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Don't Look Back is the exception rather than the rule -- as the God of War series so clearly indicates, Ancient Greeks could struggle against the hand that the Fates have cruelly dealt them, but to no avail. No amount of sweat, tears, or (in that case) blood will see you through to a happy ending. And nowhere is the futility of defying the gods spelled out more plainly than here, in a collection of mini-games inspired by Epyx's Summer Games line of computing antiquity, itself inspired by an ancient Greek sporting competition. In this game, the player gets to select one of numerous tragic antiheroes of Greek mythology (plus one bonus philosopher), folks who dared to defy the Gods of Olympus and were consigned in the afterlife to suffer a cruel and ironic punishment into perpetuity.

For instance, one of our options is to play the punishment of Sisyphus, forced eternally to push an enormous boulder up a slippery slope in Tartarus. By hitting keyboard keys at the right tempo, the player can get the rock rolled up the hill, but nothing can keep it from sliding back down again. Camus' existentialist philosophy used this as a model for a meaningless existence in a Godless world, positing that Sisyphus might enjoy a moment of happiness between losing his burden and shouldering it again. Here, it's all just good, clean fun. All of the mini-games are un-winnable, but the game will kindly track failed attempts.


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Alternate Titles

  • "The Greek Futility Games" -- Working title

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Pseudo_Intellectual (63606) added Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment (Browser) on Jan 24, 2012