Hera Worship: Apotheon Is The Prettiest Of Pretties

By Craig Pearson on February 25th, 2012 at 8:34 am.

Click for huge pretties
Alientrap’s new platform game, Apotheon, is pretty. A 2D platform action-RPG set in Greek mythology, where you’ll fight your way to the top of Mount Olympus. It’s the age old tale of a champion fighting for humanity against the wife and usurper of Zeus, Hera. We’ve all been there, battling Greek gods, stealing their powers, controlling the elements. I was doing just so last night, cleverly disguised as eating pork dumplings and prawn crackers while slumped in bed rewatching Doctor Who. If you squinted, you’d have seen the truth.

I’m not on that easily impress – ooh, a raisin! – ed, and all there is is a few lines of what the game has to offer and these screenshots, but it’s Saturday, the sun is *double-checks* shining, and I had some tasty food last night, so I’m in a positive frame of mind. Alientrap are showing it off at GDC, so we can expect more cooing over the gorgeous art style very soon.

Mythmas has come

, , , , , , .

55 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Digging the black figure ware aesthetic

    Maybe I’m just naive and innocent, but why the “Not Porn” tag. I mean technically it is correct, but that seems like kind of a given really.

    • Premium User Badge

      Craig Pearson says:

      An errant tag from an earlier draft. Like a ghost tag. OoOoooOooOooooOoOoo.

    • DK says:

      You do have to clarify when dealing with greek mythology. Those were some horny buggers.

    • EpicGlottis says:

      You need to sign up for the RPS Gold Membership to get all the porn posts.

    • Bhazor says:

      I particularly like Sasha Grey’s hardware reviews. I’d have never thought Saitek Cyborg Flightstick could be so… versatile. Or tasted like pennies.

    • mckertis says:

      “Those were some horny buggers. ”

      Not to mention gay. Every last one of them. (actually true (c))

    • Lowbrow says:

      Well, some were gayer than others. The Spartan love of the butt was a common theme in Athenian plays (see Lysistrata).

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      So the Spartans were the butt of many an Athenian joke?

    • Synesthesia says:

      Time for some irrumatio, mckertis!

  2. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    It’s Saturday, the sun is shining, but I had a most terrible meal last night so my mindset this morning is somewhat more shitty.
    And yet I still think this looks very pretty. I’m hoping for some kind of Ancient Greek Metroidvania-like.

    But why is it, that for all the indie platformers I have on Steam, I very rarely finish them?

  3. Premium User Badge

    Jarmo says:

    The long spear (sarissa) depicted in the blue image would be a very useful piece of equipment in many a platformer.

    Fitting armament for a wannabe god-botherer.

    • Lowbrow says:

      Sarissa is actually a Macedonian term. You wouldn’t see anyone in full armor using one.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jarmo says:

      Well, it’s certainly not a dory. A single champion on a godslaying jaunt is probably going to pick and choose any combination of gear he deems suitable and not hold to established phalanx doctrine. Especially as he has no phalanx, just himself. Conventional encumbrance considerations hardly matter to such an exceptional individual of probably heroic strength.

  4. Nathan_G says:

    Just wanted to draw attention to this game, Hellas, from TIGSource. It’s got a remarkably similar visual style, as has been discussed in the TIGSource thread, so I just wanted to make sure it gets a bit of publicity alongside Apotheon because it’s going to be eclipsed by the more well-known studio otherwise.

    • Defiant Badger says:

      Thanks for the link. It’s also a shame when that happens.

    • BurningPet says:

      I like this one aesthetics even more. it captured the spirit but avoided the clutter apotheon seem to have.

    • Nathan_G says:

      Yep it’s a shame for NinjaDodo certainly, as although the two games apparently play very differently they do look alike. It’s all very civilised in the discussion though so it’s certainly no Ninja Fishing debacle.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Bad timing I guess. But yeah, hopefully people will be interested in playing both.

    • Khemm says:

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention!
      This aesthetic looks so great.

  5. Prince says:

    Mmm, Spectrummy.

  6. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Lap of the Gods? Is that what I’m thinking of?

  7. SkittleDiddler says:

    It’s nice to see an indie game that doesn’t look like a 16-bit retread.

