By Kim Goeller
What is an Interactive Adventure Game?
Adventure games have a few things in common. There
is usually a quest or ultimate mystery to unravel, and the
person on the quest is often the character controlled by the
player. Generally there are obstacles, challenges, and puzzles
that the player must contend with in order to fulfill his or
her quest. Wrath of the Gods combines many of the features
of an adventure game with stories from Greek mythology.
Players take the role of a prince who is on a quest to regain
his birthright. In the course of playing Wrath of the Gods you
steal the Golden Fleece from a fire-breathing dragon, fly
like Icarus with wings of wax and feathers, charm Cerberus,
outsmart the Cyclops, and encounter many other challenges
and puzzles from the Greek myths.
As is typical with interactive games, in Wrath of the
Gods the player will be collecting objects and gathering clues
along the way—nothing should be ignored. Each screen is
a different cinematic scene. Wrath of the Gods is non-linear,
meaning you are free to go through rooms and solve puzzles
in any order you want (within reason; some puzzles require
that others be solved first). As you acquire appropriate
inventory, you will roam the ancient terrain, interact with
mythical characters, and try to solve a multitude of puzzles
Who is “Our Hero”?
In addition to reading about the heroic exploits of
Hercules, Jason, Perseus, and others, you relive these
adventures in Wrath of the Gods. Instead of playing a specific
Greek hero, you play the role of an aspiring hero-to-be.
“Our Hero” is a composite of many of the heroes of Greek
mythology, and you will face a combination of the various
challenges they faced.
How Do You “Win”?
The player begins Wrath of the Gods with 100 points, and
additional points are awarded when puzzles and challenges
are solved. Players who solve every puzzle and successfully
meet each challenge (without consulting the Oracle for hints)
will finish the game with 500 points. Although there is a
point system, Wrath of the Gods was designed to encourage
experimentation and risk. Trial and error will solve a lot
of puzzles and ultimately provide a context for the stories
themselves. In contrast to many other graphic adventure
games, death is not the end of the road in Wrath of the Gods.
Instead, you will end up in Hades or on Mount Olympus
when you make a “mistake.” Your adventure will continue
in the Underworld or atop Olympus as you interact with
mythological characters who offer you clues to solve the
particular puzzles that resulted in your demise.
Basic Story Line of Wrath of the Gods
The introduction (accessed from the start-up screen)
depicts Our Hero’s early childhood and sets up the narrative
framework for the program. Like many of the Greek heroes,
Our Hero was abandoned at birth as the result of an oracle’s
prophecy, but he was taken in and cared for by a centaur who
raised him to manhood. Later in the game, Our Hero will meet
up with his grandfather and eventually rescue his mother from
evil King Minos. She then sends him on to find his true father.
The narrative does not get in the way of the player’s freedom
to decide what action to take at any moment in the game, and
many adventures are unrelated to the quest. The narrative
serves primarily to draw the player through the game.