“Under the Sea” is a simple, charming game about exploring an atoll and meeting the ocean life there.

Gameplay: The game is somewhat reminiscent of the old Infocom games Seastalker or Cutthroats, given its aquatic theme and focus on puzzles. While it’s as friendly to young players as Seastalker, “Under the Sea” is a much stronger game with a more active protagonist. Compared with Cutthroats, it’s less confrontational and more tightly focused. The puzzles are simple but logical (modulo the assumptions of the setting) and well-clued throughout. 6/10.

Mechanics: The puzzles in the game are solid. One of the objects in the game provides hints for them, but the puzzles are easy enough and the game space is compact enough that it’s largely unnecessary. After completing a significant puzzle, the player is given the choice of how the narrator should record the events, generaly either in a detached and truthful way or in a florid and self-aggrandizing way. It doesn’t affect the plot beyond adding color to the game (and affecting the epilogue), but it’s a nice touch. 7/10.

Presentation: The text is strong throughout, particularly in its characterization of the protagonist via the logging system. There are a few typos in it, but nothing major. Several easter eggs and other secrets, listed in the walkthrogh, augment the main plotline. 7/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You’d like to play a fun, simple, well-made game.

Score: 7

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