Depths of Fear :: Knossos
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 7

There are plenty of things that I can fault about Depths of Fear, but at the end of the day and I had a lot of fun playing the game and it kept me hooked right to the end which is all that matters. It is an impressive piece of work considering that it was made by only one person and definitely provides a unique and memorable challenge. The excellent atmosphere and addictive gameplay makes it worth the effort.

Gameplay: A nice atmospheric blend of stealth and action.

Graphics: A little rough, especially the animations, but this doesn’t detract too much from the experience.

Sound: Great creature sounds and a very nice synthesizer based soundtrack

Summary 7.0 Good
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Depths of Fear :: Knossos

Developer: Dirigo Games | Publisher: Digital Tribe | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Playing as the legendary Greek hero and son of Poseidon, Theseus, you find yourself tossed into the labyrinth deep underneath the city of Knossos. Your goal is to survive and ultimately slay the Minotaur that stalks the dark hallways. Before you will be able to do so however you must first face and defeat the other mythical creatures that stand in your way as only with their medallions will you be able to unlock the magical sword needed to complete your quest.

Depths of Fear is an action title, played out in first person, where the focus is very much on stealth. Starting out from a central hub you have to take on mythical creatures like the Satyr, Cerberus, Centaur, Manticore, Griffin, Medusa and Hydra, each of which is prowling around in their own little lair. When I first started the game I ran into the Satyr lair sword in hand and ready to lay some smack down God of War style. The Satyr however, gave a horrific scream when it spotted me and then proceeded to disembowel my character before I could even swing my club more than a few times. It very quickly became apparent that the Han Solo approach of attempting a straight fight was not going to work and sneaking around is a much better plan.

Your mission on each level is to find a golden key and then locate the trapdoor that it opens in order to go down to the next level. The big bad creature that patrols the level is invulnerable so your best bet is to stick to the shadows and stay out of their way. Lesser creatures like skeletons, zombies and even ants are also abound, but thankfully these small fries can be killed. You’ll want to be quick and efficient about it though, as you don’t want to attract the attention of the big boss creature. After three levels of this you finally get to face the boss baddie in a one-on-one arena battle which involves grabbing the medallion that makes it immortal and then tricking the creature into taking a bath in some lava.

The levels in Depths of Fear are procedurally generated so if you die and restart a level it is never the same. Sometimes finding the exit and key is easy and sometimes all the odds feel stacked against you. The levels are generally very dark and while you have a torch for light it is always a risk using it. I have on a few occasions managed to set some random table or chair on fire when whipping out my torch and then lost my weapon in the ensuing bonfire which then drew the not so friendly resident mythical creature towards the sudden inferno. These encounters generally did not end well for Theseus. Sticking to the darkness is also not always very effective as you tend to fall down pits, walk into traps or step on the tail of random monsters which once again is not good for Theseus, or my weak heart.

The gold coins that you may find during levels can be used to upgrade your arsenal from a shop run by Daedalus, the poor fool who built the labyrinth and was left there after it was completed. He doesn’t’ have a whole lot to say, but if you need blades, clubs, tridents, crossbows or spears all you need to do is visit him between levels with enough cash in hand. Due to the procedural nature of the game you can also collect weapons during levels, but these are lost when you die, whereas purchased items is stored on a weapon rack that you can access between levels to equip yourself for the battle ahead. Apart from coins you will also find books which grant you wisdom that can be exchanged for some once off favor such as lightening, illumination or speed at one of the many statues that dot the levels. Then there are the potions which are a gamble as you never know what they will do until you swig one. They can either poison you or provide something like a speed boost or night vision so it is up to you to decide if it is worth the risk.

While the game has a ton of atmosphere, it unfortunately also has some technical issues, which is no surprise considering it is the work of just one person. Ladders would regularly shoot my character up into the air when I stepped on them, enemies frequently get stuck on corners and there is a fair amount of clipping going on as well. The graphics, while nice, is not exactly cutting edge either and the animations are very stiff. Some filters help to improve the look and feel of the game plus the fact that you always play in near darkness also help to mask some of the visual flaws.

I quite liked the audio in the game with the sounds made by the creatures standing out as particularly impressive and creepy. The strange synthesizer based soundtrack also gives the game a very unique atmosphere. The game features no voice acting, but this isn’t a problem as you don’t really encounter anyone worth talking to, and all information is relayed to you via scrolls or books. I found the keyboard and mouse controls to be perfectly adequate for playing the game, but a patch for controller support is in the works as I am writing this. About the only complaint I have about the controls is that it is a nuisance to hold down the crouch button while sneaking around and I would have preferred that it is something that can be toggled on and off.

