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 (704 reviews)
Release Date: May 23, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy They Breathe

 

Recommended By Curators

"[Georgia]"
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“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.”
http://indiegames.com/2012/12/indie_royale_profile_they_brea.html

About This Game

CAN YOU SEE IT?
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.

Features
  • 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" - Whatsyourtagblog.com
  • ''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.'' - Indiegamemag.com
  • ''a journey of discovery that is both rewarding and surprisingly horrifying'' - Plus10Damage

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Single Core 500 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 512 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
73 of 76 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person 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.

Notes

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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 28 people (86%) 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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 21 people (90%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 29 people (79%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
This is a short and very weird game. Quite unique experience.
I'd say it's worth the price.
8.5/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Short, but beautifully creepy game, gradually unfolding from an innocent view of a frog on a log to a lovecraftian nightmare in the depths. Who knew a game about frogs could be scary?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
Less a game and more of an experience. And oh what an experience it is. When this game gave me goosebumps, I knew it was getting under my skin. I'd say that's the mark of a truly engrossing experience.

$1.99 is perfectly acceptable. Getting it on sale is a must buy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
A short slow-burn dive into the existential horror of your own existence. Will give you a new appreciation for oxygen like very few experiences.

Fear the parasite. Love the breath. Save the frogs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Short, terrifying, and clever. More of a dollar-game than a two-dollar-game, but a worthwhile experience nonetheless.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
I always wanted to imagine what it would like being a frog. Well this game fulfilled my wish. Don't be fooled by the cute picture. This game is morbid and I found it scary at times. Worth the $2.00 although it is about only 30 minutes long. Well 30 minutes of being a cute little frog.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
I was immersed with survival games when I blindly dived into this game so I was really determined to keep Glenn alive. I kept on taking the all bubbles and ignored the other frogs. Took me more than a minute to figure out what is happening with this game before I realized that They Breathe.

When I finished the game for the first time I think I was able to save only two other frogs. I thought that I would never touch this game again but I saw that this had achievements. I kept playing to unlock all of them and it took me pretty long trying to save all of the frogs.

I really like the challenges added to this game through the achievements. The game would be pretty boring without them.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
28 of 46 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
Welcome to a creepy pond that is the home to frogs and mutant jellyfish. You play as a frog that must dive further and further into the unknown. The game locks you into a single screen, although you can leave the screen and an arrow will mark where you are. Why is this important? Because you are being chased and followed by jellyfish. Your only defense is the ability to dart through the water. The one button controls ensure this could have been played on an Atari joystick. Your only allies are air bubbles that you need for oxygen (health). It feels like an old school arcade game with updated atmospheric color penciled graphics.

There are a few types of jellyfish, those that have heads (making me think they were yaks swimming underwater) you will need to outlast, until they run out of oxygen. For every bubble that they catch, these jellyfish will dash at you, but you can dart out of the way. More typical jellyfish (headless) will burst if they hit enough air bubbles. You need to bait them to the air, but the longer they haven't bumped into anything, the faster they go. If they catch you, you'll be stuck inside them until a bubble hits them. So what's the danger then? When the headless jellyfish burst, their tentacles spring out damaging you and other frogs. You will also find green jellyfish that rapid fire what look like radioactive air bubbles at you. It almost turns into a bullet hell shooter for brief moments.

On your way down, you'll see frogs in trouble, in a panicked state looking for air. You'll need to bait them over to you for air or bump into them, sending them into air bubbles. Once they have enough air / health, they'll swim away out of danger.

In their panicked state, they can be caught by the 'headed' jellyfish and brought down into the abyss, where the jellyfish gets a supercharged, more aggressive dash. If you take too much damage from headed jellyfish, your green frog will start to turn brown and bleed. This is where oxygen comes into play. It is your health. If you haven't had oxygen, you will turn brown before you too end up in a panicked state.

If you are in a panicked state and get dragged down to the abyss, that's a game over and to the last checkpoint, which quickly loads.

You will quickly reach the bottom of the morbid pond within 20 minutes, uncovering the horrifying truth of what lies below. What has been causing the air bubbles. ... unless the game glitches and prevents the screen before the boss from panning down to the boss. After beating the game the first time and quickly replaying it, I ran into the glitch three times in a row. Luckily you can just recall the last wave (checkpoint).

In all of its glory, its a good game, but its just less than 30 minutes with old school gameplay that can be done on an Atari controller. Is it worth a playthrough, yes, but only if you like old school Atari gameplay and a creepy unconventional tone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
This game has fun gameplay and a dark story! The gameplay has an eerie feel to it like something is happening that you dont know. Because there is! Have you ever looked at the moose's head upside down? Try it! As you discover the story you survive on one thing, no its not drugs... Its oxeygen!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
Well, They Breathe was over after half an hour but I have to say I had fun doing it. From what I worked out, the aim is to collect air bubbles for your frog while stopping the Jellyfish getting them...I think?

About five minutes in, you will think there are swimming cows underwater with you, but sadly they aren't, these are frogs trapped inside jellyfish, that just look like cows (and make the same noises)

I can't really recommend you pick this up at any other time, apart from when it's part of a bundle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
Adrift and alone on a log, a little frog plunges into depths unknown, too explore and rescue his fellow species. Warmth and sunlight fade. Darkness grows. Near dead creatures lurk ever present, ready take from our hero the one thing he has to offer... His breath!

They Breathe, is a deeply moving, haunting, and bittersweet experience.

There were moments when playing this game, I felt my chest tighten up, or my breath catch. I felt desperate to get away from the things trying to envelop me, and wildly hopeful and joyous over each life I helped save. My emotions ran the gambit.

Gameplay is smooth throughout. During my session, I didn't encounter any bugs of any kind. Also, I found that the melodies and sounds lingered in my mind after I had stopped playing.... Nicely done.

The Working Parts, has created a gem of a game. Do yourself a favor and add it to your library!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
Short but very memoriable experience, make sure you are not eating while playing this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
fulfilled my life-long desire to embody a frog and rid an abyssal forest from all evil
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Um, yeah. The game's short, which is fair enough as it's also cheap, and sometimes there's something to be said for limited commitment. No harm, no foul on that front.
That said, reading the description and some of the steam reviews, I expected an eerie atmosphere, and I expected either some creepy, scary, unsettling denouement at the bottom of the pond, or some treehugger biosphere message. Or maybe something about harsh realities of survival in the natural world, for all I know. I didn't get either. I just gave a bunch of jellyfish the run around as I swam on down. Then, it ended.
I guess my only take-away from this game is that if you stick a frog on a jellyfish, it looks like a cow.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Okey.. It's about FROG.
That's it and i like it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
really weird game but pretty fun once you understand all of its crazieness. for a simple game that a few guys just made its pretty cool so yeah i totally reccomend it. get this ♥♥♥♥♥tttttt
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
Cirno Imouto: i know what they breathe is about though
Cirno Imouto: frog in water
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny