes to find himself lost on strange shores. The Argo, famed ship of hero Jason and his Argonauts, has been pulled onto sharp rocks by a sirenís 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 passage from the shores or risk succumbing to the bedevilment that stalks this isle.

It's a muted but detailed realm, and a free-ranging place to explore. Go just about anywhere you want, using the WASD keys (or other controls of your choosing) and "steer" with the mouse. Locations will open up to you as you solve the various conundrums, and a map will keep track of the places you have been. I found it useful in backtracking and revisiting areas.

It pays to be patient, and to pay attention. You won't find everything you need for various conundrums right there in front of you, and clues can be subtle. So explore carefully, go back and look some more, and listen and look with an attention to detail.

I did think it too often strayed into being a somewhat directionless treasure hunt. Obviously if you have found the things you need, there is no problem; if you havenít, there is not often any indication as to where or what it might be. Most things you need will be apparent with careful exploration (you only have yourself to blame if you donít look in all the buildings for instance), but not always. The ingredients for the potion were a case in point Ė I just had to keep looking all over until I found the necessary plants Ė and the endgame is a particularly frustrating example. Indeed, it almost caused me to give it away, but a thread on the Steam community forum helped, and I was ultimately pleased I finished.

As well, there are times you need more of something, so keep looking, and there was one occasion when I didnít know that was even the issue. To be fair, perhaps I missed a clue or two, and there are many that reward the diligent adventurer. There is also some redundancy built in; for instance there are many more pieces of wood to find than you actually need, and while I didnít find all the mosaic pieces, I found enough to suggest a way forward.

The openness is a big plus, although it will expand your backtracking, whether that be a necessary part of a particular puzzle or simply to look again for whatever it is you didnít find. There were many sessions of gameplay where I just enjoyed the relaxed exploration itself, filling in areas in my map and taking in the sights and sounds.

In that regard, it looks good, sounds good, and is nicely narrated. Almost all the story unfolds through the narration, so the fact that it is top notch is another plus. Ambient sound and the musical score are equally strong, and different areas have different environmental conditions, further adding to the tapestry.

I mentioned being pleased I went on, which was mainly because I found the end rather satisfying. It seemed more appropriate than many I had imagined. The recently added post credit sequence is also positive.

The puzzling is primarily of the find and use items appropriately type, but donít leave your powers of deduction at home. Save at will, and as many times as you like, and choose Continue from the main menu to pick up where you left off. You can examine items in your inventory, and drag them to be used in the game world. An array of hot spot icons indicate actions that can be undertaken, although your proximity and orientation can be a factor in the relevant icon activating. Tweak settings to suit. You donít die and there is no action that requires anything from you.

You will come across more than a few characters from Greek mythology, and petition more than one god. I am no expert in these things, but enjoyed the steady mythological diet.

Notwithstanding my treasure hunt frustrations, over what was many hours of searching and wandering (and wondering) I had a fundamentally good time as Argonus.

 

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-9700k 3.7 GHz

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB

 

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