Mount Olympus Game Review: How Do You Lose The Gods?

I was a big fan of iCoolgeek’s first adventure game effort, Tesla’s Electric Mist, so excitement coursed through my veins when the chance came to beta test their second outing, Mount Olympus ($0.99). While I enjoyed the experience, the game just didn’t grab me like Electric Mist did. Now that I’ve completed the game I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed playing through the game, but there was a certain unevenness about the different chapters; and in the end, I never much cared about my end objective, which was to locate the missing gods. Ultimately, Mount Olympus just didn’t have the same spark as its predecessor.

You are a no name commoner, and you have been sent by your village to figure out what has become of the gods of Olympus, who have seemingly vanished. Even more odd is that the departure of said gods seems to have vacated the dwellings surrounding Mount Olympus as well. You’ll need to search through abandoned homes, solve thoughtful puzzles, and make your way to the Mount itself in order to uncover the fabled beings’ whereabouts. In typical adventure-game fashion you’ll explore various locations, pick up objects to help solve puzzles in other areas, and even engage in some mini-games to keep things fresh. Of course what it really felt like you were doing, more than anything else, was traipsing back and forth from one spot to another. This easily comprised 20 percent of the game.

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When you do finally stumble upon something to do, a majority of your tasks seem to be unlocking doors. This might mean simply finding and using the right key or it might involve playing one of several mini-games to open the lock, but in the end you become a glorified locksmith. Thankfully there were a couple of areas where key questing didn’t feel quite so prominent, but that’s part of the imbalance I’m talking about. While I realize the general progression of any adventure game is “get x and y to pass point z,” maybe a bit more variety could have been implemented. For example, there is one section where you have to enter a cave that has been blocked by rocks, but this is the rare exception. More often then not you’re just trying to enter one door or another.

As for the mini-games, I will give the developer a gold star for branching beyond the standard fare you find in most adventure/hidden-object games. That’s not to say there weren’t some staple offerings, but a few of them were different and actually pretty cool. The problem here is that everything was a bit too easy. Now I’m not one to use a skip unless I absolutely have to, but the only time I ever even felt compelled to in Mount Olympus was when I was beta testing and one of the puzzles wasn’t working quite right. I don’t want to tear my hair out trying to solve these things, but at least force me to put a little more effort into them.

Aesthetically the game is certainly on par with Electric Mist. The backgrounds are nicely detailed and the few human beings we see are well rendered. The sound effects are okay, but personally I find the guard’s mumbling noises a bit annoying. Apparently I’m in the minority in that regard. I did rather enjoy the music, and I’m pretty sure each section had its own theme.

Mount Olympus was a decent adventure game, and a couple of years ago it might have made more of an impact since it was much more difficult to come across good old-fashioned “point and click” adventure games. There’s actually quite a bit to choose from these days though, and even this developer’s previous title outshines Mount Olympus. Still, it was a fun play through, and buying it would certainly help iCoolgeek’s ability to publish more cool adventure games. If you’re a fan of the genre I’d suggest giving it a try, but don’t expect to be overly wowed by the experience.

Overall Score: 3 out of 5 stars

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<p>Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to <a href="http://www.iphonelife.com/blog">iphonelife.com</a> and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.</p>