I really need to get a laptop to game on again. Like really. Or this game needs to be released for the PS3 (and not just PS4!) so I can enjoy it in my natural habitat. Apotheon is a 2D platform action-RPG set on the rich stage of ancient Hellenic mythology and visually made to resemble the art on ancient aphorae. Apotheon started as 'space Greek mythology' before the studio dropped the 'space' part and realized classical mythology alone is a great source for stories that translates well to video games. It takes the gameplay of classic side-scrollers like 'Legend of Zelda II' and 'Castlevania' and applies it to the side of an Athenian amphora, bringing the art of ancient Hellas to vivid life--and I need to play this game!

Okay, so it isn't exactly on point with its mythology. In 'Apotheon', you play Nikandreos, a soldier on a quest to defeat Zeus when Hera calls on him to bring down the corrupt pantheon of Hellenic Gods. As Fastcodesign describes so gloriously:

"That's pretty much the same plot as Sony's bloody, boob-heavy 'God of War' franchise, but where the latter might task you with, say, ripping the skull and spinal column out of Hermes, Mortal Kombat-style, and then using it as a flail to beat Aphrodite to death, Apotheon is a more lyrical affair, as elegant as the art that inspired it."

The game's biggest design innovation is its art style, which matches the ruddy silhouetted look of black-figure and red-figure art that took over Greek pottery between the late sixth century and early fourth century BC. Alientrap artist and co-designer Jesse McGibney talked to Gamasutra about the choice of style:

"The Black Figure pottery art style seemed like a no-brainer. It's simple to animate, bold and easy to read, transitions great into a 2D platformer perspective, and perfectly meshes with the narrative and theme. We were honestly surprised that hardly any games have used this style before.

"Pretty early on in concepting we realized that a totally literal adaptation of Black Figure art wouldn't work very well. Obviously, a big part of an open world game is the environments, so we had to expand the style to show buildings, caves, forests, and many other locations that are totally absent in the source material. We're trying to create a unified language through the use of patterns and geometric shapes that are common throughout all the elements."

Something else the team had to contend with is that the art on ancient Greek pottery tended to be very flat, with no backgrounds or overlapping elements, which doesn't make for visually exciting or readable environments in a video game.

"In order to make it work in the game world, things in the background are faded out and there are parallax layers further back. If we didn't do these things, the game world would be extremely sparse and boring. The background of Black Figure pottery is just... red. Player communication is also very important, and it's really hard to do that with only one color. If all the characters were black, all the items were black, all the environmental elements were black, it would be very difficult to tell what was important and what wasn't.

"We added splashes of color to draw the player's eye and let them know what they're seeing at a glance. Enemies all have red in them, the player is green, health items are bright red, money is yellow, etc. The Black Figure style is a great starting point, but we're trying to be flexible with it where the gameplay experience is concerned."

Apotheon is AlienTrap’s second commercial game. It was released in February, 2015 for Steam and PS4. The regular price is $15,00 but it's currently on sale on Steam with a 75% discount and can be purchased from here.