Anybody who has been following the Wii U eShop will have noticed the trend of budget titles getting released on an almost weekly basis. These titles range from small-scale games with fun ideas to quickly made cash-grabs. Abyss, developed by Barcelona based studio EnjoyUp Games, thankfully falls into the former category.
Abyss is set in the year 3024 where humans have used up most of the Earth’s resources and have to venture into the depths of the ocean in order to find a usable energy. This resource, called Gaia, is collected by a robotic vehicle called Nep2no. The backstory is all found in Abyss’ digital manual as the game is devoid of any actual story while playing. Still, it’s a neat albeit slightly dark set-up that gives a proper background to the gameplay found within the title.
Each level found within Abyss tasks the player with guiding Nep2no around an underwater maze in order to collect Gaia. Underwater physics are in full effect as Nep2no is incredibly touchy to control and any large movement can lead to the vehicle hitting a wall and exploding. The game requires more patience than skill as the game is about deliberate, smart movements. There isn’t much Nep2no can do as the player can only tilt the robot and choose when to accelerate.
Each level is timed although the game only supports local leaderboards. This kills a lot of the speedrunning appeal and replayability as players will have to manually ask their friends for their times if they wish to beat them. Most levels only take a few minutes to successfully complete but it will take many tries to do so due to how frail Nep2no is.
After completing the game’s first set of missions, Dark Mode is unlocked which contains even more difficult levels. These levels require more Gaia to be collected and will definitely test players. Abyss also features a competitive two player mode (where players race to see who can complete a level first) and a self-explanatory time attack mode. It is surprisingly full featured for a two dollar title.
Abyss truly shines in its visual style as the game captures the dark depths of the sea well. Nep2no’s light leads the way through the dark maze-like levels and the game truly looks great when lit up. The lighting is top-notch and there is a lot to like visually. Likewise, the game also features a well-done electronic soundtrack and even features some voice-over which warns Nep2no when he is close to crashing.
Ultimately, Abyss is too simple for its own good to truly stand out. The gameplay never really evolves and the game’s touchy movement can be incredibly off-putting at times. That said, it is certainly a rewarding experience for those that pay the meager entrance fee.
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