Title: Depths of Fear: Knossos
Platform: Windows, Steam

Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Adventure, Action, Rouge-like
Players: Single player

Written by Whistler 5th May 2014

According to Greek mythology, Minos was king of Knossos however when his son was born deformed his heart grew cold which led him to tasking Daedalus with the construction of the labyrinth. Within the labyrinth the Minos’ son, the Minotaur was sealed where seven daughters and sons of Knossos would be offered to him as sacrifices.

Depths of Fear: Knossos is a first person action-adventure game for PC developed by Dirigo Games (which by the way I feel I should mention consists of one guy) and published by Digital Tribe that sees you the player assuming the role of Theseus, the heir to the throne of Athens and son of Poseidon.
As Theseus you volunteer yourself to be sent down into the Labyrinth where you must challenge the eight trials in unlock the mythical sword and end the Minotaur’s reign of terror over Knossos once and for all.

DOFK presents an engaging gameplay that blends various mechanics such as platforming, combat, stealth, exploration and light puzzle solving.

Each trial follows a similar formula which sees the player going through two levels and a boss level; in the first level the player must traverse the maze while grabbing whatever items and loot they can find whilst fighting lesser enemies, searching for the key to the next floor and avoiding the trial’s boss.
The second floor is much the same with the addition of the deadly roaming Minotaur, and finally the third level will see you fighting the trial’s boss.

As you enter one of the first trials the first thing the player should notice is a note pinned to the door which warns you of the Satyr (this trial’s boss);
this early in the game he is far out of the player’s league and would most likely destroy the inexperienced if confronted in direct combat thus indirectly the newcomer to utilize stealth which adds a lot of tension, atmosphere and entertainment as you explore the mazes as efficiently and sneakily as you can.

Even once you start to gain a little gold and arm yourself properly the game will find ways to catch you off guard with various deadly traps, new bosses or and even the obstacle courses need to nab some of the keys all of which will be a different experience each time with procedurally generated levels adding rouge-like elements along with frantic gameplay.  

However combat does tend to be a bit messy as there is little to no kind of weight to most of the player’s and the enemies’ attacks which makes fighting really awkward at times which does hurt the overall experience Depths of Fear has to offer.

Knossos’ visuals receive a very mixed reaction from me personally, models tend to look a bit basic and certain enemies tend to look like they’re sliding across the floor instead of actually moving on it (which effects combat as mentioned) and certain models aren’t the greatest to look at. However level design is a different matter entirely, Depths of Fear is a breath of fresh air with a long forgotten mythical Greece setting and a combination of smooth textures, clever lighting and surprisingly colourful backdrops (seems Poseidon liked his hues), Depths of Fear creates a really nice blend of atmosphere consisting of horror, fantasy and adventure.

While some will criticize Depths of Fear: Knossos for its shortcomings such as the average combat or clunky animations; I for one am incredibly pleased with this title as it holds some charm many other titles don’t with genuinely fun faced paced gameplay, impressive indie visuals and a fairly solid playtime depending on player skill and luck.

While there is no multiplayer (Co Op would be pretty sweet, hint hint), there’s still plenty on offer with this title considering its price of a train ride; Dirigo Games (Phil) has shown some real creativity and I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table next.

Great atmosphere,
Fun gameplay,
Balanced difficulty,
C’mon it was made by one guy!

Awkward combat,
Average models,
Poor animations.

Final verdict,
Depths of Fear: Knossos gets a 7/10 from me.

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