The Deep is one of the few games that really feels like a full featured game for the iPhone. It is a game that rewards and demands exploration. I have seen reviews comparing it somewhat to the Metroid series when it comes to exploration, and going back to previously completed levels to try them out with new upgrades. The Deep has got that feel to it that you can always find more secrets the more you play.
You are an adventurer ready to take on any task you get from the whacky characters you stumble upon. From the tanned Steven giving you abuse for your lack of tan to Silvio the mysterious somewhat senile shopkeeper you get loads of strange, and funny conversations. You have to select your responses from a selection, and at times it really pays off reading the answers. Clues to finding objects, as well as new ways to interact with the environment are mentioned by the characters. Once you have talked enough, and agreed to help someone you can go to your boat. The map view shows up, and you can select a dive spot to launch the main game.
The Deep is an arcade game where you have to swim around avoiding obstacles and enemies while finding objects, and collecting treasure. There are three touch based control schemes that all work really well. Depending on your preferences you can have an onscreen controller, a controller that shows up where you touch on the screen, and finally a touch to follow mode where the diver follows your finger. I have used all three, and finally settled on the dynamic analogue showing up where I touch. No matter which method you prefer this is the main controls. Apart from swimming you also flip switches, plant dynamite and open passages by tapping on screen objects. On screen button for the harpoon, and other tools show up as you unlock/buy them. The controls are top notch.
Once in the water an oxygen meter starts counting down, and you have to surface to refill your air supply before it reaches zero. If it goes down to zero the game is over, and you get thrown back to the start. The meter also goes down when you are attacked by evil sharks, hit by spiky balls or even touched by pirate ghosts. The money you find while diving can be used to upgrade your speed, oxygen meter and defence from Silvio the shopkeeper.
There are lots of puzzles within the game where you have to pull levers to unlock doors in the correct order. Most areas need to be revisited a number of times to solve all puzzles, and find all the treasure. This is the main draw of the game, and it can be really addictive. A status bar during the pause menu lets you know how much of the game you have completed.
The Deep comes with a massive 40 levels, and all are varied with their own unique enemies and themes. The level of creativity in level design is really high, both in regards of presentation and puzzles. It is a joy unlocking new dive spots to see what new enemies the developer has managed to throw at you.
The presentation is overall really good, with bright colourful graphics. While diving there is always something going on. Enemies are nicely animated, and come in all shapes and sizes. Cell shaded backgrounds look great, and there are environmental aspects in front of the diver as well giving the game depth. At times it can get too crowded, and it becomes hard to keep track of what you are doing.
The music and sound effects are well put together and suit the game really well. No individual volume controls available. The only control for sound is an on/off option. The game fades out your own music, and I would like to have the option to play my own music.
The Deep is a quality title that you can sink many pleasurable hours into. Great controls, gamelife, graphics and gameplay makes it a definite recommendation from me. The Deep is easy to get into, and really hard to let go.
The Deep $3.99 SALE at $0.99 until 23/1 -2010. Get it now!
Seller: 3G Studios, Inc.