Friday, 16 November 2012

Under the Ocean

Back in 2010, I wrote a little piece about Paul Greasley's brilliant survival game Under the Garden. Since its release, the survival genre has really taken off and now Paul is back with a new game - Under the Ocean, which builds on many of his previous game's features.

Paul has been joined on this project by Michael Reitzenstein, Chris Geehan and Philippe Martins and although still in Alpha, Under the Ocean is already looking polished and plays extremely well.

The game has moved away from the rugged mountain terrain of Under the Garden and takes place on an island, complete with tropical storms and a cave network. By using and combining items washed up on the beach and scavenging the island, your shipwrecked character attempts to survive for as long as he can. That means making a spear to harpoon fish, finding flint and dry leaves to make a warming campfire, sawing planks to create wooden structures and filling buckets with fresh rainwater to keep thirst at bay.

Visuals in this early build are wonderful, with fluid animation and spectacular lighting and weather effects already in place, while Chris Geehan's gentle music is reminiscent of bands such as Hammock and fits the game perfectly.

On top of the main game, there's a sandbox construction mode, where you can futz about and build a whole heap of stuff, including a house, complete with fireplace and windows.

To access the Alpha, two packages are available. For $7, you can download the Pretty Cool Silver Bear Edition, or the Super Golden Bear Edition for $25, which comes - as you would expect - with a raft of added extras.

I've really enjoyed the few hours I've spent with Under the Ocean and I can't wait to see what the team add in future updates. For more details, visit the official website here.

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