Arion
 
 
A connoisseur of video games who also happens to enjoy writing! TheMidCoreGamer

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Review Showcase
4.8 Hours played
Wow... What. A. Game!

As an exploration-driven adventure, In Other Waters is designed to intrigue; to tell a tragic yet hopeful story; and to make you marvel at a gorgeous alien oceanic planet that's "shown" to you through incredibly-descriptive text and top-down visuals consisting "merely" of simple shapes, colours and animations.

You won't be exploring this lively alien planet alone though. After all, in this game, you play as a seemingly-conscious AI in a diving suit that had malfunctioned. Your job here is to guide your "operator"-slash-companion, a xenobiologist called Ellery, who's here in response to an urgent request by her friend, Minae, to the places she wants to go as she tracks down her friend and eventually find out what Minae had intended for her to find... which includes a wonderfully-diverse yet immensely-interconnected ecosystem of alien lifeforms and a tragic mystery involving the exoplanet mining corporation they both work for.

Watch me play!
Part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC3skVhnt90
Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DQkYx1GsHw

Now, I'll have to admit - the game can be a tad bit "slow" mainly because of the way you travel from one point to another in this game... personally, I'd prefer if scanning my surroundings is done automatically whenever I moved... but trust me when I say that if you persevere, you'll be well-rewarded with a beautifully well-written and paced story that, in combination with superb graphics and sound, will completely immerse you, making you feel everything that Ellery is feeling and experiencing everything that Ellery is going through. You know those games that no other game will ever come close to? Well, In Other Waters is definitely one of those games.

I also enjoy exploring the different sections of the ocean planet, discovering and cataloging new species as I go. It's not very different from "collecting" new Pokemon but since this game is more science-y, you aren't collecting specimens just for collection's sake... you are also examining parts of a creature, and monitoring their behaviours and habits.

Best of all, you can use natural "signals" to get the local flora and fauna to do what you want, whether it is to shrink certain flora, like how a mimosa plant would when touched, just to reveal a new path or to make the local plants expand to slow down the currents so you could cross a channel. The process is very methodical and the sampling process is very non-invasive as well... in case that's of concern to you :)

Plus, being of a scientific background (biology, in fact), I've got to give the devs and the writing team props for making sure to use the style of writing that a real biologist would use. Every plant or animal you discover is described in brilliant detail, and once you've collected all the samples needed, you can even see Ellery's sketch of it.

There's a bit of resource management too with different environments affecting the drain on your energy and your oxygen levels differently. Thankfully, resources are pretty abundant in this game - it's obvious that the game isn't designed to be hardcore - and you could easily restock up on oxygen/energy-giving materials as you travel. That said, it's always wise to bring along some spares.

I've also got to give huge props to the graphics team for having the ingenuity to use simple shapes, colours, and animations to bring a whole alien world to life, and to the sound team as well for creating soundtracks that perfectly suit the events that are unfolding or lend gravity to the realization that's dawning upon me as I read the texts. These "little" things really make a huge difference when it comes to immersing a player in the virtual game world he/she is experiencing - and boy! Was I completely reeled in!

Pros
+ Fantastic storytelling, mostly done through texts. Expect lots of reading!
+ A gorgeous life-filled alien oceanic planet to explore. Makes you feel like a true xenobiologist!
+ The more scientific aspects of the game are all very well-done. There aren't too many scientific jargons (that I've noticed) that'd push laymen away from the game.
+ Offers an ingenious way to not only visualize the alien planet and everything in it, but also to show how lively it is (in most sectors).
+ Some resource and inventory management since you have a fairly limited inventory to store samples and that those samples can be used by your suit to restore some amount of energy and oxygen.
+ The main storyline is fairly short but sweet! Less than 5 hours if you only focus on the story.
+ Worth its asking price. I know that $2 for an hour of entertainment may come across as being expensive for some, but that's not including the several more hours you'll need to collect all the samples you'll need to fill up your catalogue, and the experience is very much worth it!

Cons/Feedback
- Suggestion: I think it might be a bit less tedious if scanning is done automatically whenever you've made a move from one point to another.
- Suggestion: Maybe there's a way to make it so that the player can queue up multiple discovered points before moving the suit?
- Bug: When I click on a sample in my inventory just to view its details, my energy/oxygen level will go up as if I've "used" the sample. The sample remains in my inventory and is definitely not "used up".

Overall
To put it simply, In Other Waters isn't just a game - it offers a breathtaking experience; a chance for you to explore and document an alien planet as a xenobiologist would, and to join Ellery in her journey to track down her friend Minae and hunt down the truth behind the weird phenomena she's seeing on said planet. It's a game I would recommend to others without hesitation, especially to those who enjoy a really good story and love experiencing a game that's so unique and innovative.

Hands-down one of the best indie games in 2020... and it's only April!


Side Note
If you like this review and would like to follow me for more, please feel free to drop by my curator page: https://store.steampowered.com/curator/33780629-The-Midcore-Gamer/

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Smokey Oct 27, 2021 @ 11:07am 
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Nyanco Channel Dec 26, 2020 @ 9:21am 
:chocoxmas::vanixmas:
thegamingkage Dec 24, 2020 @ 12:07pm 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ! May you have lots of health,happiness,wealth and luck-in-all ! :steamhappy:
Arion Sep 28, 2020 @ 8:29am 
Sorry, just saw your message. I've sent a reply :P
Mirka Sep 28, 2020 @ 7:06am 
Hellooooooooooooo :D Read your inbox please!!
Arion Aug 5, 2020 @ 10:16am 
Yeah, I spotted this today. It's just too adorable not to use it ^^