    Purdy.

    • motorsep says:

      Don’t mean to hijack the thread, especially that I know Alientrap, but if you look at Tomes of Mephistopheles, it certainly raises the bar for the quality of indie games ( http://tom.kot-in-action.com ). Although I still can’t believe RPS totally ignores the game :/

    • Voon says:

      Oh, this x100000

      Not that I have anything against 16-bit stuff, but they’re just too much of it these days. Almost every single indie platformer, or any indie title, tend to have a 16-bit theme.

    • RandomName says:

      @motorsep

      Its pretty obvious that you are trying to hijack the thread, stating that your link “raises the bar for indie games” but neglecting to mention that you’re the developer of the game, and oh, you’re looking for money.

      If you want to shill, you should at least put the effort in to create a fake account.

  8. StickyNavels says:

    Oh my. Attican black-figure pottery is just lovely. I had a similar platformer in mind, but never did much more than concept art. Awesome stuff, this!

  9. Kefren says:

    I wonder if you get a power up later in the game that transforms things into Attic red-figure style, perhaps letting you flow more easily but not be as tough?

  10. Premium User Badge

    mrpier says:

    Oooh, a hoplite, now I want to play rome total war again.

  11. Bhazor says:

    Can never have too many Metroidvanias.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I checked on their website and it will be openworld. That was one of my problems with Capsized, I found the mission structure limiting.

  12. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    What about the animation? Most platformers, regardless of aesthetic tend to be lacking in this most basic yet crucial aspect.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    For some reason all I could think about from the screenshots was GODS:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-glKnmwblc

    And how I couldn’t get further than about level 2. Was the game really that hard, or am I just awful at platformers?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      GODS was in that 16 bit era when everything had to be “more” than the 8 bit era that had come before. More colors. More sound. More levels. More powerups. More harder.

      It was a punishing game that rewarded memorization and execution. You had to have the will to keep trying stuff, and the focus to remember all the mistakes not to make that you would build up over time.

      And success strongly was influenced by your knowledge of a lot of relatively difficult to discover secrets that were pretty arbitrary.

      GODS was fairly hard.

    • Nathan_G says:

      Oh man, I completely forgot about that game. I LOVED Gods. Going to have to track that down and have a play.

    • Premium User Badge

      DrScuttles says:

      I had GODS on the Amiga. It was insanely hard and I don’t know if I ever completed the first world, but then I was about 7 or 8 at the time.
      I’m remembering another game that seemed to play similarly… Deep Core, I think? Set in some underwater base and more futuristic.

    • Premium User Badge

      Peptidix says:

      That was one brilliant game, I think I got quite far in it.

  14. Tuco says:

    It sure looks pretty.
    Let’s hope for good animations, too. And a good game in general, of course.

  15. equatorian says:

    Between Rock of the Ages,Okami and this, I think more games should be using classical art as an aesthetic inspiration. This is so lovely I don’t even. (Not to mention that, since most games tend to look like comic books or movies, it makes them stand out.)

    • Defiant Badger says:

      Yeah, one of the things I really liked about Rock of ages going through the various stages of art history was how the levels reflected that era.

      For instance while the Medieval maps were very bumpy, confusing and full of obstacles, the Renaissance maps were incredibly sweeping, geometrical and smooth.

      This is probably one of my favourite things about the game because it really gives you a kinesthetic feel for these different ages, something that I, as a bit of an art geek, really value.

  16. InternetBatman says:

    I was actually just looking at this game on my own yesterday after remembering I had Capsized. I found Capsized to be a bit dull but absolutely gorgeous. I was coming off Aquaria though, so I had a pretty high standard for indie games at that point.

  17. Network Crayon says:

    I’m suprised no ones done something in this style already. Wonderful stuff.

  18. Muzman says:

    This is Strata?

  19. Skabooga says:

    Would I be shallow to only like a game for its looks?

    • motorsep says:

      Join the club. I do appreciate good visuals in games and I don’t understand why a lot of indies refuse to embrace 3D world with high quality art assets.

    • Voon says:

      @motorsep

      Probably because they lack the budget, if not the capabilities to do so.

    • motorsep says:

      The issue is that such situation created a precedent for us. We have had issues with media coverage because we don’t make 16bit looking games.

