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Top Lesser-Known Games Based on World Mythology


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For centuries, mythology has been an endless wellspring of inspiration for storytellers. From classical masterpieces like James Joyce's Ulysses to modern novels like Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, the tribulations of legendary heroes from the past have been reimagined across literature. Mythological epics have been just as beloved on the silver screen, and the gaming industry has long followed suit.

Blockbuster hits like God of War and indie sensations like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and Hades have brought mythological tales to life with unparalleled creativity, hyping up gamers with much-awaited sequels. One of the hottest releases of the upcoming months, Hades II is expected to drop in early access in 2024. Apart from these widely-acclaimed crowd-pullers, numerous other titles inspired by mythology have received much less attention. So, let's dive into some lesser-known mythology-based games worth discovering.

Apotheon

Greek mythology never ceases to fascinate. From Assassin's Creed Odyssey to Immortals Fenyx Rising, gamers have more than a few titles at hand to fight side by side with Olympian gods and heroes. Apotheon doesn't stray far from this winning formula, as this unforgiving platformer pits you against deities who have plunged the Earth into darkness to punish mankind for its hubris. Taking on the role of Nikandreos, the last hero championing humanity, you embark on an expansive open-world adventure through Bronze Age Greece.

Guided by the goddess Hera, you undertake the daring quest to ascend Mount Olympus and rescue the human race. This high-octane tale with Metroidvania elements ups the ante with a multiplayer mode that allows you to engage in intense battles, complemented by a combat-focused free-online multiplayer extension, Apotheon Arena. As action-oriented as it is, Apotheon brings the heat with both a poetic flair and a profound reverence for Hellenic culture. Making Greek hieroglyphics come to life, the game's art style turns ancient Greek pottery into a stunning side-scrolling journey.

Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango might be one of the most influential games ever, so much so that it has been part of several museum exhibitions. Yet, this point-and-click mash-up of Art Deco influences, film noir aesthetics and Mexican folklore took its sweet time to reach cult status. A commercial failure at launch, this 1998 title was perhaps too unconventional to sell well. Decades later, Grim Fandango remains a pinnacle of dark comedy that left an enduring imprint on the entire adventure genre.

The story takes place in the Aztec Land of the Dead, where travel agent Manny Calavera helps recently departed souls make their way to the Ninth Underworld. For virtuous beings, a swift journey is all it takes to reach their final destination within four days, whereas those deemed less worthy face a gruelling four-year hike. When a disenchanted Manny finds himself denying the kind-hearted Meche a luxury train trip, he starts questioning his purpose and sets out to rescue this noble soul.

The Frostrune

The Frostrune plays out in a historically accurate Norse environment. Embodying a Nordic tradition of storytelling where magic and wonder coexist, this point-and-click adventure makes Scandinavian myths come alive in a gripping horror story told in Old Norse speech for extra authenticity. Finding herself shipwrecked on a desolate island, a young Viking girl sets out to uncover the secrets of a recently abandoned settlement surrounded by deep forests brimming with hidden relics and ancient rune stones. Although short-lived, this indie mystery will fascinate anyone interested in Viking mythology.

The Frostrune makes a solid addition to the ever-expanding list of Norse-inspired games, from Valheim to Jotun. Even the iGaming industry jumped on the Norse bandwagon, developing online slots like Valkyries of Odin or Loki & Thor. Many more free slots await on top-tier platforms. Tens of thousands of online pokies are accessible with the click of the mouse. Gamers with a thing for mythology can broaden their scope beyond Northern myths to explore the Egyptian pantheon or compare Greek deities with their Roman counterparts. If gifted with the Midas touch, players might even switch to real money slots unless they'd rather grab free spins to get extra chances of winning.

There is something timeless about the folktales told by generations past, be they of unlikely heroes struggling against divine foes or mysterious legends springing to life. Such stories have lived on to inspire authors, filmmakers, and game creators. Besides the lesser-known entries listed above, history buffs and mythology enthusiasts can also explore titles such as Raji: An Ancient Epic, Mulaka, and The Mooseman.

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