They Breathe is a short journey into the depths of a forest filled with water. As you swim deeper, it's up to you to figure out the rules of an insidious ecosystem where nothing is as it first seems, and where everyone is after the same precious resource – oxygen!
User reviews:
Very Positive (867 reviews) - 83% of the 867 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 23, 2014

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“They Breathe is proof that you don't need realistic graphics or complicated gameplay to tell a horrifying story.”
XBLIG Favorite – Kotaku

“They Breathe is a simple and short but ultimately fantastic indie game.”
9/10 – Clearance Bin Review

“The Working Parts have created a game that makes me want to simultaneously congratulate them and run screaming.”

About This Game

In the first game by The Working Parts, a lone frog descends into the depths of a flooded forest, not yet knowing the full extent of its tragedy. To survive in a brutal, oxygen-obsessed ecosystem, you must help it see the patterns and hidden truths that make up the rules of the forest - horrible as they may be.

They Breathe is a critically acclaimed indie gem risen from the depths of Xbox Live Indie Games. In thirty short minutes, the game leaves it up to you to figure out every part of its increasingly bizarre universe, in order to survive the onslaught of unexpected creatures and ultimately comprehend their true nature. No matter how your descent to the bottom of the forest takes shape, it is guaranteed to give you the chills without a single word of dialog.

Keep your eyes open, for there is darkness beneath the surface. And you're not at the bottom yet.

  • Surreal atmosphere
  • No hand-holding
  • Hand-drawn HD art
  • A story told through gameplay
  • ''Making of'' feature

What people say
  • This game is only 2$, but I feel like this experience is scarring me for life - Markiplier
  • "The scariest game on earth" - GameGrumps
  • "I approached They Breathe as a game, but it ended as an experience" -
  • ''They Breathe is deceptively creepy [...] disturbing in all the right ways'' - Destructoid
  • ''Some games evoke such a strange feeling that you can't help but be sucked in. They Breathe is one of those games.'' - XBLIG Silver Award, NeoGAF
  • ''The atmosphere that The Working Parts has managed to create is praiseworthy.'' -
  • ''a journey of discovery that is both rewarding and surprisingly horrifying'' - Plus10Damage

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Single Core 500 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 512 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (867 reviews)
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577 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
They stopped breathing after I killed them.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
221 of 264 people (84%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2014
This game is the equivalent of a parfait slathered in whipped cream and layered with strawberries, yoghurt, graham crackers, and entrails.

It's cheap, it's delicious, you can eat it in under 30 minutes and by the time you get to the bottom you're absolutely terrified.
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119 of 136 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 23, 2014
In They Breathe, you play as a sad frog that dives into a lake and sees some rather horrific stuff.

This game could be simply described as "Art" and as art, it is rather hard to review. The game lasts about 30 minutes from start to finish, but plays out a lot like the old Atari games. Meaning, you do have some replay value.

The gameplay of the game is very simplistic, you move the frog in the water with your directional keys and press space to speed up momentarily. The game is set in different "layers" of levels in which enemies will spawn, and after defeating these said enemies you are moved to the next layer.

Music in They Breathe is ambient but beautiful and really fits in the underwater atmosphere of the game.

I would like to say so much more about the game but by doing that i would risk spoiling some of the story it has in it, and that's something you certainly have to experience for yourselves.

Also, dont you just love the ":C" face the frog is making in the cover picture? So adorable!

All in all, They Breathe is a fun game and for the price of $2,00 is very much worth the purchase.

It should be also noted that the developers provided me with a review code, all thanks to them! \m/
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79 of 85 people (93%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Is It Worth a Buy?

Allow me to explain why I'm going to say yes and no. If you were to spend a dollar for every hour of entertainment, this game gives you exactly two hours, even with unlocking all the achievements (Meaning if that's how things worked, this game would be a fair price). Does that make this game bad, No, of course not. This is one of those games where it's one and done and you are satisfied, for the most part. Yet you feel empty, you go back and do all the extras, somewhat more satisfied than you were before. However, this game has atmosphere, it's not horrifying. No, it's creepier, and it really captures how helpless you are as being the frog you are. The only logical thing you would do is swim to survive.

Pay Full Price?

Again allow me to explain why I'm going to say yes and no. If you do all the little extras I would say yes. If you are just going to play through it once, it's questionable. The questionable thing to do is to buy it full price because this is one of those games that are, short and sweet. It really depends on you, the buyer. Most people don't like paying $1.99 for 20-40 minute experience, but some do. If this game is 99 cents or below, it's a definite buy. Again, it still is dependable on you the buyer.

Sharing With Others

Just like many other creepy horror games you want to share this game with your friends. Does this still apply for "They Breathe"? Yes, of course it does! Something so innocent such as a body of water seems too cute. Is it predictable what you find below the body of water, somewhat. However, it still has the creepy atmosphere that you are surviving as this frog in some sort of nightmare.

Game Feel

One of the negative reviews here complain about the controls are clunky. However, I played with the keyboard just fine and was able to achieve a perfect game. However, everyone is not me. Remember you are frog underwater, the movement is slowed and almost like a light coating of ice. It feels to some extent realistic, but again I had no problem with the controls. *RAGE QUIT SPOILER* You will feel desperate and agitated when you attempt to save all the frogs, it's simply due to the fact that you have that icy movement and keyboards do not have perfect diagonal movement. I have not tried with a joystick of some sort. Despite the keyboard having not perfect diagonal movement, it's manageable.

Overall Recommendation

I would say yes to the full price, if you are going for a perfect game, sharing with others, or if you are going to play through it once, it is still satisfying. However, you might feel empty because of the amount you paid. If you do not want to pay a $1.99 simply wait for a sale. If you can't wait for a sale then buy at your own risk, but you most likely won't be disappointed. I myself enjoyed this game; it had a nice atmosphere and makes its debut short and sweet. If I had to give it a formal score, I would give it an 8/10.


