I love atmospheric horror games with a mystery. What’s more fun than exploring a horror beyond comprehension, that you just can’t look away from because you need answers? I can’t think of anything. Video games are at their absolute best when delivering this type of experience, and Hidden Deep, even in Early Access, is shaping up to be a gem.
Hidden Deep is a 2D sidescrolling action adventure game with light platforming that is darkly atmospheric. I can best describe it as a side scrolling GTFO with hints of Half-Life. In it, you play as a several characters as they explore an underwater facility that is overrun with mutated creatures that look like they come straight from John Carpenter’s The Thing. One of the things that helps to heighten the tension in Hidden Deep is how deliberate you have to be. In Hidden Deep you’ll be fighting lots of horrible creatures, but you’re just as liable to die falling or blowing yourself up as you are to creatures. You won’t be alone, however—on top of the option for co-op, you will often have to use multiple characters to complete your mission.
Death comes easily in Hidden Deep, but that doesn’t automatically end your mission. For each mission you are allocated a certain amount of lives to accomplish the mission. Sometimes those lives have to stretched over several playable characters—each time any of your characters die, you lose a life.
While death is an inevitability in Hidden Deep, you aren’t ill-equipped. Each character usually comes with at least a side arm to dispatch foes, while some carry specialized climbing equipment to get over and around obstacles, and drones to help reconnoiter cave systems.
Hidden Deep is an Early Access game, and that means it’s still in active development. Developer Cogwheel Software plans on keeping Hidden Deep in development for the next six to eight weeks. During that time, the developer hopes to add more story content, as well as a level editor, more multiplayer options, and a leaderboard.
I’m excited for the future prospects of Hidden Deep. It has an interesting base experience with atmosphere and lore that had me playing for hours. It manages to create the perfect horror environment, even with simple 2D graphics. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Hidden Deep as it finishes development.
Hidden Deep is available now for PC via Steam Early Access.
A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this preview.