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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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Aquaria Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld recently posted a new review of Aquaria, Bit Blot's 2D sidescrolling underwater adventure game. Brought to the Mac by Ambrosia Software, the game allows player to take the role of Naija and work to unlock the secrets of her past while defeating or outwitting the various creatures encountered along the way. Macworld gave the game a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

Naija’s powers become darker and more potent throughout the game. Initially, she can only swim, summon a speed burst, and sing. The “sing” interface is a clever design conceit that allows Naija to interact with certain environmental factors and cast magic. Eventually, Naiji will learn to transform into different forms that vary from a close-combat style beast form to an evil-looking energy form that grants Naija the ability to blast enemies with bolts of magic. Not only can you obliterate the alien-looking armored foes you encounter, but helpless schools of fish as well. You’ll also gain access to different costumes, pets that will aid you in battle, and other allies.

The level design favors labyrinths and discovery over linear stages. Each successive level carries new dangers and different challenges, and for a game based purely underwater, the environments are remarkably varied. You’ll get to explore abandoned cities, kelp forests, and a corrupted cathedral that resembles a Castlevania stage crossed with the stomach of a whale. Pretty spooky.

There are many moments in the game where you truly appreciate how well it is crafted. The soundtrack alone is one of the catchiest I've heard in a while. Some of the later areas are shrouded in darkness and Naija must use her body like a flashlight to see the way—a clever way to spice up gameplay. The bosses resemble old school monsters and boss battles require you to use a variety of the skills you’ve learned. The sea creatures are diversified and numerous throughout the stages, and there are some cute details too: when you journey towards the surface, you can hop out of the water and knock monkeys out of their trees... and then watch them drown.
Head over to the link below to read the full review.

Macworld: Aquaria Review
Ambrosia Software

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