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SummaryOne of the more ambitious indie games out there.
- Good well paced gameplay
- A lot of variety in enemy design, abilities and puzzles
- Beautiful graphics
- Great soundtrack
- Great voice acting
- Some stiff animations
- First hour was not very fun
- Ending hints at a sequel that we probably won't see
The Bottom LineAquaria is a very ambitious indie game, that's for sure. It gives you a massive world to explore, with plenty of secrets. Each region has its own theme, but they don't clash with each other. In fact, the world feels coherent and well though out.
As for its gameplay, it can be described as a mix between Metroid & Echo the dolphin. You swim around in this huge labyrinth like world, solve puzzles, fight enemies and gather powerups. Around the world you will find different forms that gives you different abilities. One might give you the ability to shoot enemies, while another lets you swim faster and a third one lets you see in the dark. All of these forms brings their own thing to the game, and all feel useful for more than just a single puzzle. Apart from different forms, you will also gather life powerups, items to place in your home (some are useful, others are just there for decoration) and different costumes (again, some are useful, but most are just cosmetic). The game encourages you to explore its vast underwater world, by not only giving you powerups, but also new and interesting challenges.
For a 2D metroid-like game, this game is quite lengthy. Expect your first playthrough to last you somewhere between 12-16h, if you are familiar with these types of games, and potentially far more if you are not. Even though the game is rather lengthy (for its genre), it never gets boring. The game constantly introduces new and interesting challenges and abilities, to keep things fresh. The only part that was a bit less interesting was the very start, before you get the ability to attack. The game is somewhat disorienting at first, as it offers you no clear guidance, but once you get past this first hurdle, the game will start to feel more structured, and the world will gradually open up to you.
Overall this is one of the best indie games ever made. It is fun, challenging and incredibly well through out.