Those of us of a certain age will remember rushing to finish our work in school so we could jump on the computers and play whatever flash-based game was all the rage at the time. With basic graphics that look something akin to the dreadful Zelda games that released on the Philips CD-i, Zeus Quest Remastered: Anagenissis of Gaia is a point and click which takes on a similar appearance to those games, with the character models looking like they might just have popped out of the world of the Wand of Gamelon.
Pitched as a ‘silly’ adventure, Zeus Quest tries to tackle its wacky plot through the use of humorous dialogue and far-fetched characters. Zeus, the Boss of Olympus, plummets down to earth in his spaceship and must assemble the parts of a time machine in order to return himself to orbit. Like the majority of point and click adventures, gameplay then consists of solving a series of puzzles by picking up items from the scenery or from certain characters before using them on or giving them to other characters.
What makes a good point and click, however, is for these puzzles to be cleverly written, and on this front Zeus Quest is very hit and miss. Some items need to be blended together while others require the use of Zeus’s mainstay items like his lightning bolt and this golden orb thing which supercharges objects when poured. Where and when these must be used is more often than not unclear, with a memorable unclear one being a VIP card which does not in fact let you in to a VIP club but must instead be given to a woman in a completely different scene. The fact that some objects have to be interacted with several times before yielding the item or event that you need is cruel too – it’s very easy to try tapping every object once, but requiring players to tap things three or four times quickly edges into boring territory.
But there are more major mishaps – some objects simply do not respond to your inputs when you press the buttons. A puzzle early on required interacting with a pile of rocks – though stumbling across this is tricky without a guide – but after several unsuccessful taps, this could only be interacted with when closing the game and continuing.
Another issue is the hint system, which offers you one clue before requiring three minutes to recharge. When this is being helpful, it will highlight the specific object you must do something to and send you on your merry way. But when the object you need to use next is in a different scene, the hint system only points you towards the button to return to the map screen – you then have to wait three minutes for another clue and even then you still don’t know what the correct scene you’re supposed to be in is. That’s not how hints are supposed to work. The hint system also boobs by pointing you towards the thing, with one puzzle requiring you to pick flowers, but the hint system just directed towards the flowers and neglecting to mention the requirement of giving them life by ensuring water flow in another scene.
Zeus Quest is very clearly a title of its time – first released in 2008, it has contemporaries on WiiWare which make use of the same style of visuals and gameplay. But it’s not a style which evokes nostalgia.
Zeus Quest Remastered £7.99
Zeus Quest has too many bugs and irritations to be any good. Humour is alright in places, but otherwise it just feels forced and unauthentic.