Great Legends: The Minotaur - If you were taught your Greek mythology at school, you might remember the tale of the Minotaur. The part man, part bull lived in a labyrinth, specially designed to baffle him from escaping and was fed on seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls at seven-year intervals, as demanded by King Minos.
This was until Theseus offered to take the place of one of the boys and slay the Minotaur. He manages it, but all the different endings to the story are still depressingly bleak and grief-filled.
Basically you're best off focusing on the uplifting bit - bloke goes up against a giant Minotaur in order to save Ariadne, the girl he loves, kills it and saves everyone. Never mind he dumps the girl on an island on his way home, she curses him and his dad commits suicide.
Anyway, it's the uplifting bit that this mobile game, Great Legends: The Minotaur, concentrates on. You play as Theseus as he legs it around a series of hazard-filled mazes, trying to find the keys to doors. Each new level contains four keys and one door, but you only need to pick up two of these keys to open up the door.
Once that door is open however, it's no gentle stroll to the exit. For the Minotaur has an uncanny knack of knowing when you're on your way there and comes running after you.
If you were going to describe The Minotaur - as I'm now trying to do, in fact - you'd probably say it's like Pac-Man with gorgons instead of ghosts. Theseus bears some resemblance to the yellow eighties videogame icon, since he runs automatically around mazes picking up coins as he goes. You simply change his direction when you want to.
Theseus has some skills that Pac-Man doesn't however - at least, not early Pac-Man - such as being able to slide in order to avoid obstacles.
These obstacles come in various guises - such as spikes coming out of walls or floors, and fiery pits. You need to be on a constant lookout for them.
There are also gorgons who will freeze you for a precious couple of seconds if you touch them. Seconds are precious because each level is played against a time limit. Your lives are unlimited during this time - if you hit a hazard or the Minotaur, you're flown back to your last save point.
But when time's up, that's it. Poseidon strikes you down and you have to start again.
That's the basics, and they make for a playable if somewhat lacklustre game. Where things get tricky - and I mean, annoyingly tricky is when the game unleashes the Minotaur. A Minotaur who is best described as terrifying and a big fat cheat, all rolled into one infuriating beast.
The thing is, he's quick, and you often don't see him coming until it's too late. But even when you do see him coming and you turn and run the opposite way, he's prone to warping to another place in the maze and taking you unawares.
You're able to slide beneath him, but this is easier said than done when you often only have a split second to react to his random appearances.
Basically then, the build-up to the Minotaur is lacklustre while the Minotaur himself is a pain. There's no shortage of thrills in the game, thanks to its tight time limits, followed by legging it from a giant scary beast. But there is a shortage of enjoyment.
Great Legends: The Minotaur is a decent enough idea, but its execution isn't good enough to see you through to the Greek ending. Another tragedy.
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