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DSi  header logo

Abyss

For: DSi

Not as abyss-mal as it could be

Product: Abyss | Developer: EnjoyUp | Publisher: EnjoyUp | Format: DSi | Genre: Action, Adventure, Retro | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Abyss DSi, thumbnail 1
Abyss lives up to its name in many ways - not least in that sinking feeling you’ll experience every time you die, and in the time you'll sink into it going back for one more go.

The game's title actually refers to its storyline about exploring unknown depths, but story and setting are the last things you’ll be thinking about.

Set over a thousand years in the future in 3024, Abyss sees you taking control of a biomechanical robot called Nep2no and exploring the darkest depths of Earth's ocean in search of an energy source known as Gaia. Naturally, this source of energy is vital for human survival.

None of this is obvious when you actually play the game, though. It’s only when you check the digital manual that you learn what your motivation is.

Navigating the Abyss

Each of the 12 increasingly difficult levels plays out in a similar fashion to the '70s Atari game Lunar Lander. You have to navigate that three-tentacled cyclops squid robot Nep2no through tight levels without letting him so much as graze the ground, ceiling, or sides of each level.

On your way through each stage you’ll find and grab six glowing Gaia energy orbs, although the game never actually explains that this is what you’re supposed to be doing. You’ll also have to make it through completely unscathed, as robots working in high-pressure environments seem to only be able to take one knock.

This is what makes Abyss so frustrating to play. On paper it seems blissfully simple, but until you get the hang of making minuscule movements to navigate your way through levels you’ll be crashing into walls everywhere. You’ll grow to know the Game Over screen rather well if you persevere.

The most disappointing aspect of Abyss is the rather poor collision detection. Sometimes just brushing a single tentacle against a surface is enough to wipe Nep2no off the face of the earth.

At other times you’ll be able to plough his single green eye right into a wall and then jet away entirely unscathed. It’s hard to know exactly what you’ve done wrong in some situations and you really are better off just avoiding anything that crosses your path.

Its no-nonsense difficulty artificially extends the lifespan of Abyss, but for the paltry price of £1.80 you’ll definitely find enough entertainment for your pennies. Just don’t expect a game that’ll redefine a genre, blow your mind, or provide you with anything more than repetitive entertainment.
 
Abyss
Reviewer photo
Vaughn Highfield | 1 October 2012
It may not be a must buy title, but simple mechanics married with tricky level design provides a rather challenging game that, while frustrating, urges you to have one more try
 
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