Deep Ones is a side-scrolling retro platformer developed by BURP! Games and published by Sometimes You. It tells the story of an unnamed, silent protagonist who suffers a brutal crash in his submarine after running into a giant red octopus. Upon reaching the bottom of the ocean, he embraces his fate and begins his journey to achieve his own survival. Whether it is fighting skeleton pirates, menacing sharks, or the overwhelming darkness that surrounds him, he must use his wits to endure this living nightmare. Can you triumph over the evils around you or will you just end up floating to the surface?
The gameplay mechanics presented throughout this game are average to a platformer with a few additional aspects to give it is own unique flair. The game will change between a platformer to a shoot ‘em up to a brawler all within the first hour or two. I really enjoyed this idea as it kept the game fresh, especially with the retro aesthetic that causes a variety of game to get old fast. The one thing that I noticed while playing Deep Ones was that there was not a whole lot going on. You encounter one, maybe two, obstacles at a time near the beginning and it doesn’t really ramp up that quick. I didn’t even run into a cluster of enemies until I reached the boss fight. I do not mean for that to come across as a bad thing. While the game has it challenging moments, it is nice to be able to sit back and relax at least during the beginning. I found it quite nice to go through some difficult sections and feel accomplished to being able to causally jump from block to block, shooting the occasional turtle.
Visually, I did not enjoy this game at all. The game is touted as being inspired by the graphical style of the ZX Spectrum and I understand that the developers were going for a retro feel, but it just came across as crude. I will agree that I did not grow up with that system in my life, so I understand that I may not be the demographic they were going after, but I could agree that most people are not. It has that retro feel and it does not take away from the actual game, but I just was not feeling it. This game brought a lot of retro to the table, but it just makes me want to put it down after a while, like most older titles. I felt the same way about he soundtrack in this game. It was lackluster throughout and didn’t really provide any high moments in my gaming experience. I felt that the jumping noise got old rather quick and was more of an annoyance than something that was actually appealing to the ear.
Sometimes You has been publishing a ton of games lately and I have had the pleasure of reviewing a few of them and personally playing others. Some of them have been amazing experience, while others just feel flat on arrival. Thankfully, Deep Ones fell into the first category due solely to the enthralling gameplay. While I was not a fan of the visuals and the story was rather confusing from time to time, I entrusted that my enjoyment would stay as long as the mechanics didn’t get too repetitive. This game definitely had its low points, but I had fun the entire time and that is what I am taking away from this game the most.
In conclusion, Deep One was an interesting experience that brought fun, but at the price for a visual style that only meet some niche markets. It is priced at $5 USD, which I would highly recommend for such a low price point. I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a retro-arcade platformer to scratch that itch. So, if you are ready, don that diver suit because we are going down!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
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