      While these 8/16 bit looking games see the light of the day all the time, our games don’t (Steel Storm, Tomes of Mephistopheles). We have been told that we don’t fit into the indie trend. Kot-in-Action doesn’t make weird games that IGF judges love, it doesn’t make 8/16 bit looking games and therefore Kot-in-Action is not trendy.

      RPS only published news once about Steel Storm and they did first impressions on Steel Storm: Ep1, which had been out for like a year already. So they reviewed wrong part of the game :) And that fine, but when I have been asking them to give a shot to a new episode and review it, they never got back with me (that episode is Steel Storm: Burning Retribution).

      Now that we have released alpha of Tomes of Mephistopheles (as alpha funding project), our new game ( http://tom.kot-in-action.com ) and I’ve sent PR to RPS more than once and offered alpha to them, I feel that we are being ignored once again as I haven’t seen any indication of RPS publishing the news about it :(

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      @allofyou

      I think you are all making the mistake of equating 3D to better. I recently finished Aquaria. It’s 2D side-scrolling and absolutely gorgeous.

      3D is so much easier to get wrong too. And what’s the relevance of the graphics in a game anyway if the story is bland and completely generic? If games don’t generate some level of emotional attachment, whether it be to a character, a setting or in the satisfaction of completing challenges, then it’s going to have a hard time being engaging, no matter what it looks like.

      In most cases I believe the graphics should serve the setting and gameplay, not the other way round. The argument about what graphics style is better is pointless, because you can gave great looking pixel-art, bad looking pixel art, good looking low poly 3D, bad looking high poly 3D – whatever.

    • RakeShark says:

      I’ll agree that indie 3D action games with a gimmick should be covered just as often as indie 2D 8/16-bit games with a gimmick.

      However, since you have cited the game you’re making, I have gone to you site, read your “About” and planned features, and seen the alpha video.

      I want to say this in the nicest way possible.

      It needs more work. Especially those sound effects. My ears.

    • Rawrian says:

      Thing is, visual consistency and unique style matters. Shouldn’t really matter if the game is in 3D or 2D, look at Rock of Ages. But for some reason, a lot of 3D games visuals look kind of generic.

    • RandomName says:

      @motorsep

      The reason your game doesn’t get attention is not that “you don’t fit into the indie trend”, but that your game doesn’t have any style at all. It looks like the an ultra generic first person RPG from the nineties.

      The gameplay also shows nothing interesting. Your video shows some poorly animated slashing at a skeleton, some poorly animated chest opening, and some VERY poorly animated fireball throwing. I can’t imagine why I would want to play that.

      How about working on making your game good before complaining that it doesn’t get any coverage?

  20. ribobura osserotto says:

    I’m surprised no one mentioned Bitmap Bros classic platfomer GODS, yet. It was one of the first games (if not THE first) to approach greek Mythology in a fairly similar aesthetic. The goal of the game was actually quite similar as well: defeat the guardians to earn your place amongst the gods in mount olympus.

    http://www.mobygames.com/game/gods

  21. motorsep says:

    @RakeShark: That’s the whole point of alpha funding. The game is only 2-3 month into production. Alpha is plenty to show the game’s potential. Especially alpha #2 we are about to release (including new video). Press shouldn’t be selective in what indie game to cover. Tomes of Mephistopheles needs alpha funding to secure further full-time development. It will enable us to hire professional sound engineer or buy us equipment and time to record sounds. Without coverage, non of that will happen our studio will simply close down, the game will continue to be worked on the “when we can” basic and will never reach its full potential. Needless to say that it will never be finished in 2 years or so, but rather will be finished in 6 years.

    I am surprised gamers still don’t get the idea behind alpha funding :(

    Interstellar Marines acquired $1.5 millions in alpha funding when the game was at about the same stage as Tomes of Mephistopheles. It’s been a while now and they have not even released playable downloadable version yet.

    NOTE: If anyone reading this thread has access to “the body” of RPS or any other prominent news website, could you please help us to get into the news? Thank you.

  22. pbbpbb says:

    NEW
    Online Store:
    ( http://www.paybuybuy.com )
    you can find many cheap and fashion stuff