Inspired by Paul Gallico's 1969 novel The Poseidon Adventure, this game puts the player in the shoes of one of four denizens of the fated vessel: Capris Wisher, architect; Redwin Gardener, counselor; Luke Haines, sailor; or Jeffrey Howell, doctor. Each of these gentlemen possess certain exclusive skills and distinct backstories and motivations - a successful strategy toward winning the game will vary greatly depending on which character the player initially selects to control.
The goal is not to be on the ship when it goes down for the last time. Accomplishing this demands mastery of a new skill hitherto untapped by its platform-game spiritual predecessors Prince of Persia and Flashback: exploring and navigating the ship in both an upright and an upside-down position, as well as many of the gradiated permutations between - thanks to dizzying Mode 7 abuse, the game environment will tip, tilt and skew at predictable intervals, granting access to some hitherto unreachable areas while denying access to other portions of the ship the player perhaps intended to go back through.
A successful evacuation is going to require the assistance of other survivors. Supposing the player can find and reach them, it will still be necessary to safely lead them past obstacles and hazards; as with most NPCs, they're slower and less agile than the protagonist, necessitating plotting out the simplest, safest course possible, given the circumstances. The game's ending is determined by which and how many people the player managed to rescue.
The game must be completed within a time limit of one hour. Since injury in this dangerous and unpredictable environment is so frequent and, indeed, inevitable, death has been replaced by a deduction of five minutes from the time remaining; but no matter how safe the protagonist may find himself after one hour of game time, when the countdown reaches zero, it's game over.
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