It was supposed to be a simple mission. All I had to do was collect some samples from a contaminated area under the sea. As soon as I left the ship, everything went wrong. Communications were lost and my submarine crashed on the ocean floor. I survived, but my oxygen is running low and I can’t contact anyone for help. All I can do is move forward with this operations drone as my only companion. Trouble is, it’s been acting sort of weird lately. Almost as if it’s trying to sabotage my mission…
Anoxemia is a fantastic 2D story driven under water exploration game from BSK Games that has you take control of Dr. Bailey (or as I call him Mr. Pinky due to his rather large pink moustache) and his operations drone, ATMA. You search the ocean floor looking for samples of infected plants. As you dive deeper you have to search the bowels of underwater caves, traversing through powerful currents that can leave you powerless till you figure out how to divert the current (happened to me and I died… not fun). Other dangers which lurk are mines that have been left from the war, poison, mobile machines that are running haywire, acid that lurks above making it so you can’t go up, and running out of oxygen if you can’t find anymore tanks laying around.
Fortunately you are not completely without help. ATMA can help lead you to your destination using a few special tools and upgrades.. if you can find them, that is.
While the water seems quiet enough as you swim through and collect oxygen, upgrades, and of course the plants you need in order to finish your mission, every use of your radar will reveal more mines and other dangers. You also run the risk of running out of energy every time you use your radar. The more you progress through the levels the more you can hear Mr. Pinky talk to himself. He comments about the drone, wondering if it is leading him into danger. He also repeats that he must complete the mission before wondering to himself if he has already said that.
During certain parts of the game, the rocky formations that you traverse change and look more like bodies than rocks. The first time I saw this was when I went to collect an explosive. The screen went dark and when it became a bit lighter I was surrounded by proximity mines and what appears to be bodies. On my first play through of the level, I didn’t notice it, but after I died by blowing myself up and redid the level I saw it.
I had thought when I saw the trailer and got the game that it might be easy, but as I played it proved that it’s not as easy as it looks. You have to be quick on your feet when it comes to the puzzles, but a good portion of them can be quite tricky to figure out (such as changing currents in caves). One of the harder levels for me was when you go into a sunken submarine from the war. The level was dark and it was hard to see where to go, even after turning the brightness up. In saying that, I also found it fun to gather log books to find out what happened. There was also more oxygen tanks and an oxygen power station, which was helpful as navigating around the tank took up more oxygen than I thought it would.
While I found the game hard and even frustrating to the point where I had to turn off my Playstation and wait a bit before going back to it, I did enjoy Anoxemia. It was more enjoyable than I first thought. Out of the 38 levels that the game has, I think I got through about 20 of them. It is definitely a game to go back to as it has an achievement that you can only get from completing the game without dying, which is harder than it sounds. Also I know that in the levels I did play I missed out on gathering a few things that would have probably led to more achievements, oxygen, upgrades, and energy.
SCORE – 90%
Reviewed On – Playstation 4