In Other Watersby Aethyna Apr 11, 2020 | 1 Votes | 76 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate In Other Waters puts you into the role of a seemingly-conscious AI as you help Ellery the xenobiologist track her missing friend, Minae. As she seeks for answers, she stumbles upon a magnificent ecosystem that's under threat from an algae-like bloom and a tragic incident that might have just wiped out an entire sentient alien race. Play Now Similar Games Played
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To call In Other Waters a mere game is an understatement. It’s an adventure that truly immerses you, the player, into a thriving alien world that Ellery the xenobiologist you're guiding, being her diving suit's AI and all, is exploring as you track down her missing scientist and dear friend, Minae. As she seeks for answers, she stumbles upon a magnificent ecosystem that's under threat from an algae-like bloom and a tragic incident that might have just wiped out an entire sentient alien race. This game is a real treat for fans of sci-fi games, that’s for sure!
In this game, you join Ellery Vas, a xenobiologist who travelled to the alien planet, Gliese 677Cc, in response to a call for help by a long-time friend and ex-partner, Minae Nomura. However, instead of meeting her friend, she was left a trail of “breadcrumbs”, so to speak, to follow and what Ellery found as she tracks down Minae is astounding to say the least – the first brand new extraterrestrial lifeforms known to mankind… or so she thought…
In Other Waters is, in essence, a 2D, top-down adventure game where you’ll guide a xenobiologist as she scours the ocean planet of Gliese 677Cc in search of a dear, but missing, friend. The game is based solely on 2 main mechanics – movement which will allow you to uncover new sections of the game, and interaction whereby you’ll get to use items that are part of the alien ecosystem to interact with the local flora or fauna, as well as to collect samples.
Movement in this game is inherently linked to its scanning system whereby you’ll need to scan for points of interests (POIs) before you can select a point, adjust the targeting system to align with said point before moving. It does feel rather tedious at times, especially in situations when every extra second spent in the harsh environment is detrimental to one of the many stats on your suit, namely the power and oxygen levels, but I’d say that it feels very realistic.
You can easily restore your power and oxygen levels if you make it to a waypoint on the map, but since waypoints are rare – only 1 per section of a map – the easier alternative is to make full use of the many natural items you can find around you in the alien ecosystem.
This is where the “interaction” aspect comes in. As a xenobiologist, Ellery is determined to document and categorize the many fascinating lifeforms on the alien planet. There are two non-intrusive ways to do so. You’ll need to scan enough of the lifeforms to, each time uncovering a new observation about the species in question, and once done, you should have a general profile of that flora or fauna.
However, in order to understand how things really work for that species, some specimens will be needed and thankfully, in this game, you don’t harm the local lifeforms in anyway in order to collect them. Instead, you’ll have to search around for samples that you can basically pick up of the ground, so to speak.
If you made sure to sample everything you see and explore every inch of the map, you should be able to easily collect all the samples needed to complete your research into a specific species and unlock Ellery’s sketch – an actual drawing of the species as opposed to just dots. It’s definitely worth the effort.
As you play, you’ll unlock new features including vital tools that you’ll need to uncover new areas to explore and to progress the storyline. Being able to be recalled immediately to base rather than having to go all the way back to a waypoint is, for instance, immensely helpful.
Earlier I’ve mentioned that the game has a unique top-down view, instead of being a first-person experience. This perspective not only works really well in visualizing the alien world you’re exploring through the lenses of a diving suit AI, you’ll also come to appreciate the ingenuity behind the simplicity and minimalism that went into the graphics of the game. Of course, having a well-made UI works great here too, and as more features are unlocked for you, you’ll basically go through a short step-by-step tutorial.
The friendship forged between you, as the seemingly “more intelligent than usual” AI of a diving suit, and Ellery the xenobiologist as the game progresses is nothing short of amazing as well. In Other Waters is, in every sense, a very well-made game!
In Other Waters is a single-player experience through and through. It is no social aspect nor any multiplayer ones. However, since the game is very “story-heavy”, you might find it fruitful to drop by the game’s discussion forums to talk to other players about the story of the game and to speculate on certain plot points that the game left to your own imagination.
I truly cannot commend the developers and the designers behind this incredible game enough! The ingenuity of using simple shapes, colors, lines, and animations to bring to life the thriving ecosystem of an alien world that you can then explore is nothing short of amazing! The unique top-down really works to the game’s advantage as well, especially in certain areas of the planet where light is scarce or that the waters are muddied by an algae-like bloom.
Of course, I also love the way the color scheme of the interface is changed based on different situations whether I’m in deep waters or going through a toxic algae-like bloom. The game is, without a doubt, a work of art and would teach future game developers on the merit of minimalism in game design.
The sound is as brilliant as the graphics as well. They change depending on the events that gradually unfolds before you, and they fit so perfectly too, greatly enhancing the immersion of the game.
If anyone has any doubt as to whether or not games are works of art, In Other Waters will put all the arguments to rest – games ARE works of art. The game manages to use common shapes (circles to be specific), colors, lines and animations, which when coupled with the incredibly-descriptive text to bring to life an alien world that only exist in our minds.
Of course, that's not including the well-written story about a xenobiologist's journey through the watery planet in search of her ex-partner and friend while discovering an astounding diversity of alien lifeforms, all working together to survive under different and sometimes harsh conditions. After all, life finds a way.