The sun is turning to stone, darkness filling the land. In Illios, Apollo’s oracle must head into a collapsing city to reverse the catastrophe.
Illios, from Guru Games, challenges players to explore an abandoned Greek city as they attempt to reverse a blight against the sun. The city is lush and abundant, however disrepair — and the city’s denizens having been turned to stone — casts a haunting shadow over everywhere you have to explore.
I was lucky enough to play through about half an hour of Illios while at Sweden Games Conference 2018 and was very impressed with the fantastic environmental design and lighting effects. As somebody who, at the time, was unaware of Guru Games’ previous foray into ancient Greece — Medusa’s Labyrinth — I hadn’t experienced their particular brand of immersion. Like their previous effort, Illios was HUD-less, with only a few interaction UI prompts there to show you what you can tinker with.
Illios revolves around fire to solve puzzles, and extra work has clearly gone in to the lighting efforts, something which is tested continually as you explore through dusty, dark rooms, bringing light to the spaces through kindling more torches and oil pots.
Rummaging through Greek ruins definitely doesn’t feel new, but the tension that Guru Games managed to convey through densely-packed corridors, and an impressive control over what the player looks to, is definitely memorable. While nothing jumped out at me from the shadows, nor crawled into sight from balconies or windows, I always felt as though something was going to surprise me.
Illios is in development for unspecified platforms. You can stay up to date via the developer’s newsletter.