Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Abyss (DSiWare) Review

Review for Abyss on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

EnjoyUp Games continues its high support of the Nintendo DSiWare download service with another simple little game available at a budget price. Abyss sank its way onto the DSi and 3DS online stores this month, and Cubed3 has tackled its depths to give readers the verdict.

Gravity-based games have proven to be an extremely popular choice mechanic, from way back in the day as with oldies such as Jetpac, Thrust and Asteroids, right up to the present with Gravitron 2, Super Stardust HD and Geometry Wars. Most of these are space shooters, but EnjoyUp's latest take is a little maze-like game called Abyss, which aims to keep things very simple.

There is a small back story to set the proceedings, with the game set far in the future -- the year 3024, in fact. The remaining contingent of the human race is on the brink of dying out, and so the ASAN has created a nifty robot named Nep2no to search the depths of the sea to fish out new energy sources. One such source is found, which is dubbed "Gaia," and the ultimate goal is for the player to snuff this life-saving energy out in each level.

In keeping with the theme of EnjoyUp's titles lately, Abyss is a game that anybody will be able to pick up and play due to its very straightforward controls. As the Cyclops-like mini robot that is Nep2no, players guide it around by pressing any of the A, B, X or Y buttons to accelerate, whilst changing direction with the left and right directions of the D-pad or the L and R shoulder buttons. Nep2no cannot be allowed to touch any of the walls and surrounding environment; in doing so, the robot will explode upon impact and present the player with a 'Game Over.' With gravity affecting the gameplay, not accelerating will force Nep2no to drop and crash into the floor, so it is imperative to keep it off the surface at all times.

Screenshot for Abyss on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Therefore, the goal is simple: traverse the underworld mazes, collecting glowing orbs of Gaia along the way, and find the level exit. The twist is that a circle of light surrounding Nep2no gradually gets smaller the longer the player takes to find the next piece of Gaia. Picking Gaia up restores the light to its full size and grants a wider area of sight. Strangely, though, it's actually not all that difficult to still see the level in the dimmed down areas, rendering the dying light slightly pointless. If it was completely black in the parts of the stage which didn't light up, that would have made things a bit harder.

Each stage gets gradually more difficult, with mines and moving blocks to dodge in the later areas, but experienced video gamers shouldn't have too much of a problem getting through Abyss. There will be some frustrating moments in one or two of the stages, but it certainly isn't the most difficult game around. Sadly, there are only 12 levels to conquer, meaning this title is over very quickly, with each stage lasting a couple of minutes. A speed run mode is unlocked after the twelfth stage, giving players the chance to run through the whole game without dying, and leader boards for each level are also included, but they really aren't enough to keep players going back for more. The plus points are that it is incredibly easy to pick up and play because of its great control set up, and of course the budget price means it's not a complete rip off. It's just a shame that Abyss is over so quickly and there isn't a lot to come back for.

Screenshot for Abyss on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Very responsive controls and a set up that allows absolutely anybody to pick it up and play, including youngsters. For those who own a 3DS, as with many DS games, the 3DS Circle Pad makes things much comfier instead of the D-pad.

Graphics

Could have done with having a bit more variety in the scenery of the depths of the underworld, but the impression of being under the sea is definitely there. Lighting is done well enough, but unlit areas should have been completely dark to add a slightly bigger degree of difficulty.

Sound

The calming music suits the underwater nature of Abyss well, and it's a neat idea to include a little voice work to reinstate the idea of searching for energy for the humans on land.

Value

Whilst short and lacking much replay value, Abyss is just £1.80 so players will pretty much be getting what they pay for -- it's not a complete rip off. It's the cheap price that saves this game from scoring any lower in this department.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

Abyss is a tidy mini game with responsive controls and an easy to pick up and play formula, but it's just far too short and lacks any replay value. It's the budget price tag that saves it from being less than an average game, though. For any parents out there that might be after a game that is simple enough for children to play and keep them occupied for a little while, Abyss would be ideal, especially given the cost. However, for anyone else, that couple of quid is probably best saved for something else.

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30.09.2012

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Developer

EnjoyUp

Publisher

EnjoyUp

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Sounds a bit bizzare imo, whilst it is a download game, perhaps a little bit more fleshing out would have helped its case.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I reckon this would have worked nicely with gyros, tilting the system to control the cyclops-like creature!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff MemberOur member of the week

Adam Riley said:
I reckon this would have worked nicely with gyros, tilting the system to control the cyclops-like creature!

Hey, good idea. Certainly could have been an option if it was a 3DS eShop title.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
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