I want to apologize that this review is not formatted. Yes, there is a "Formatting Help" button below the review box. Tried several times had trouble. If someone could help with the formatting I will take the time to format. *UPDATE* Formatting and revision will be done EVENTUALLY. My priorities aren't steam reviews right now. However, I do hope to find the time to get revision and formatting done. I would also like to apolgoize for it not being done yet.
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36 of 45 people (80%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2015
"They Breathe" gives you no clues as to what your objectives are. I had a bit of a guess from the title of the game but ended up quitting after a couple of minutes. I then read one quite helpful review which gave an overview of the gameplay and played it again.

It's a dark, simplistic game with a cool hand-drawn artstyle. I weirdly felt an affinity to my fellow frogs. If I didn't manage to save one I felt a little sad for him!

It will only take a short time to finish, twenty minutes or so, so weigh this up against the price you pay. Recommended purchase if you realise it's a very short game.
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49 of 67 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2014
It's a nice little game, good atmosphere, nice drawings and a lively background moving on the waves a bit.

The game's a bit short, but I wasn't expecting any long tales of infinity for only 2 bucks.
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2014
If they don't they die... go fig.
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29 of 37 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 11, 2015
What is a hero? What does heroism have to do with a froggy horror game?

Heroes are not always the biggest, the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, the most popular, or the cutest. A hero can be none of these.

In fact, a hero can be completely, utterly, helpless.

Powerful weapons, shiny armor, fancy spells, even legends of exploits... these mean nothing to a frog, and to your knowledge, you are not the poisonous kind of amphibian.

You begin this journey out of mere curiosity. You continue out of survival.

As I played They Breathe, I honestly felt building wonder and terror as horror itself rose to meet me. Every wave was electrifying. I admit, I sweated. Some might say profusely. By the end, at the climax... fire ran through my body, threatening to paralyze me.

But do you even "win the day"? What does that even mean to a frog?

They Breathe is a purist distillation of what many other games hide, and lose, behind an advertised front of graphics, features, and voicework of all sorts. Here, you will not find much in "game content", reflected by the small download size and very small price.

But you will find a soulful, wordless look at the very heart of a hero, represented with the simplicity of a frog and the honesty of nature itself.

If you seek timelessness in your collection, They Breathe is a pearl of great price, sold for *scoffs in amazement* a 2 dollar bill.
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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Interesting and unsettling.

Gave me a very real feeling of dread that I can only describe as "I do not want to be here". No popscares or sudden loud noises. Just a damn good example of how environment design, sound mixing and unique mechanics can set such a great mood.

Unfortunately contains a few (seemingly random) game-breaking bugs where enemies refuse to spawn. It's a short game though (~30 minutes), so starting over doesn't feel like much of a chore.

Highly recommend.
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31 of 41 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
You play as a frog that want to dive into the depth of swamp.
In the depths you need to breathe, you need oxygen that can be found trapped inside bubbles.
You have to battle with underwater cows and jellyfishes for the oxygen since they also want to breathe.

Do everything you can to survive, sacrifice your fellow frogs, kill the jellyfishes!
Breathe, Breathe and survive!
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Recently Posted
0.6 hrs
Posted: October 15
Loved the art and music style. At first I was like, "so what do I do," but jumping right in and learning the concepts was enjoyable. I got too into it and started screaming at the moose. Worth a buy!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.9 hrs
Posted: September 10
This game is rather fun for how long it lasts. Was it scary? Not for me, but I have my own reasons why this game didn't scare me, and that's because I love... "swimming".

But, yes, definitely a game I'd recommend getting because it's less than the price of a McDonald's meal... and will likely last just a bit longer than one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.1 hrs
Posted: September 9
Product received for free
It's a very nice one time story that you can play, worth the $ although I got it for free I still wanted to buy this game JUST to experience it on my own.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: August 18
Meh, another mobile port. Game is VERY basic. But it on ale, or..... just don't.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Louis XIV
1.5 hrs
Posted: August 15
No Froggie NOOO!

You will play as Glenn the frog, whos aim is to explore where no froggie has ever dared to go. Sounds adorable right? They Breathe may appear to be a cutesy little game. Nope. Everything about it emanates an eerie vibe which lingers even after completing the game. Whilst on Glenn's dive he will witness his drowning comrades begging him for oxygen, and if you fail... well, you will watch them slowly die and float to the surface. And that's where it begins. If you are as terrible as I am at this game then you will also see deep lake creatures consume your frog mates.

The game's music is atmospheric, art is distinctive, and controls are basic. Great for quick 20 minute runs.

One thing I would've liked to see is an explanation of the creatures origin (not in the actual game as the wordiness would spoil the simplicity), perhaps in a factfile/gallery on the start menu.
There's a website which has info [password: jelly]:

The most disturbing discovery in They Breathe is when you find out where all of those nourishing air bubbles have been coming from :'(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Posted: August 15
EN / FR : They Breathe
A nice little game. Very short, approximately 30 minutes.
According to the credits, it is initially a school project. This probably explains the simplicity of the game.
The visual and sound atmosphere is nice.
Achievements are not complicated.


Un sympathique petit jeu. Très court, environ 30 minutes.
D'après les crédits, c'est initialement un projet d'école. Ce qui explique sans doute la simplicité du jeu.
L'ambiance visuelle et sonore est agréable.
Les succès ne sont pas forcément compliqués.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: August 9
A Game Worth Far More Than $2
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dracula Spelled Backwards
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 8
Short, cheap, creepy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Animal Wunks11
0.5 hrs
Posted: July 27
very GOOG game
Helpful? Yes No Funny