Chasing Styx

A great game that should be more popular.

Chasing Styx is a run 'n' gun adventure game on Steam. The creators are an indie company named ForepawSoft. Chasing Styx is only ForepawSoft's second game, but it is done rather brilliantly in my opinion. What makes it even better is that the game is free. They are also currently in the middle of another game.

You play as the three-headed hellhound that guards the Underworld in Greek mythology: Cerberus. There are many versions of Cerberus throughout Greek mythology, but ForepawSoft decided to stick with the more simple version.

As Cerberus, you must traverse the underworld, rounding up the bunnies that usually kept you company. However, when you fell asleep, they playfully hopped past the gates of the Underworld.

The bunnies cause a stir, distracting the demons from doing the jobs Hades assigned them. Hades, of course, gets angry, and commands you to take care of the mess you allowed to happen. Like a well-trained dog, you obey.

Upon the start of the game, you spawn on an island surrounded on all sides by fire and lava. I never tried walking into it, but I am sure it is a bit warmer than Cerberus would prefer.

If you walk left, you are greeted by a huge cube of slime, and a floating head. Each one is looking for body parts to buy from you, each claiming to have a better deal than the other.

Walking right brings you to a raft, with whom I can only assume is Charon, the ferryman of the dead. After a small conversation with him, he allows you to choose one of three places to go. There's more than that, but those stages must be unlocked first.

The first stage is the Haunted Forest. Pretty spooky, right? As the name suggests, it's a forest. You must venture forth through the trees, shooting your fireballs at blobs of slime, and crows.

Make sure to use strafe to your advantage, and of course, avoid the purple bullets that are shot at you. Keep an eye on your health, for you only get four hearts to start off with. I prefer holding down the shoot button, but I am also not all that great at this particular game. It's no Overwatch.

You can find two different body parts, and a hat on this stage. Making it to the end of the stage, you come face to face with your first boss battles: two werewolves.

Now, dodging their attacks aren't that challenging, unless you forget the one move I have yet to mention — the dash button. By hitting the dash button, you move forward a short distance, leaving a trail of fire in your wake.

The most useful part about this move? You can "phase" through bullets without taking any damage. It is literally a lifesaver. Once you get the pattern down, defeating these two nincompoops is a breeze. After defeating them, they drop a coin for you. Give this coin to Charon to unlock more stages.

The best tactic for getting anywhere in this game, is dying. If you die after finding and item or appendage, you keep them. You'll return to the River Styx, and can then trade in your wares for an upgrade. In order to equip these upgrades, you have to collect souls to unlock space for them. You can collect souls by defeating any demons in your path.

Boy, those bunnies really do bother the tenants and employees of the Underworld. Who'd have thunk?

This game is fast-paced, fun, and all around great. I especially love the eight-bit art style of it. It is free to play on Steam, and is compatible with Mac OS X. I highlyrecommend this game to anyone and everyone — it's even safe and fun for children to play.

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