Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Poor Sisyphus. As punishment for his never-ending deceit, he was ordered by Zeus to push the same boulder up the same mountain for the rest of eternity. It certainly gives a new meaning to an endless type of game.
By holding one finger on the screen, players will place a foot forward, with the next hold they will push the boulder. They must sustain a rhythm comprised of longer strides and pushes to begin with, then later with shorter ones due to the steep ascent. It doesn't sound interesting, and initially it isn't, but I can't emphasize enough my nervousness as I neared the top. I didn't take a screenshot for this review until the second attempt becuause I wanted to see what would happen.
Spoiler alert: it was nothing (which I'm sure is the point). True to Sisyphus' eternal situation, the rock rolled back down the hill and he chased after its ready to push it back up the other side. This is a perfect analogy for the state of mobile gaming today. No progression, no challenge, just a high score that ultimately no one will acknowledge. It's these video games that the developers of Sisyphos seem to mock. Why repeat the same action if it rewards us with nothing? If there is a better character than Sisyphus to demonstrate this hopeless waste of time, I can't think of one.
Sisyphos challenges developers to try harder. There are so many games pushing the boundaries of what mobile can be, but there is also a sea of clones pushing a bunch of gimmicks. Sisyphos isn't so much a game as a and perhaps philosophical statement on a modern mobile gaming trend, which can be easily compared to the soul-crushing, arduous plight of the myth.
Mindlessly tapping a screen requires the most minimal amount of skill and concentration, and Sisyphos emphasizes this in its pure monotony (the visuals that recall Greek artwork and pottery are a nice touch, though). It might not be an entertaining experience, but it certainly puts things in perspective. And if a game can leave an impression, then it's done its job in some capacity.