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Rating: 4.3/5 (29 votes)
Comments (40) | Views (9,003)

KretaMaurizio Brancaleoni brings to life the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in this online Shockwave game played with special cards, but with an added twist.

According to the myth, Theseus goes into the labyrinth to slay the minotaur. Inside, he uses a piece of yarn that was given to him by his love, Ariadne, to mark his trail so he is able to find his way back out in the dark. In Kreta, however, you must enter the labyrinth as Ariadne and save Theseus before he becomes Minotaur feed.

The Minotaur is controlled by the computer, and its goal is to catch and kill you before you have a chance to free Theseus and escape. How both Ariadne and the Minotaur move are decided by special cards, of which you have 4 in your hand at all times. When a card is played, a new one is drawn from the deck, and the same goes for the Minotaur. There are several different types of cards, from simple movement cards to others with which you call on other figures from Greek mythology to aid you. For example, Medusa appears on a card who will cause the opposing player to turn to stone, thus making it unable to move. Each of these special cards also has a similar card that will reverse its effect. In the case of Medusa, you call upon Perseus—the Greek warrior in mythology who killed Medusa with his mirror shield—to set you free once again.

There are two (2) powerful cards available only to Ariadne: Zeus, who enables her to move one space in any direction, even through walls; and Aeolus, the Keeper of the Winds, who transports her to a point in the labyrinth of his choosing.

Knowing when to play your cards is important if you want to win, although the luck of the draw sometimes determines your fate. The game is original, well implemented, and features dynamically generated mazes to ensure a unique game play experience. And yet I found it to be fairly easy. It still kept me busy for a good 20 minutes or more as it is very enjoyable to play.

The game is in Italian as its primary language, but you can switch it to English on the first screen by clicking "English" in the lower left corner. Although I wish you the best of luck on your quest, I warn that maybe Theseus isn't the hero you thought he was.

Play Kreta


Jay, the game was simple fun, and yes, Theseus is a jerk. My only problem with it was that I often had to click on the cards 2 or 3 times for the game to respond. Is that normal?


That was a surprisingly simple and easy game... Maybe I'm just lucky but for about 10 turns I had the Minotaur turned to stone, confused, and 3 turtles on him. Hmm... I simply rescued the guy and walked away...

Capuchin August 5, 2005 9:14 PM

Kelly Aline: Yes i found that the game was sometimes unresponsive when selecting cards, I assume you are being too fast for the system? and it isnt ready to acknowledge it as "your turn". I have the added problem of a half-broken clicker on my mouse :)

David: As i said, the game relies vastly on your luck, if you are unlucky enough to get to a point where all you have is white cards (to reverse conditions), or a bad maze, youre pretty much doomed from the start, but the game cards are designed so that most of the time you have a way to get out by the time the minotaur can get to you.


Easy?! So far I have played the game 4 times and I have lost miserably every time: When I needed number cards, all I received were white cards; when turned to stone, all I received were number cards. Somewhere up high on Mount Olympus, the gods are laughing at me.

And I have not yet experienced any problems with selecting the cards. Probably a timing issue as Capuchin suggested.

All things considered, Capuchin it is an excellent game! A great find and a stellar review. Thanks for contributing to the site! =)


It's a fun little game, but what I don't understand is what is the Asclepious card for? It says it heals your ankle... but I didn't realize it was injured in the first place. o_O

Zantriel August 6, 2005 3:23 AM

Cool game, but the first time I played I had Medusa dropped on me from the start, then the confusion card, then the Minotaur played two rabbits. I on the other hand only got numbered cards. And my luck has not changed the 5 times I played the game. But it is still fun.

Khrisper August 6, 2005 4:46 AM

Grace - The card's used for healing the ankle as you said, and the enemy plays a card that may hurt your ankle, basikly when i played i could'nt move 5 spaces because of the hurt ankle, hope it helped...


Capuchin August 6, 2005 8:00 AM

Nearly Khrisper.

Grace: when you use the move 5 spaces card, you have a chance of breaking your ankle, indicated by an orange card that is created on your player. This only allows you to use the cards to move 3 spaces or less (meaning you can use hares to move up to 5 spaces, instead of the maximum 7). Ascelpius, the Greek god of healing and medicine will heal the broken ankle for you.

durka dur August 6, 2005 2:44 PM

I played Aeolus on the first turn and he plopped me down exactly on Theseus's square. I had to take a turn to move off the square, and then move back on for him to notice me.

