For my #8th game of 2021, it’s one that I think a lot of people did not really look at coming out later in the year, but Treasure of the Aegean is a smartly executed action/adventure game.
#8 Treasures of the Aegean
Given the number of platformers I’ve played, it’s often hard for new ones to stand out in terms of introducing different movement tech or things for players to do. With Treasures of the Aegean, the developers focused on doing one thing exceptionally right. This is one of the few action/adventure games I’ve played that is all about action, without direct combat. You are cut loose on an island with a time limit to explore and search for treasures and clues needed to solve different puzzles.
Despite having a time limit the game never feels stressed out thanks to the agility of the main character and that messing up simply reduces your time with no long-term penalty. The concept of using the time loop as both a form of progression and your main adversary was a great touch.
The reason why I’m including it on the list is that the game does a great job of delivering its core gameplay loop. Similar to another game on my list, it’s just a joy to move around with puzzles that are both logic-based and environmental. Speaking of puzzles, the “treasure screen” that lists not only all your treasures, but your unlocked clues was a great touch. Not only does it present everything to the player, but it also keeps all the puzzle-solving in-game.
What stops it from getting higher is that it does feel more like a proof of concept as opposed to a full idea. I would have loved to see some randomized elements or just some reason to replay the game besides going for 100%. I’m always a fan of game that let the player off the leash and give them full reign to explore environments like this, and I hope that this isn’t the last time we see this concept from the developers.