Apr 28, 2014
Here comes Abyss Attack, a submarine shooter with arcade credentials.
The gameplay feels a lot like AirAttack HD, in that the main goal is to keep the ever-shooting craft going. This caper is in the depths of the ocean, and the lethal obstacles are fantastical sea creatures that are as creepily dangerous as they are easy on the eyes. Any contact with these creatures is lethal to a degree; they are quite varied, with some stretching from the sides, and others emanate from the “top” of the playing area, and each with an interesting way of moving that makes them hard to avoid. Our sea craft is guided via one finger continuously on the screen; the craft follows the finger as long as contact is made. As noted, the submarine is always shooting, so getting it in position to destroy the weird sea fauna while simultaneously avoiding them is key. If one so chooses, tilt controls can be utilized in settings.
Dispatched enemies usually leave behind crystals, and crystals are important as a form of game currency; picking them up can be hazardous to the health, because the game UI ensures there is an opportunity cost associated with trying to retrieve them. There are also timed powerups to pick up, like crystal magnets or heightened weaponry. The garnered crystals can be used to upgrade powerups (which are especially useful for the bosses). and to procure better subs. There are also special relics than can be collected in-game.
The game also employs tasks, and there is a ranking system too. Real cash can be used optionally to expecite things, but the game can be enjoyed without.
For all the fun, this game is a bit of a one-trick pony with regards to gameplay; the upgrade process breaks this up a bit, but the game sticks to its job. The playing area feels a bit cramped too.
All in all, I can’t help but appreciate the game. It’s simple, it’s engaging and it can be played in small burst or long episodes across generations.