Last updated there is February 17, 2022
Submerged: Hidden Depths is an autonomous suite of the award-winning independent title, which we were quite critical. Fortunately, Uppercut Games has learned from his mistakes. Although the gameplay remains simple, the world of Submerged: Hidden Depths is much more varied. However, I still can not recommend it to anyone who is not already in the atmosphere-based exploration games. Even in this case, this game has serious flaws that could prevent you from taking advantage of it.
This game tells the story of Miku and Taku, a pair of brothers and sisters who have become pairs after Miku has been afflicted with a mysterious power. In a flooded world filled with abandoned buildings, a single form of life dominates – strange black plants known as Mass. After Miku came in contact with the mass, a flowering vine wrapped around his arm and became capable of communicating with the entity. This means that it can find the seeds that were formerly used as sources of energy and restore them to Mass. In doing so, it can gradually save the city into ruin.
However, Miku’s powers have led to her exile and she feels deeply guilty of what she has undergone in Taku. To aggravate things, while the couple continues to heal the mass, the vine wrapped around Miku starts to shine with a worrying red and gives it terrible nightmares. All they want is to cure the englutty city and find a new home, but it can be more difficult than they had never imagined.
This game has an incredibly strong visual design. Abandoned buildings and post-apocalyptic ruins arise from the endless ocean in all directions, encouraging exploration. The time changes often as you go through a given structure, so some parts of a building will be bathed in sun while others will be perpetually immersed in the storm. This will not affect your ability to climb on high edges or jump over the bottom ground. It’s more aesthetic and inspiring than anything else. However, sudden changes in lighting can still make it difficult to detect routes forward. Fortunately, most of the objects you can interact have a small icon or glow to mark them. It can however be very difficult to know how to get there.
The characters models are quite charming and very expressive. The dialogue is spoken in a fictional language, so many interactions are carried by body language. It’s easy to invest in the relationship between Miku and Taku, especially when things start going wrong. The music is very atmospheric and relaxing and there is an incredible seaside sound landscape. At no time from the game, I felt threatened, even when things were clear. It’s perfect for a self-proclaimed game of “relaxploration” without combat. Some cinematics can however be quite tense, even if narrative history is conveyed separately from the action.
There are scary sound signals from time to time, usually when Miku gets closer to a trapped seed. The game compensates for this with the wonderful soundtrack you get when you bring back a seed to its legitimate place. In addition, the joystick vibrates a lot, for better or for worse. I understand if stress is a dealbreaker. That said, there is something really magical to watch flowers bloom all around you as you wear a seed in your arms.
The main game mechanisms of Submerged: Hidden Depths are exploration, riddling and collecting collection. While Miku and Taku travel through the engulfed world, they slowly put in place what happened here. You can also find flowers, creatures, newspapers and much more scattered in the world of play. The world of the game is absolutely immense and discovering it may seem like a difficult task. Fortunately, you can find seeds in any order and there is no urgency to do anything. In addition, the fast displacement function is incredibly useful and practical.
After unlocked the telescope and found gazebo, it becomes much easier to fill the card. And once you have icons on the card, it’s easier to know what to do next. In fact, exploration is also quite simple, but becomes more complex as you resize larger buildings. It was by far the least stressful platform experience I have ever had, and believe me, I have a lot of experience with platforms. The game will not let you down on everything that is not supposed to have a vertical exploration option.
Unfortunately, I encountered problems with the camera, which is very good during the navigation segments, but can shake unpredictably during exploration. This is the worst at climbing sequences. Many times, I felt physically sick, which made much more difficult to know where all the collectibles were. It brings me to my main complaint with this title: play it too long literally hurts a stomach.
Some games are physically painful to watch. Other games are physically painful to play. Submerged: Hidden Depths is neither, but I could not play more than an hour at a time before getting too much sea pain to continue. As you can imagine, it interfered with my ability to relax and immerse myself in the world of the game. I do not know how much it was game design and how far I easily have The sea pain. In any case, it was a major problem, and you should consider it before buying the game.
Overall, submerged: Hidden Depths is a strong relaxation title that offers a variety of breathtaking views and low-stake enigma resolution. I would recommend it to the fans of walking simulators and other games with a high atmosphere. However, if you have sea pain as easily as me, maybe give a pass to it.
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