It would be a mistake to overlook Depths of Fear because of its flaws as it is a very compelling experience. I had a lot of fun sneaking around the labyrinth and despite frequent deaths I always found myself giving it another shot until I finally dispatched the Minotaur. The low price means the game already offers great value for money, which is further enhanced by the endless mode, which challenges you to see how deep you can go down the labyrinth and survive in one life. Overall I have no qualms recommending the game and as it appears to be a labor of love for the developer I am sure he will continue to update it to smooth out all the wrinkles.

*Review originally published April 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Win Vista / Win 7, 8
  • Processor: 2.0GHz x86/64/Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66 GHz / AMD Athlon II X2 245e
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 128MB GForce 6600 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
  • OS: Win Vista / Win 7, 8
  • Processor: 2.0GHz x86/64
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256MB GForce 8600 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
  • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.3 | 10.6/10.8/10.9
  • Processor: 2 ghz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible graphics card, 258 MB video memory
  • Hard Drive: 3000 MB available space

Related posts

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Enoki Sachi and Nagatani Megumi are two ghosts who want to consummate their relationship, but to do so they want to observe other female couples to figure out what exactly it entails. Since Toomi Yuna is the only person at the Girl’s Academy who can see the two restless spirits it becomes her task to turn the school into a “yuritopia.” While the story might not sound like it leaves room for a lot of depth the game is surprisingly entertaining and treats the subject matter with more care and respect than most other titles. There’s plenty of funny moments too and a great cast of characters who you end up really caring for. Gameplay: It is a kinetic novel, so you cannot really influence the story, but there is a lot of content. Graphics: It’s a pity the resolution is so low, but the art style is quite beautiful. Sound: Voice acting is restricted to important scenes only, but the quality is good and the soundtrack is great.

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen's Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness is a decent enough hidden object puzzle adventure starring a royal heiress on the trail of an evil sorcerer who kidnapped her infant daughter. The colorful and detailed artwork is certainly very eye-catching, but the animations could have used a bit more work. The story never really takes off either, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games to sink your teeth into. While far from the best that the genre has to offer, Queen’s Quest has its heart in the right place and can still provide an entertaining experienced, provided you don’t expect too much from it. Gameplay: The story and puzzles are a little lacking, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games. Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but the character animations are a little off. Sound: Decent enough for the most part, but some of the voice overs could have been much better.

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker is a visual novel that is packed to the brim with great visuals, awesome audio and an engaging storyline. You’ll encounter a few clichés and plot holes, but overall the storyline is stellar and very engaging. It is also much longer than most visual novels and the additional routes boosts the replay value dramatically. If you are a fan of the genre you owe it to yourself to check this game out. Gameplay: Thanks to an engaging storyline and great characters this visual novel is definitely worth the investment in time and money. Graphics: The resolution is a little low, but the artwork and animations are top notch. Sound: The voice acting is superb and there are tons of audio tracks.



It is a pity that Chime does not have more songs and levels as the game is extremely addictive. It plays like a cross between Tetris and Lumines, but is unique enough to keep you hooked. The audio plays a big role in the game and features tracks from some famous artists so this is a great title to add to your library. Gameplay: Simple but very addictive. Graphics: Simple but stylish. Sound: Tightly integrated with the gameplay.

The Sun and Moon

The Sun and Moon

Don’t let the simple visuals fool you, The Sun and Moon is a devious platform title with a very interesting ground diving mechanic. Being able to jump into the ground means you’ll have to approach platforming in a whole new manner and makes for a challenging, but addictive experience. In addition to the arresting gameplay the game features a nice soundtrack by Dubmood and very responsive controls that keeps you in control of the action at all times. Gameplay: It takes a while to wrap your head around the ground diving mechanic, but it makes for a challenging experience. Graphics: Very minimal, but ensures that the focus is on the action. Sound: Some fitting tunes provided by Dubmood.

Blade Kitten

Blade Kitten

Blade Kitten is a nice platform game in a style that's just not available on computer anymore. The visuals are nice, the characters likeable and the gameplay bar a few annoyances here and there is solid. It is obviously not going to appeal to the usual PC crowd but if you can appreciate a platform game that won't tax your skills too much and stars a pink haired cat girl heroine then there's no excuse not to pick this up. Gameplay: It's a little low on challenges and feels like it's over too soon but definitely fun while it lasts with some nice replay value. Graphics: Colorful shell-shaded visuals set this one apart from the pack. Sound: The voices are ok and the music not too bad either. The theme song is damn catchy though.

Leave a comment

seventeen + one =