From Age of Mythology to Hades and Titan Quest, Greek mythology has a rich and storied history as inspiration for a plethora of video games. And now, Polygon Treehouse and Whitethorn Games are getting in on the action, so as a lover of Greek mythology, I decided to try out the Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island preview at PAX East 2023.
Mythwrecked stars Alex, a young backpacker who ends up - what else? - shipwrecked on a mysterious island. The demo of the game takes you around the first part of the island, following Alex’s quest for food and shelter, not to mention a way to contact anyone else off of the island. While she doesn’t quite get all she’s looking for, she ends up meeting the Oracle, albeit in a slightly unusual form.
Armed with the Oracle’s “Ambrosidex” which acts as a cellphone for just the island, Alex then meets Hermes and sets out to increase her friendship with him and slowly unravel the mystery of what happened to the Greek gods and why none of them can seem to remember it. It’s a tall order, but Alex proves herself to be resourceful and forthright, even in just the first half hour of the game, so she seems up to it.
Most of the gameplay involves walking around the island and completing tasks, helpfully indexed on Alex’s Ambrosidex. The conversation mechanic is really important in the game, as new conversation topics are discovered they’ll not only allow Alex to ask further questions about the mystery but will unlock further conversations and interactions with the island’s inhabitants. It’s nice and relaxing, at least, for the player it’s relaxing since we’re not the ones stranded on the island.
The character designs are pretty excellent so far, as are the shoutouts to Greek mythology - for example, Hermes, known for his winged sandals, is very good friends with the birds on the island and requests Alex’s help feeding them. The only complaints I really have are that, I didn’t need to see Hermes in a speedo and, all of the characters seem to have this permanent, wide-eyed stare to them. I’d think it was done on purpose to emphasize the amnesia if it weren’t for the fact that Alex has this too, which makes her look slightly alarmed all of the time.
Unnamed so far but presumably the titular Ambrosia Island, the island is lush and full of different places and things to explore, and it’s clear that there is going to be a lot more to uncover, judging by the number of characters I had yet to even catch a glimpse of in the demo. Not to mention it’s a pretty sweet tropical island in the Mediterranean, and as my ridiculous time log in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey proves, that is absolutely one of my weaknesses.
Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island brings amnesia, mystery, and friendship to a bright, tropical getaway in spades. Alex makes for a great protagonist with a good head on her shoulders, and the central question of what happened to the Greek gods is intriguing enough to hook you in from the get-go. Though I think the next time I visit, I might go by plane rather than boat. I’m not keen on getting shipwrecked, personally.
Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island was previewed on an early build at PAX East 2023.