Two-Dimensional Journalism In Mythargia – PC Review

Use your reporting skills to expose the shenanigans of Mythargia. Just remember to bring enough batteries...

Now that you’re near in MythargiaMythargia… if only Abba had changed the words to Xanadu, I could have copy and pasted the rest of the lyrics and then ‘job done’ for this review. However, I have a duty to give a fair assessment, plus it’s worth talking about.

From Bonus Stage Publishing, who recently worked on the excellent Dreams in the Witch House and developed by RunByCoffee (aren’t we all?), this is a side-scrolling adventure with an old-school vibe, a.k.a. indie.

Released last month on Steam, Mythargia drops you onto the titular island to investigate some peculiarities and then report your findings. Unable to secure your P.I. credentials, you work as an investigative journalist piecing together the ominous narrative cloud that engulfs the locals. But this isn’t a simple case of interviewing passersby for your latest scoop. No, you’re going to be switching dimensions…

Mythargia Review - Shifty
Shifty… Source: Steam

Mythargia Review

First impressions were a little underwhelming. Honestly? The graphics didn’t excite me, and the animation and subsequent mechanics for jumping were very poor. Feeling rebellious, I immediately returned to the boat from where I appeared to unlock the fastest achievement in Steam history. First ending complete. Rather than pack up and give a verdict, I returned and gave it a stab, only to find it was an enjoyable game.

Mythargia is immediately playable without any need to learn any complicated mechanics – if you know how to walk, you’re sorted. However, the lighting plays an important role in the game, so you must use a resource-limited flashlight equipped with a UV attachment to scare off the… well, scary things. In truth, it’s easy to see what you’re doing, so having enough batteries is never an issue, but perhaps health potions are one you might want to note.

Coming back to that jumping thing, you’ll encounter far more bear traps than one would care to imagine. Unable to disable these jaws of doom, you’ll need to jump them, and I never quite got the hang of it, leading to a button-mashing scenario to escape, thus losing health. The enemies in the game don’t pose any threat, in my opinion, so pay attention to the traps. Run out of batteries? Simply listen out for them. Apparently, bear traps emit a sound when stationary.

Mythargia Review - Well-being propaganda
Well-being propaganda. Source: Steam

Bear (Trap) With Me

Anyhoo, this isn’t selling it really, as the game is easy, and the only issue is jumping a bear trap here and there. Why are we giving this the time of day? The story and the intuitiveness of it all. To briefly touch upon the latter, other than the jumping mechanics, there was never a moment of frustration or not knowing what to do. Puzzles are well-balanced and will have you jotting down notes on envelopes to work out how to get out of a maze or write down safe codes. Excellent additions, I have to say. 

As for the story, Mythargia plays out like a Silent Hill type gave, with less fog and more clarity. Often you’ll meet NPCs that are interconnected between both worlds, and you’ll have to run an errand or two for them to return to your own world, grab some clues and evidence, and provide some closure. Despite the initial reservations with the presentation, it wasn’t long until it won me over as I became absorbed in the narrative paths.

Because you’re a reporter, there will be key scenes where you will uncover some evidence that can be photographed and interlinked with the information you have found thus far. While it’s an easy game, the design works well, to the point that if you aren’t reviewing the game, you won’t even notice any hiccups as it all glides so well. That is until you have to jump a bear trap and land on it, bang on the centre.

Verdict

With its engaging plot and intuitive style of play, Mythargia reveals itself as quite the indie charmer that could have you going cold turkey on your latest Netflix binge. If it wasn’t for an update that rendered my Steam Deck save redundant, I’d have played this in one sitting, as it’s quite short. Very good.