HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewArgonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas Review

Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas Review

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The artifact dealer Pelias should really be more careful. Previously, he’s opened Pandora’s Box, got locked into the Chair of Hephaestus, and now he’s slipped on the Glove of Midas, only to find that someone has reversed the polarity and now he’s completely gold. If we were the main characters of Jason and Medea, we would have severed ties with him months ago.

Regardless, saving Pelias from his 24-carat fate is your objective in Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas. Stretching that objective over the length of a six-hour resource management sim is no mean feat: you aren’t pulling the glove off finger by finger; instead, you’re finding the person and the ‘what’ that can save him. 

Argonauts Agency 4 Glove of Midas review 1
Guess what? The story is not your focus

Story is just about the last reason to purchase an Argonauts Agency game, though, as this is more about the laid-back city-building. Take off your shoes and put on some slippers: this is just about the most risk- and pressure-free management sim that you could possibly buy. 

We’ve described the game loops more than we care to count, mostly because there are so many of these games from the same publisher. You move a cursor (more intuitive than you would think with a controller) on a single game screen that represents a ruined city and paths between its buildings. The paths are blocked, so you are tapping on the obstructions, which sends a worker to clear them. They take a small chunk of time to do that, so you are queuing up the next four obstructions. 

By removing obstructions, you get two benefits. One, you get some resources, squirreled away in your resource bank, which are vital for some of the latter steps. But you also clear the path, which leads to yet more obstacles. It’s very easy to get into a flow, clearing up everything on the screen, but that wouldn’t be playing optimally. To get the best times and star-ratings, you need to be building stuff.

Building stuff couldn’t be easier. There’s no freedom to construct things willy-nilly in Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas. You have plots that are run down, and you can expend resources to rebuild them. Suddenly, you have farms generating food, lumber mills generating lumber, and a few others. You’re not reliant on the finite resources from the paths: you get renewable resources from your buildings. 

Argonauts Agency 4 Glove of Midas review 2
Clearing and building, building and clearing

Soon, you’re ticking off objectives and the map is clear. The level is done. You then progress across a Super Mario World-like map, moving from node to node, unlocking levels that are – frankly – not all that different from each other. It’s a problem that the developers of these games are yet to solve: how do you take the game loops that we described and make the levels varied? The answer, at least so far, is you can’t.  If you find yourself getting swept up in Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas, then we would heartily recommend that you take breaks every ten levels. 

What nudges Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas clear of the other games from 8floor Games is that everything is so clear and easy to engage with (other 8floor games are lacking the quality-of-life features that are included here), and the theming plain works. This is a diluted Greek Mythology textbook, with the odd minotaur and cyclops loitering around Ionic buildings. 

It also uses a neat fog-of-war mechanic on a third of its levels, which at least gets you thinking slightly more than usual. Beacons can be lit, as long as you have the resources, and they light up the dark to reveal more obstacles for you to chuck workers at. While it lasted, we paid a little more attention and felt better about it.

It also tries something new! We will hide our amazement. Play Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas for long enough, and you will earn currency to spend on a one-armed bandit. That bandit slowly increases your workers’ speed, digging, building and others, so there’s real benefit to engaging with it. We just wish it was possible to automate: we had more currency than we could shake a trident at, but actually spending the things took hours. 

Argonauts Agency 4 Glove of Midas review 3
3 stars? Nailed it.

But the real reason why Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas rises to the top of these titles is that it’s not broken. Praise Zeus, as almost all of the 8floor games arrive with at least something wayward under the hood. Save-game bugs, UI issues and unobtainable achievements are de rigueur in their releases, but thankfully not here. We reached the end of the sizable playtime without encountering a single crash or save problem. 

Which means that you can tinker with Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas on its own merits. It’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off, and simulation or city-management enthusiasts will quickly scoff at the lack of freedom and strategy. But when considered as a cozy game, oozing familiarity out of every porthole, Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas begins to deliver soothing entertainment.

Not everything that Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas touches turns to gold, but the hand is at least capable of a soothing, cozy massage.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Bug free! For once!
  • Some welcome quality-of-life additions
  • Greek Myth backdrop works well
Cons:
  • Too repetitive, as usual
  • Story is virtually absent
  • Not much different from previous installments
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review)
  • Release date and price - 15 February 2024 | £4.19
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Bug free! For once!</li> <li>Some welcome quality-of-life additions</li> <li>Greek Myth backdrop works well</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Too repetitive, as usual</li> <li>Story is virtually absent</li> <li>Not much different from previous installments</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review) <li>Release date and price - 15 February 2024 | £4.19</li> </ul>Argonauts Agency 4: Glove of Midas Review
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