Captain_Duck August 6, 2005 6:51 PM

What a horrible game. I played it through after trying a lot of times, but its really all about luck. Happened to me 3 times that i rescued the guy, was near the exit, and all i get are stupid healing cards for diseases i dont have, and in the meantime the minotaur gets hare's and movements and just gets me.


Yeah, this game is mucho luck. Once when I was playing Aeolus dropped me right on the minotaur. The minotaur didn't have the problem of not noticing that Theseus apparently has. Also, I finally beat Theseus out of the dungeon with Aeolus' help, but sadly, there wasn't a different ending screen as I had foolish hoped for.


I LOVE this game, but it causes my Internet Explorer to shut down often. Must be my computer...

sunshine August 8, 2005 1:57 PM

This would be cool against a real person too vs the computer.

Shastanna August 9, 2005 12:19 PM

Ok, I get to the guy, and I used the Perseus card, but my guy won't follow me!

What am I doing wrong?



Hi Shastanna - you need to get Ariadne onto the same square as Theseus to kiss and free him. Once you do, he will walk out of the maze on his own, and then you must then get out on your own to win the game.

Shastanna August 9, 2005 4:11 PM

Ahhhh, thanks Jay! I'll go back and try again.

Is there a special kissy card to make her kiss him?

:-) Just kidding...

Earl Grey August 11, 2005 12:09 AM

durka dur said "I had to take a turn to move off the square, and then move back on for [Theseus] to notice me."

That's men for you!!

Earl Grey August 11, 2005 12:25 AM

I really, really like this game. It's already been mentioned that it is simple and fun. It would be great if there was a two player version or even a board game!

Loved to play three games during coffee. There is a strategy for winning but then again I've never won three games to nil.

If you are getting turned into corned beef then, in a purely "no-spoiler" vein, please consider these hints:
- where are the better places to end up should you get hit with Medusa or Dionysus?
- how close can you be to the big M without getting hit on its next turn!
- how effective are rabbits and turtles?


I agree, Earl Grey, though certainly you must be playing during tea! =)

It is very much like a board game, and a two-player version would great indeed.

I keep coming back to give this one a go.


This game is great. I can't seem to get to the maker's website though. This game is pretty addicting for a few games. But I seem to be pretty lucky, I've lost only about 3 times out of 9. The things that would make this game much much better would be scoring (to see how I'm doing compared to others), and levels or difficulty settings (since it doesn't seem amazing hard once you get the hang of it). Maybe even a high scores list?
Soo, if anyone can pass this along to the maker, that'd be great. Even better if they feel up to making these changes!
Thanks for another great game Jay!


Hi everybody.
And finally here's me, the author. Ready to receive any bad and (hopefully) good comment about this game. I'm sorry to show up only now: just a couple if days ago a friend of mine warned me of a lot of pages referring to my little creature. I've to say I'm still very surprised of it, since I'm only a "normal" programmer who likes a lot creating and developing games; but sadly my job leaves me too little time to dedicate to this beloved activity.
Some answers to the previous messages.
First of all, my contacts: about a couple of months ago I was forced to change my website, since the old hoster was creating me a lot of problems, and the old name was lost. Now you can visit my new site (sorry, Carolyn) at
or email me at
[email protected]
Please, don't hesitate to do it: I like a lot to share "live" ideas and comments, and your support is really very appreciated.
Then, Kelly Aline: I'm very interested in the no-response timing problem. Could you send me a list about your system and browser and shockwave version, please? This is a serious issue for me, I decided to block the game to avoid contemporary moves, but what you reported definitely seems a bug.
Many thanks also to durka dur, I wasn't able to create the Eolus-jump-to-Theseus situation during development (I had only 10 days), but this is an unwanted behaviour and I need to correct it.
About the table version of the game: well, any table version should need a publisher, and this is really hard to find, at least here in Italy.
A two-human version? I'm thinking about it but I've some problems I'd like to share with you:
- the game should be based on a multiplayer server technology I'm not so expert of (but I'm studying it!), else I don't know how to hide the cards of a player to the other
- should the two players have the same odds or not? Currently the big M (great definition, Earl Grey!) can't draw the two god cards (Eolus and Zeus) and this is a clear disadvantage. Moreover, the chances to get hurted in the ankle when running are 30% for Minotaur and 20% for Ariadne: should be the same if two persons are playing?
Lastly, I don't know on what I could base a shared high scores list (Carolyn): elapsed real time? and it's really true that the quicker the better? moves? As many noted, this is basically a card game, so luck plays a really preminent role.

