As I get older, I’ve started to appreciate games that aren’t wall-to-wall action. In fact, some of my favorite parts of games like Breath of the Wild and Elite Dangerous (for example) aren’t the combat, but what you can find if you’re willing to explore. Submerged: Hidden Depths does away with combat altogether, and instead, lets you explore its sunken ruins at your leisure.
Submerged: Hidden Depths is a third person adventure game with an emphasis on exploration. You play as brother and sister: Taku and Miku. Miku has a strange power that allows her to manipulate the dark growths that infest the sunken city, and Taku mostly just drives the boat. As Miku you explore, climb, and solve puzzles to restore life in a post-apocalyptic water world. One of its store page descriptions calls it a “relaxploration game” and I really can’t think of a better name for it. Miku and Taku have been driven from their people, and Miku has to seek redemption from the mistake that saw her and her brother exiled.
I got a chance to play a bit of prerelease Submerged: Hidden Depths, and while I played an early build, it’s a game I played easily for hours. Submerged: Hidden Depths invokes the need for exploration in me. I kept trying to get to a higher vantage point to find landmarks to explore, in gameplay that reminded me of a mixture of The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker and the more recent Sable. It even shares some mechanics with Sable, notably, the ability to use your telescope to discover landmarks and other points of interest.
While the word “submerged” is featured prominently, there’s a surprisingly lack of undersea exploration. With a whole sunken city under the surface, I was hoping for a chance to get to the titular Hidden Depths, but I fear they may just be metaphorical—or further along in the gameplay than I spent during my hands-on period.
Submerged: Hidden Depths looks like it’ll deliver on the “relaxploration” promise along with some simple puzzles and light platforming sections. It also delivers on some great visuals that make Submerged: Hidden Depths one of the rare post-apocalyptic games that manages to be colorful.
A Steam key was provided to us for this preview.