Back in the fall of 2018, developer Momo-Pi and publisher Plug In Digital put out an extremely clever puzzle game on mobile called Persephone ($3.99). The story is that you’re a young woman named Persephone whose love gets pulled straight down into Hell, and so you work your way down floor by floor to get to the bottom of Hell to find him. Each “floor" is a turn-based puzzle to solve and you’ll need to figure out how to get past all sorts of deadly hazards to make your way to the exit on each floor. Except the twist here is that you don’t always WANT to avoid the deadly hazards, and in fact you’ll constantly need to be purposely dying in order to be successful. For example, if you need to cross an unavoidable pit of spikes, just fling yourself down into that pit killing yourself, and then your respawned self can now cross that pit across your own dead body. Yes, that’s pretty morbid, but also pretty awesome. A similar concept was used in Philipp Stollenmayer’s brilliant Sometimes You Die and I’m sure many other games over the years, but it’s no less clever here in Persephone.
Since that initial launch in 2018, Persephone has been updated a handful of times with additional content. First up was an expansion featuring Persephone’s mother, Demeter, and a whole slew of new levels. If you’re familiar with Greek Mythology then you probably know Demeter is the wife of Zeus, and Persephone is their daughter together, and you can probably figure out who Persephone’s sweetheart is. As the story goes Persephone is abducted by Hades and thus becomes the Queen of the underworld. This week, the final content update arrived for Persephone adding the Hades expansion, making for a grand total of more than 100 levels across 10 different environments and three full storylines: Persephone, Demeter, and Hades. For whatever reason Persephone has really flown under the radar since its release. Perhaps it’s because ever since Monument Valley we’ve all had a bit of “isometric puzzler" fatigue. Regardless, this is an absolutely excellent (and challenging) puzzler with great aesthetics, and it’s a premium experience with no IAP. Now that the Complete Edition has arrived it’s a great time to check out Persephone if you haven’t done so previously.