Like A Bat Out Of Hell: Olympia Rising Spins On To Kickstarter With A Demo

Olympia Rising

I‘ve loved 16-bit action platformers that enabled you to go at high speed while being a deadly spinning ball of sharp blades ever since picking up Sonic The Hedgehog as a toddler. Olympia Rising plays like a vertical Sonic as your goal is to climb out of Hades’ Underworld armed with a sword and flamethrower magic, past all of the foul and angry spirits, and make your way up to Mount Olympus. If that’s all you need to hear about Olympia Rising before being convinced to play the demo, then please, go and play the (very early) demo in your browser.

If you enjoy the demo, you’ll want to know that Olympia Rising is currently on Kickstarter, where the developers are seeking $10,000 for the game’s development. You can pick up a copy of the game on Kickstarter for just $5, and yes, it comes on Windows, Mac and Linux.

“Simple to pick up, but difficult to master, Olympia Rising awards those willing to challenge themselves as they climb through the Underworld.”

Olympia Rising follows the treacherous journey of a woman named Iola, who has been resting in Asphodel Fields, which is a protected part of the Underworld for those who have proven to be heroes in their former lives. Iola gets disturbed by scattered memories of her past life coming to her, and she wants to know why that happened, and why she was awoken. So, like an angry teen who hates getting up in the mornings, she decides to leave her place of slumber and fight her way out of the Underworld and up to Zeus in Mount Olympus to get some answers. Seems like an over-reaction to me, almost.

Comparing Olympia Rising to Sonic may seem a little odd, considering the differences in themes, but I’m referring to the way they both play, of course, which feels similar to me. As Iola, you have a magical power called Aer that allows her to jump and spin upwards endlessly, providing you chain together enemy kills as you do so. If you don’t get the chain kills, you just fall and hope that there’s a nearby ledge you can land on.

This mechanic isn’t obvious in the demo at first, and when you first discover that you can zoom through a level by chopping up bats and continuously hitting the jump button, it feels like you’ve broken the game. But that’s how it’s supposed to be played.

“Lush pixel graphics and fluid animation bring this 16-bit styled world to life as you jump, climb, slash and blast your way through each stage.”

But you can’t just speed through the levels in Olympia Rising, despite that being what you want to do. In between each level, you have to pay the toll to a skeletal gatekeeper (the game’s version of Charon), and the way you earn coins is to collect them from fallen enemies or from smashed vases in the levels. Unfortunately, upon killing an enemy, the coins go up in the air and slowly descend, which kinda sucks because you have to go back for them, so I’m left wondering if it would work better if the coins were collected automatically when performing kills, perhaps. It would certainly make the game flow a lot better.

Aside from that little gripe, Olympia Rising encourages you to find flow through levels via the paths created by enemies lined up through the air. It’s a great feeling when you’re dashing upwards, way out of reach of the deadly rising waters at the bottom of the level, and are moving too fast for the enemies to even get near you. It’s best you just try out the demo for yourself, really, and as said, if you like what you play, then consider backing Olympia Rising on Kickstarter.

You can play the Olympia Rising demo in your browser at

Olympia Rising

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