That's all: I don't want to block the board (already done?). Anyway thanks a lot for your attention to my game, and please contact me: any hint/comment from you is really appreciated.

And my special thanks to the mantainer of this incredible site: great work, Jay!


Fun game, but a bit too reliant on the luck of the draw.

Also, I played a card that moved Ariadne some squares past the (Medusa-frozen) Minotaur, but she took a route that moved her directly into his square and died, even though there were alternate routes in that maze around the Minotaur.


I'm sad--I really enjoyed playing this game. But it looks like it's been taken down--I get a "cannot find server" message when I click the link and Maurizio Brancaleoni's website is also gone.


I completely missed Branca's kind note from September... thank you! =)

Kate - I found the game and fixed the links. =D


Thanks, Jay--It's working!


I like this website, but I don't like this game...sorry it's just too hard

Coolbetti June 22, 2006 12:57 PM

the game is too big for my screen - I cannot click start! Any Ideas?


Coolbetti - The game window is quite tall (600 pixels) so if your computer's resolution is 800x600 the bottom is likely to be cut off.

I did just make a small change to the code that pops up the game window, so you may now be able to scroll down to view what is being cut off (the New Game button is at the very bottom of the window).

Jeremy Henderson July 24, 2006 8:25 PM

I think the game is a bit too random for my tastes. Get the right cards you win, get the wrong ones you lose. There doesn't seem to be a lot of strategy involved.

Plus the sound effects are just really, really unpleasant.


Hi, Jay:
I've been trying to play Kreta again for a while now. But when I click the links, I don't get a "full window" and can't scroll up or down, can't set the language to English, and can't even get to the "play" button. I used to play it all the time in the past and it didn't open up the way it is now. Is there something else I should try?


KellyMac, try this link


KellyMac - Sorry I didn't reply before when you posted this, but I changed the window that pops up so that it contains scroll bars. You shouldn't be experiencing the same problem as before. I just tested it myself and everything seems ok.


Great game! Really appeals to my love of ancient greek culture! After all, my full name happens to be an anagram of "Hellenic Homesick Anemia", a very dread disease indeed! Speaking of anagrams, I decided to see what Jay Is Games comes up with and of the many results the funniest, I think, is "Jays Ageism, the place where we won't hire you because you're too old (or possibly too young!)" Another good one which sort of applys to this site is "Jays Images" Amazing what's revealed in an anagram, isn't it? ;) I got all these from http://www.wordsmith.org/anagram/advanced.html in case your interested!


I think this game is a little unbalanced. If the minotaur plays a card on you and you can't counter it right away or within a couple of turns, the game is pretty much a writeoff. I've lost a good deal more games than I've won here.

I'm not totally certain, but whenever I've got Dionysus on Ariadne, she seems to wander in the general direction of the Minotaur. Also, whenever I've got Dionysus on the Minotaur, he manages to do a lot less backtracking than Ariadne does. In one game, he even managed to catch her while still under the influence!


The link seems to have changed. When i go to the site, a download prompt pops up requesting a download of Kreta.dir . You might want to find another host site, Jay.


Vividn - I'm guessing you have an Intel Mac, or you don't have the Shockwave Player installed.

If Shockwave isn't installed, or unavailable, your browser will try to download the file instead.

If you, like me, have an Intel Mac, you will need to run your browser in Rosetta mode for Shockwave to work, as there still is no universal binary for it.

For information on how to do that:

If you don't have an Intel Mac, then perhaps all you need to do is install Shockwave, a link for doing that is in the sidebar ("get Shockwave").


Did the developer ever fix the bug where you click on the card but it doesn't do anything?

Cos that's still happening to me.


after years i found this game again, still amazing


It appears that the game has been taken down, because when I click on the link I get the following message: The requested URL /ita/play/kreta.dcr was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Too bad as I'd been dropping in and playing it just about every week since it first appeared here.

Just wanted to let y'all know.


Hi Joe, thanks for the note. I was able to find the game file and host it here at JIG. I've updated the links in the review above.


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