Saturday, 23 January 2016

Geekery of the Weekery: Submerged

I've recently been playing an adorable Indie video game from Uppercut Games in Australia called Submerged.  Another game of an increasingly popular genre of game that pushes the boundaries of traditional understandings of what is a game, being a work of art and far from the first person shooters that have dominated the video game realm.

It features female protagonist, Miku and her very sick and injured little brother, Taku.  There is next to no dialogue, only Miku saying what needs to be done after you complete each mission in an unfamiliar language (subtitles help you understand), and zero combat.  The object of the game is to explore the flooded city by boat as Miku, and find supplies to take care of her brother, climbing old flooded buildings and such to find them.  Each completed mission earns you a few more picture clues to the siblings' back story.

There are also other optional collection missions such as finding all the landmarks around the city, finding all the different creatures living in the city including whales and dolphins, and collecting boat parts in the water to help make your boat's boost feature last longer.  The last but more time consuming optional collection mission is to find and collect all the 'secrets' candles hidden around the city, each of which grant you a picture clue to the city's history.

I like how the picture clues are simplistic and very much open to interpretation.  This game is very much 'make what you will', it's entirely up to you the meaning you draw from it all (similar to Her Story I suppose).  The map is vast and the scenery stunning (the screencaps I took and have posted here don't really do it justice).  It's only a very short game, not surprising given the lack of combat reducing the challenge aspect, but any longer and it would become boring and repetitive.  It's a great game for immersing yourself in and relaxing - ideal after more intense rage-inducing games.  The soundtrack is also beautiful and I recommend purchasing the OST or accessing it on Spotify.

If you liked Journey from That Game Company, you will definitely love Submerged.  It's available on Steam for Windows PCs, PS4, and XBox One.

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