Mini-review: Abyss

Published by at

Deep in the heart of the ocean, you stare into the abyss - and the abyss looks back at you. No, hang on, that's a movie. This is pretty cinematic in its visuals though - you control a deep sea octopus-like robot trying to swim around gathering energy blobs. The catch is that your controls are limited to rotating left and right and 'thrusting', Lunar Lander/Asteroid-style. With hazards all around, this is very hard indeed - if you can get past the first few levels then you're doing very well indeed.

From the Store description:

In Abyss you will control Nep2no, a biomechanical robot created by humans to explore the depths of the ocean in seek of a new source of energy called “Gaia”. Abyss is a dark exploration through submarine caves and dangerous ocean trenches. Guide the brave Nep2no in his mission through mysterious grottos, discover forbidden depths, unfold secret passages, and gather all the Gaia to save humanity. A fantastic rework of the console classic, only for Windows.

Unlock up to 20 Xbox Live achievements for a total of 200G. Beat your friends and compare your progress through our Leaderboards system.

Use your left thumb to rotate and your right thumb to accelerate. Easy to use, hard to master, that’s all there is to it. Will you be able to handle Nep2no and save humanity?

Abyss is a dark, hard game. Both punishing and rewarding; it will make you sweat while trying to avoid all kinds of traps, rifts, spikes, and deadly submarine tunnels...

Think the classic Lunar Lander but under water and with James Cameron-esque visuals. Oh, yes, and lots of deadly spikes and hazards...

Here's Abyss in action:

Screenshot, AbyssScreenshot, Abyss

This game has permission to do WHAT? A rather worryingly long set of permissions for a game, but hey, we trust Game Troopers not to put out malware, surely? (right) controls are simple to understand, much, much harder to master....

Screenshot, Abyss

Difficulty (the brightness of the abyss), music, effects are all controllable, and I loved the way the menu UI follows the themes and feel of the game itself.

Screenshot, Abyss

And so into the abyss. The controls are very akin to Lunar Lander, with thrusting needed constantly in order to counteract gravity, which still has effect even so deep in the ocean.

Screenshot, Abyss

But one slip and your character contacts the spikes and hazards in the undersea landscape - a couple of these contacts and it's level over. Your goal in each level? To gather all the energy pods.

Not bad, but could do with some tuning to the controls (perhaps a slider to adjust rotational sensitivity?) and you'll have to have perfect hand-eye coordination to progress very far. You can buy the game for just over £2 in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Store