An undersea adventure that won’t drown you in mediocrity!

Home Arts and Entertainment An undersea adventure that won’t drown you in mediocrity!


By Bit Blot, LLC

Genre: Action-Adventure/Underwater Metroidvania!

Not rated but I would guess an Everyone 10+ for Mild Violence.

Another intensely relaxing game that puts me in the exploration mood, Aquaria has been described by some as Ecco the Dolphin (a classic SEGA Genesis underwater title) meets Metroidvania, my overall favorite genre of 2D game. And I’m pretty sure it fits that description.

You play Naija, a cute fish-girl (with legs instead of a mermaid’s fin) who (according to her narration), as far as she can remember, is the only one of her kind. She’s always just lived as a feral creature, only wanting to do her own thing, until she receives a vision from a mysterious visitor; she is meant for more than her mundane existence, and she sets out to discover her destiny.

It may take a little getting used to, but eventually you’ll find your ideal method for controlling Naija as she swims through her massive undersea world; I prefer mouse and keyboard. Early on in your adventure you discover that the means to progress through the world is tied to the Verse; the life energy that flows through the ocean is manipulated by Naija’s songs. You’ll learn about a dozen in your travels, from those that protect to those that change your shape, and others that manipulate the world around you.

Said world, unfortunately, is not all songs and rainbows, no pun intended; even in her Home Waters, Naija must deal with threats in the form of giant, mutated sea creatures, from fish to nautili and more exotic ones the further out you go. Fortunately, you learn how to become a being of pure Energy early in the game, and thus able to shoot balls of fire (yes, fire in water; how that makes sense is a good question) at your enemies. Still, your battles will be quite challenging; you’ll have to solve puzzles on the fly (er, swim) during most of the ‘boss’ encounters, but it’s not normally too difficult.

To improve Naija and buff her abilities, you’re able to ‘cook’ or synthesize many of the items you come across. From increasing her speed or firepower, to healing her in a critical moment, your judicious use of the many recipes you find will definitely boost Naija’s chances of survival. Also, you may find certain cosmetic objects that will be placed throughout Naija’s home cave; another collection element, but it’s a pleasure to find things in this beautiful watery world.

As you probably know already, I thoroughly enjoy Metroidvania games, and this one is no exception! The atmosphere is downright soothing, the music is great and evokes both calm and danger in proper proportion, and the narration really draws you into the story. Five out of five!