after playing this game for a while, I got curious about the public opinion on the game. I was honestly shocked when I saw the top five reviews were all negative, stating points like bad graphics, bad controls, problems with the blur, crazy difficulty, jumping mechanic issues, and even a problem with a controller. I must be honest, I didn't find this game at all like this.
Let me address the issue I have. For this, I'm going to go into my gameplay experience, which will of course contain certain spoilers as to how the game plays out - but let's be honest, if you've read the steam description of "Navigate through the ship however you want to find your way to the surface above, but avoid the ship's corrupted security system!" there's nothing to spoil. I played the game initially on the easy setting as I wanted to get used to the game mechanics before I committed myself to the harder difficulties. I must say that I found the rising water to make the game rather hectic, which of course is as the developers must have intended. You're escaping a sinking ship, you're not going to cuddle the nearest daffodil, you have to move, and it's going to be a bit crazy. On the way there were hazards such as blazing fire, exposed electrical wires, the security system of the ship had sent out turrets attached to the walls and ceilings of certain rooms, a challenging mix. If you're hit by any one of them too much, you black out, and wake up with the rushing water at your feet. Your objective is the 3 holes in the top of the boat, that being the two big funnels, and one near the centre of the deck.
This, I must be honest, is a fantastic scenario. It's executed well for a 2d game. My complaints? Not much. It took half an hour to clear on easy, after which I moved to Medium and found that some more hazards and such were made available to navigate around. Either that, or I was just lucky enough to not run into them on easy mode. After attempting hard, I must say, this is were it actually got difficult. Resources were scarce, puzzles were abundant and the rising water was quicker than in the other two difficulties. It was indeed a hectic experience. The difficulty is definitely within its bounds, contrary to what most other reviews seem to suggest. Furthermore I didn't have any trouble with the blur, but that's able to be turned off anyway in the settings under the label Post-Processing. My controller worked perfectly, it's a standard USB XBox 360 controller, nothing too extravagant, nothing insane or problematic. Is it an optimal gamepad for everything on steam? I think so - Borderlands 2 works fantastically with it for example.
Jumping mechanics were also complained about in other reviews. This will take some explaining. You're on a sinking boat, bobbing and rocking as it slowly descends into the ocean. As it rocks, your movement will act accordingly. Think for a moment. You're running up a hill and jump... Not much air time, right? You fall onto the higher ground quite quickly. Now run down the hill, and jump again. Your jump lasts a lot longer. You jump further, you land later. It's common sense. So there's a big gap between you and the door... but you just can't make the jump, the platform is slightly higher than yours because of the ship's current rotation... So you wait for the ship to rock to the other side so that platform is lower, and jump again. Congratulations, jump complete. It's physics. And it's well executed in my opinion.
One other complaint was with the graphics - do you not look at the screenshots on this page? This is what you're getting! This is a preview of what you'll be playing if you buy this game! Come on people, this is basic stuff, steam is doing you a favour here, at least look at what you're being offered! There MUST be something wrong here. I personally find these screenshots a good representation of how the game looks during play, so I completely regard this as a null and pointless complaint.
There is one final thing I saw in the complaints though. There is no pause function. I personally view this as a 50/50 thing. Yes, it would be nice to pause the game. However, I think that being able to pause, walk away and come back later goes against the developer's intention of a hectic game where you're meant to be frantically trying to reach the surface. Think about the scenario for a moment. You wake up on the bottom of a sinking ship, the water's rising, you have to escape, you open a locked door, find an axe, break through a wooden door, then it hits you! OH MAN, GOTTA FEED MY TAMAGOTCHI PET.
I'm going to put this simply. If you can't be committed to play this for half an hour straight, you likely won't beat this game, even on easy. It's not huge by any means, but it lasts longer than your typical game of tetris. If you're looking for a game you can beat in 5 minutes, this is not the game for you, and I highly doubt you'll find anything like that on steam. You're on a page for a game that will last about half an hour on the easiest setting for one playthrough, and if you're an achievement seeker, you got plenty more playtime ahead of you in total. This is not pong, or snake, or angry birds, it will take a while. Granted, I see the issue, sometimes something unforseen happens. A guy knocks at your door, the cat knocks over your neatly arranged collection of "The Chronicles of Narnia" books into the fish bowl, or the baby begins throwing his food around and crying because he doesn't understand the meaning of waste, and you gotta put down your controller, sort that out and come back. Yes, a pause function would indeed be handy to have, and maybe they should have a setting at least to enable / disable pausing. Although I halfheartedly want them to throw in a steam achievement labelled "I wanted to hug a daffodil" for using it.
Do I recommend this game?
DEFINITELY. If you're a regular gamer with some free time and enjoy this kind of thing, go for it.
What would I rate it?
8/10, it's a brilliant game, but not everyone has half an hour straight to play a game.