This game makes me sick. Not in an indignant, “I can’t believe the developer is selling this” kind of way, but the literal kind of sickness that causes me to be nauseous every time I pick it up. Deep is a game in which the player guides a falling man down tunnels filled with laser faeries, shield bubbles, and some really cool graphical effects. Sounds fun, no? It is, and so it was with dogged persistence that I played Deep- all the while holding back my breakfast.
Allow me to clarify exactly how Deep makes me ill. There is something about the tunnel rushing by and inevitable proximity of the screen to my face that triggers my gag reflex Games have never made me motion sick; I played through Mirror’s Edge without the crosshair, go to Six Flags whenever the opportunity presents itself, and even played through Space Giraffe which makes people sick in general. There is simply something about this game that makes me ill, and of course I cannot say whether or not it will have the same effect on anyone else. As I fell further and further down the tunnels I became more woozy, I put the game down for a day or so and on my fourth or fifth attempt I stopped playing the game after it inevitably made me vomit. Perhaps it is to the developer’s credit that their game put me in the experience of falling to my death so well that my body responded accordingly.
The game itself is pleasant, and as one falls down the tunnel there are plenty of coins, hearts and powerups to collect. The ultimate objective being to gain as many points as possible, and fall through as many levels as one can without dying. High scores are recorded, but there are no online leaderboards. Deep is controlled using the iPhone’s accelerometer, and at any time a calibration tool is available to adjust to a desired angle of play. The tunnels themselves look great, the somewhat simple 3d graphics are made better by the textures and smooth framerate. As one falls, not only must they avoid hitting the walls of the cavern but tree roots, falling rocks and even the unexplained metal grates. Hitting any of the aforementioned obstacles will cause the character to bleed profusely and lose health- which can be replenished through the collection of hearts. The most nefarious of obstacles is a small unnamed purple object that results in the flipping of the screen and usually the compounding of my illness. Available to combat most dangers in the game are protective bubbles and laser shooting faeries; both of which can be picked up at random points of a level. Two things that really stood out to me were the textures on the ice levels and the entertaining music featured in the game.
Deep, as a whole, is most certainly not a complex game. The game embodies what many have come to expect from a decent iPhone game, which is a bite sized experience that while ultimately not earth-shattering delivers enjoyment similar to that of a good candy bar. Normally I ding games for not having leaderboards, and Deep is certainly no exception. This is a game I would most definitely pick up and play if it didn’t make me so sick, and to be frank my experience was quite hellish.
Deep is available on the iTunes store for the reasonable price of .99 cents.